What Is A Christian -2 -
What is A Christian - Eternal Life -
We began to consider last week a number of things that mark the Christian believer out from other men and women. We deplore the regime of the 1930’s that demanded that Jewish people wore clothing that marked them out as Jewish; but there is a kind of parallel with the true Christian. Certain characteristics mark some people out as Christians.
We said week that one such characteristic was a “New Creature.” A Christian is a person in whom something dramatic, and new, has happened, he/she is not the same anymore, from the moment they believed in Jesus Christ as their Saviour they were changed, they became a totally new person.
This morning I want us to consider another verse of this type.
The True Christian is one who has, or, is in possession of eternal life.
There are many bible verses to this effect - Jn. 3:15,16, 36
1) What Is Eternal Life?
Here two words are linked together -
The word eternal in the N.T. is very often linked with the word life – 30 times. When this kind of thing happens it’s almost as if a new word comes into being. A microwave cooker is not just a machine that cooks food. It is a new kind of cooking - different from using a traditional oven or an open fire.
So, eternal life is not just life as we know it today that goes on forever.
There are 2 specific things involved in it.
a) It has timelessness about it.
b) It has quality about it.
The kind of life is that is in God and in His Son Jesus Christ - Jn. 1:4 – is predominantly spiritual life rather than simply physical - the life of Jn. 1:4 is spiritual; the life mentioned in Jn. 3:16 is spiritual.
God in His very nature - His life, His holiness, truth, knowledge, wisdom, is love. These are the things that characterise God - this is His life.
This is the quality of life that will be lived in eternity by those who will live with God in eternity - it is Eternal Life.
2) Where Does This Life Come From?
This life cannot be bought, at any price, it cannot be earned, it cannot be bestowed upon us by any man or women, by parents, friends, Kings or Queens, parliaments or governments.
This life originates in God, and we could say that He has the copyright on it. It comes only from God. When we see people who have this kind of life, we know that they got it form God as a free undeserved gift from - Jn. 10:28.
3) On What Grounds Will This Life Be Given?
We are speaking here about life being given; there must then be an absence of it before it was given. Spiritual life can only given to those who are spiritually dead.
It will only be given to those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour - that faith may be small and weak - Jn. 3:15, 16.
It will only be given to those who have in the words of Jn 10:28 “come” to Jesus Christ
It will only be given to those who are prepared to actively listen to His voice and follow Him as they hear it.
How do you, each of you, score on these points?
When God sees faith beginning to grow in any ones life - it is His gift - when He sees there is some degree of constant coming to Him, trusting in Him - no matter how tiny it may be, When God Himself, who knows all things, is sure of these things, then He will give that kind of life - that will be experienced in eternity, when this life is over - He gives it here and now, it cannot be fully lived until this present life is over, but we have it now, and having it now is an assurance that we shall live it fully in eternity.
A young child so wanted a football for his birthday - on the day it was given to him, condition was attached; he could not kick it in the house - he could hold it, think of what he could do with it. He could even bounce it and roll it. But as for kicking it for all he was worth, he had to wait until he got to the place where it could be kicked with absolute abandon. But he had it, he could feel it, hold it and long for the day when he could do what one does with such a ball.
So how does all of this affect us this morning here?
There is one great question - Do you have eternal life?
1) Professed Christians.
You will answer with a resounding “Yes”.
You will say that some time ago you were brought to believe that you had no life in you - you might not know the date - but you came to believe this.
You also heard from somewhere that God had provided a way for that death to be taken away and for life to come in its place.
You further heard that if only you, as an individual, would believe this - if you would trust in that only way of coming to life -.
You then went to the giver of life - in short you really couldn’t help yourself, you were desperate. You went to Jesus Christ, believing that he actually died instead of you. You felt that as you stood before Him, you became aware that something had happened to you. Life had been given.
How has this affected you since?
Has there been a sense since that you are a model for the world. Does the world around us that is almost totally ignorant of God see in you and me a model of what spiritual life really is?
As you live in this present world - Is there holiness? Not a holiness that can’t be touched for fear of breaking it in two. But a practical desire to live in a dark and sinful environment with out it contaminating you!
Are you showing that opinions of this world matter very little to you? Your life is hid with Christ in God! You can walk with your head held high - you have never professed to be perfect - I hope - but you don’t give the impression that you are - do you? You struggle against things, as you Saviour did. You suffer in you mind and soul and body, as your Saviour did. Good did, can and does come from that unexpected area.
You as Christians know things that unbelievers do not know! You know that you have the only sort of life suitable for heaven even now.
John 3:36 "He who abelieves in the Son has eternal life; but he who bdoes not 1obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
The saddest thing about this day is that there are people around us who really have no life within them - they can move and give every indication that they are moving and living.
Have you trusted on the Son of God Jesus Christ?
Here you will find life - here you will find an end of all the life-withering things this world gives.
Don't leave here this morning without making sure you have it?