God Promising Eternal Life
And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. (1Jn_2:25)
We have examined a number of strategic promises from God in the Old Testament. We have also considered how a growing awareness of God’s ability builds our faith in His promises. Now, let’s begin to examine some of the promises that God has made in the New Testament.
The first promise that we will look at could actually be called “the promise of all promises,” as far as that which impacts man the most. This promise is the culmination of all the others. ” And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. ” As in human life, eternal life has a quantitative aspect (related to duration) and a qualitative aspect (related to substance).
The quantitative aspect of eternal life pertains to the fact that it never ends. Consequently, it is sometimes translated as everlasting. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Joh_6:40). As humans, who begin natural life, limited to a brief number of years, the thought of a never-ending life is overwhelming. Yet, as amazing as the quantitative side of eternal life is, the qualitative side is even more stupendous.
Jesus spoke of the qualitative aspect of eternal life. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Joh_10:10). This would be a life in which the fullness of Jesus’ grace was being increasingly manifested. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . . full of grace and truth . . . And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for (upon) grace” (John 1:14, 16). This would be a life in which the Holy Spirit was being trusted to produce Christlike characteristics in an increasing manner. “But the fruit of gentleness, self-control” (Gal_5:22-23). This would be a life in which we could not be the source of sufficiency, but God would be. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2Co_3:5).
Appropriately, this eternal life is offered to man as a gift. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (Rom_6:23 and Joh_10:28). Necessarily, this gift can only be received by faith: “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Joh_3:15).
O gracious Lord, what a wondrous gift is ours through faith—eternal life! I praise You that it will never end. I seek You that it may grow abundant in and through me. This I pray for Your glory and honor, Amen.