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Saturday, September 6, 2008

What is Eternal Life?

Following the Spirit to the Cross, Part 4

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I asked some people at church, after I saw this, what do you think eternal life is? They all said "living forever with Jesus in heaven." But that is not what this says. This life He is talking about is the life that He warned few there would be who find it. It's the same life He lived-a sacrificial, surrendered life that sought only to do the Father's will, nothing else. It's a life that does not originate from this world, and has nothing in this world except to draw others out of this world to the Lord that they might be saved. It's a life that is given from the Father, through the Son, to those who are born again. Jesus warns in Mat_7:21-23 that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter into this life. By default, those who don't, are dead. They won't make it. Those who make provision for self, are not doing the will of the Father. Self is carnal, and it is hostile to the will of God. It wants to run from the light like a cock roach will do. It wants to hide so it can be preserved. That nature is in all of us. Our life-this eternal life- is hid in Christ-it's in HIM. HE is the Source. Only those who are connected to HIM have life. Only those who draw from Him, like a lamp plugged into the wall draws electricity, have light. Break the connection, the light quickly turns into darkness. Life quickly turns into death. He is saying THIS is eternal life-that they know You, Father, and ME.

What happens when we neglect prayer and our Bibles and don't spend time with Him? Our light quickly begins to grow dim. Our life of faith begins to weaken because we have disconnected ourselves and allowed something to interfere with our connection to Power and Life. It's not a thing-it's a Person.

Someone asks Jesus what must I do to be saved? Jesus says in Luk_13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate for many will seek to enter in and not be able. He is warning them there is a literal struggle involved because you have a very shrewd and vigilant adversary to contend with, your enemy, the devil. You have your own flesh and carnal mind, which the devil will exploit and use against you. You are struggling to live a holy, separated life apart from this world system that is so out of order from God's order. In the world, self is king. In the kingdom of God, Christ is King and self has to die. Remember He says many are called but few are chosen. The few who are chosen manage to get through the straight gate. It's a narrow way-no room for self here. Only that which is HIM. Many will search and demand entrance, they will think they have a right to go in because of their works and worship. This word 'seek' in the original language is like the demand of a spoiled child. They fail to understand self can't get through this narrow gate-only that which is hid in Christ gets in. He says no flesh, no works of flesh will glory or be allowed in My Presence. Because with it comes pride and that is one thing God hates. (Pro_6:17) Holy Spirit, please help me understand what it means to be hid in Christ. (G2212-NASB Exhaustive Concordance, Thayer's Greek Definitions, Strong's Greek Definitions-DO NOT take my word for it, search it out yourself, I pray, as the Bereans to see if these things be true).

But even more is required to have this life than just searching the Scriptures. In John 5, Jesus healed the man at the Pool of Siloam who'd been sick for 38 years. Because He did this on the Sabbath day, the religious crowd were all upset and accusing Him of breaking the law. They sought to kill Him because He was yielding His vessel to the Father who lived in Him and the Father wanted this man healed. He said the works He did, it was the Father in Him doing them. He admits He can do nothing of Himself, but it is the Father (Joh_5:19). But they don't understand, or want to hear. They know the letter that kills with religion, but not the Spirit that gives the letter life. They won't hear and He says you investigate and examine the Scriptures, because you think by reading the Scriptures you get eternal life. Doesn't James tell us in his writing it's not the hearer that is justified, but the doer of the Word?? And didn't Jesus say in Luke 6 the one who heard His sayings and did them was the one who built on the rock and when the storm rose his house (himself) would stand and not fall into ruin? He says you search the Scriptures, because you think doing so gives you eternal life and they written to point you to Me but you won't come to Me that you might possess My life. The only real life is His. When we are connected (abiding in Him) to Him, through having our own personal relationship with HIM, we are plugged into the Life Source. If we come to Him to learn of and from HIM and we are willing to lay aside our traditions received of men, and be taught, we will behold Him and in beholding HIM, coming to understand Him, and know Him ourselves, we are then changed from our image into HIS. (2Co_3:18) This is another work of the Holy Spirit-to reveal to the hungry heart who Christ is. How can we be like One we do not know? It's impossible.

He says in Joh_6:53 if we don't eat His Word (which was made flesh) and drink of His blood, (the Holy Spirit) we have no life in us. That tells me reading the Word alone is not enough. I must have the Holy Spirit in me, living the life of Jesus Christ and empowering me to overcome the self I was born into. Consider this: The Word was with the Father from the beginning. He was able to move freely and be everywhere anytime, and was without limits or boundaries, as is the Holy Spirit, today. He submitted to a cage-flesh, for 33 1/2 years. Our spirits are eternal and they are caged by corrupt and unreliable flesh which is driven by destructive impulses and behaviors. The Word and the Spirit work together to free us from these. The law of the Spirit is CHRIST'S Life in us which makes us free.

