He Came to Give us Eternal Life {Advent Devotional}

9

By Bill McIntyre

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I will simply begin by saying something that A.W. Tozer once said,

 

Dad 1 (2)

 

John 3:16 is only one sentence. And that sentence contains only twenty-four words.

If you were to ask someone the meaning of eternal life they may answer “eternal life is living forever.” This is wrong because in this definition if you don’t have eternal life then you die. But no-one ceases to exist when they die. Everyone lives forever in either heaven or hell.

Well then, eternal life must be living forever in heaven instead of hell. That’s not it either.

John 3:36 says,

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. 

Eternal life is a present-tense possession. It’s not something that begins when we get to heaven. So, the question remains, “What is eternal life?”

This is very important.

John 3:16 says this is the reason that Jesus came.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 Jesus defined eternal life for us in John 17:3. That verse says,

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

 Eternal life is knowing God.  Do you know God?  When Jesus said eternal life was knowing God, He was speaking of having an intimate, close, personal relationship with God. That’s amazing!  Do you have an intimate, close, personal relationship with God?

We are supposed to have eternal life (close, intimate, personal relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son) right now. It’s not some mysterious thing that will happen in the future but rather something that is there for us now.  This was one of the main differences between the first-century church and our modern church. Those people knew God intimately. They had a relationship with the Lord that wasn’t waiting to start in heaven, but was working in them while they were still in this world.

They didn’t have the advantages of radio, television, internet, or any other modern means of communication. Those believers turned the known world upside down with the truths of the Gospel in just thirty years (Acts 17:6).  And that is the key – the truths of the Gospel.

Every church should be, no must be, a gospel preaching, gospel breathing, gospel living, gospel proclaiming church. Any less and you are not thanking the Lord Jesus Christ for his death and our salvation to eternal life. You are playing at being a Christian.  The first-century Christians had such a depth of relationship with a Living God that it was contagious. In Rome, Christians knew their God so intimately that they sang His praises as they were burned at the stake. There are historical accounts of Nero the emperor sticking his fingers in his ears and saying, “Why must these Christians sing?”

They had much more than a doctrine and a hope. They had a present-tense relationship that allowed them to endure with joy terrible atrocities.

This is what drove the Apostle Paul (Phil. 3:10) and all the early Christians. It’s still what drives victorious Christians today. It’s all about personal relationship with a Person, not just some doctrine.

What drives you today? Is it this same personal relationship with God? Is it the joyous knowledge that through the death of Christ on that cross that today, here and now, we have eternal life because we believe?

Anything less is a very poor response to the sacrifice that our Lord made for you and for me.

 

            Lord, we come before you now and pray that through your Holy Spirit we will become the people you want us to be. The people who will proclaim your gospel, who will shout of the joy of the Lord, will praise and glorify you until that day when we will meet you face to face in eternity. Amen

 

This is the meaning of Christmas – He came to give us eternal life

 

 

Comments

  1. Amen + Amen!!! So thankful for his gift to us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes He did – praise Him for His gift!

    Like

  3. we praise God for His great and awesome mercy!

    Like

  4. It really is such a blessing that He came down and gave us the opportunity to know Him!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. inspiring quotes from Tozer and from John; wonderful reminders at this season that His birth was just the beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen and so so grateful that Jesus came and died for us and gave us eternal life! Great reminder for the real reason of the season!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is the best part of faith for me- the relationship my Lord and Savior wants to have with me, that he bends down to hear my heart and catches my tears, while I can follow him on any path because in the end I know he will be there for every step.

    Truly enjoyed this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am overcome when I think that he came to die. He knew from the beginning that was the plan. Can’t imagine from our human point of view what that must have been like. Makes me more humbly grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the quote from AW Tozer. Thanks for this inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It seems this time of year the media finds the most things to argue about and be offended over. I appreciate the voices that stand out and say “but remember”.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anna - Southern Breeze Collections says:

    Thank you for such a great post. It was very informative as I’ve never really thought about the true meaning of eternal life being my relationship with Christ. It makes so much sense though. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ifeoma Samuel says:

    Hi Helen, you are a good devotional writer. Think about putting your advent posts together. I think it will make a good Devotional Book for Advent! Just my thoughts.
    Blessings to you, Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is a good reminder that eternal life starts now. Life really is about knowing God. That puts a whole new spin on those days that we don’t stop to focus on God. On those days, we don’t really live!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eternal life is such a beautiful gift. Loving God and loving people is what life is about. So thankful for Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Praise the LORD! This is the true reason for the season. Thanks for sharing and for this great devotional.

    Liked by 1 person

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