I heard a pastor say, if salvation was just a ticket to heaven then once we had accepted Christ as our Savior, we would instantly be taken up to heaven to be with God forever. And this is so true! The fact that a person believes in Christ, receives Salvation and gets eternal life all while remaining here on earth is testament to the fact that there is so much more for us to experience of God here on earth. And so if eternal life –
what we get in the exchange of Salvation, is not simply a ticket to heaven or an
escape from hell, then what is it?
For the wages of sin is death, but the
free gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord.
Eternal life is a gift from God to all those who believe. It is our union with Christ, which allows us to escape the righteous judgement of God for our shortcomings and instead live in His fullness for eternity. And since it is a gift from God then it must be something which He owns and gives to us or purchased for us. In this case it is both. God possesses eternal life and Jesus purchased it on the cross for all who will believe in Him.
So eternal life is a gift, a very precious and expensive gift which the whole Bible
speaks of, but if we don’t know what
exactly the gift we’ve been given is, then we either take it for granted, ignore it or don’t fully maximise it.
So what does this gift of eternal life
really give us?
In John 17:3 Jesus defines eternal life in
His prayer, for all disciples, to God the Father:
And this is eternal life, that they may
know You, the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Eternal life gives us a relationship with
God the Father and Christ the Son. It is
the reconciliation of us with the Father.
What sin destroyed at the beginning with Adam and Eve, the gift of eternal life restores through Christ when we believe.
It has always been God’s intention to
have an intimate relationship with us
forever. He designed us for this. God
wants us to live out of our relationship
with Him- the way Jesus did. He is
willing to share His thoughts, heart and ways (wisdom) with us. This is what He has given us as a gift through Christ –
unfettered access to Himself. It is what we see Jesus live out of – oneness with the Father; fruitfulness, effectiveness, peace and so much more.
Why were God the Father and Jesus
Christ so bent on restoring this
Well like any good relationship which is going to last the test of time, eternity in this case, this relationship is founded on unconditional love – love that does not require any virtue or goodness or
For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only Son, that whoever
believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life.
Romans 5: 6 – 8
6 For while we were still weak, at the
right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will scarcely die for a
righteous person—though perhaps for
a good person one would dare even to
8 but God shows his love for us in
that while we were still sinners, Christ
died for us.
While we were still sinners – fallen, Christ
died for us and made this gift of eternal
life, of a restored relationship with God,
available to us. God wants us to know
Him, not because He needs His ego
satisfied, but because He loves us and
has no desire to withhold Himself from
us, plus, we actually need Him!
He created us in His image and likeness
for His glory – to display His
awesomeness, but how do we do that
when we don’t know how awesome He
is? when we don’t recognize His
goodness or His faithfulness or the
beauty of Christ’s love towards us in His
perfect work of redemption on the cross?
If we believe in the finished work of
Christ, if we claim to be His followers
then we must get to know Him. This
takes time- He is just that big, it takes
effort, conscious and intentional steps to
learn about Him and spend time with
Him. No relationship grows or thrives
when one person has a passive attitude
towards it. We are commanded to love
God with everything – heart, mind,
strength, soul, and we can only love Him
well the more we know Him.
So how can we get to know God and
Jesus Christ more? here are my most
- Making room for God in my life –
intentionally setting a time and if possible
a place to meet with God daily – I do this
with a journal so I can write down
whatever is on my heart and whatever I
hear Him say
- Talking to him like a friend –
respectfully still, but I bare my heart to
Him, the same way I would to a dear
friend, and ask for His help / instruction
- Study the word – what was God’s
heart behind the things written? – asking
the Holy Spirit for understanding when
doing this is key!
- Coming to God in humility –
understanding that He loves me perfectly
just as I am not because of anything I do.
- Thanking Him for all things at all
times! A thankful attitude helps you see
His beauty in everything and everyone.
- Praying Paul’s prayers for believers in
Ephesians 1 and 3 and Colossians 1 over
myself. (you can also pray Philemon
1:4-6, Hebrews 13, 1 Thessalonians 1
- Fellowship with other, more mature
believers – asking them questions and
being inspired by how they love God.
- Remembering all that Christ is for me
and has done for me, what He makes
available for me and what He promises to
God is so loving, He doesn’t force us into
loving Him but He makes all of Himself
available if we want to know Him. And if
we believe that Jesus is risen from the
dead and so we have eternal life, we
must get to know Him for who He
actually is – not our idea of who He is or
whatever society has told us He is like.
Jesus stands at the door of our hearts
and knocks waiting for us to let Him in so
He can fellowship with us. He died and
rose again so we can know the only true
God, and Him as Christ. And it’s all for
our benefit – that our joy may be full!
May we not abuse or ignore this act of
love, may we grow in our knowledge of
God and Jesus Christ His son.