He said you shall know the Truth (which is the Word which was made flesh-Jesus Christ) and ye shall be FREE. Whom the SON makes free is free indeed! So what if we are born again and we read our Bibles but we still struggle with carnality and flesh? All I know is if the Word says the law of the Spirit of life (Rom 8:2) which is Christ's life which makes us free from the earthly things of this world that would keep us in bondage to this world and its ways, then that is what it means. If that is not my experience yet (and it's not, but I'm seeing it in the Word, He is showing me things to come as I dig in these Scriptures) then I must LOOK UNTO JESUS in total dependence on Him to finish this work in my life, and be willing to lay down anything I have to so I can have more of the Holy Spirit and less of self. I must decrease so He can increase in me. The more I make room for HIM by rejecting and denying the things in my self life that hinder Him, the more He will come until I am filled. As He lives in me, He teaches me how to walk in the Spirit, like I taught my children how to stand on their feet and walk when they were babies.

However, if I prefer to do things my own way, follow my own desires and please myself I can't please God, for then I am loving my own life (G5590) which is the self life, not the divine life (G2222) and I lose eternal life. (Joh_12:25) It's up to us to choose.

As He begins His prayer, He says this is eternal life that they may KNOW THEE, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. Consider what it means to know Him. It is possible to know all about Him from reading this Bible, but never meet Him personally. This word in the Greek is ginosko and it means to know absolutely, with certainty, through experience and intimacy, as a husband knows his wife. Through this knowing, this intimacy, they understand and are sure of each other. This is not a head knowledge. Jesus Christ is telling us in John 17:3 that eternal life is intimate relationship with the Father, and the Son, through the Holy Spirit. It's spending time with Him, in His Word, in His presence, praying about what you read in this Book, bringing it to Him and asking for understanding. Not for religion's sake but because you just want to know HIM because the more you know the more you will love Him and you won't dare want to grieve or bring reproach on Him by misrepresenting HIM. You will learn what it means when Psalms 16:11 tells you "He will show us the path (way) of life; In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore." Spend time with Him, you get direction, understanding, strength, peace, joy, rest, hope, life. HE IS your life. HE IS everything. HE is our source. We are just empty vessels unless we stay connected to HIM.

YES, it is a struggle. The world, the flesh and the devil will all work together to distract and keep us from prayer, communion with HIM, and the Word which is our meat-our daily bread. You know, He said communion was eating the Bread of life, and drinking the wine of the Holy Spirit. We can do that privately as well as corporately in remembrance and in fellowship with Him. He fed communion or the last supper to the disciples. He fed them the passover lamb-and HE is our Passover Lamb. His Word is what He wants to feed us and He wants us to be willing to get over and let go of ourselves so He can give us rivers of living waters-that precious HOLY GHOST who is the almighty power of Almighty GOD working in us to bring us to a place where we are willing to be separated from any and everything BUT HIM. (

His life being lived out by the power of the Spirit in us, heals us and makes us whole. (Rom_5:10). There's no penalty, no sentence of damnation to those who have taken their fixed position in Jesus Christ-by agreeing to the destruction of their self-will and embracing HIS will. They don't follow the demands of their minds or their selfish desires any longer. They have seen and known HIM and now they are learning how to walk IN Him. The law of the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives in me liberates me and delivers me from everything that would destroy me. (Rom_8:1-2) Every destructive thought, behavior, addiction, He cuts me loose from these things because He empowers me to yield all I am to Him. When you embrace LIFE you reject death. You can't serve yourself and the Lord, too. It's one or the other. These things can't have dominion over Christ and if He lives in me, and rules in me, they won't have dominion over me, either.

Eph_4:18 tells us we can be estranged or excluded from this life through ignorance and lack of understanding. Pro_29:18 tells us clearly without a vision the people perish. If we don't know it's because we haven't sought for it. We haven't been told. We haven't gotten in this Book like we should and prayed to know HIM. He says call on Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know. (Jer_33:3). He knows when we are ready. He knows when we are hungry. He says He will fill the hungry. There has to be a cry in us-and HE produces the cry as we begin to seek His face. That's where it starts-a sincere seeking after God. A desire to just simply know who He is.

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