Last Sunday I finished preaching on 1 Timothy. That last sermon’s main point was true life. I thought much about the true life of a believer and was surprised at how much Jesus, John and Paul speak to that. True life is an eternal life.
First of all, I need to say that true, eternal life is not an endless succession of periods of time. Eternal life is to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent (John 17:3). To know here is not a cold cerebral knowledge. It is, rather, an intimate, familial knowing of a Person. It is the knowledge that leads to love, trust and obedience. One is impossible without the other. You cannot trust the one you don’t know. You cannot love the one you don’t know. Love without trust is incomplete. You will obey the one you love and trust. And then on top of that add the Person whom you know, trust, love and obey, namely God. He is the most interesting, beautiful, trustworthy and royal Person in the whole universe. He is God, Himself. Knowing this God is life eternal.
This true life is not a list of do’s and don’ts. No, it is life. The longer you live it the more you understand that you don’t control it. It controls you. If you control it, it’s not eternal life. You don’t control whether you sleep or not, you don’t control whether you eat or drink or not. You may abstain from it for a time but life demands certain things. Eternal life demands holiness, love of God, love of brethren, generosity and so on and so forth. Can we call these a list of do’s and don’ts? Hardly. It is life. It is just part of it. Dead people don’t sleep. They don’t eat. Neither do they drink. Those who are spiritually dead don’t love God. They don’t pursue holiness. They don’t fight the good fight of faith. They are dead.
Eternal life is the life of Christ in me (Gal.2:20). He is in me. I am in Him. And the life that I live now is the life of faith in Christ. “We know that everyone who has been born of God doesn’t keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one doesn’t touch him… And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:18,20)
Are you alive? Are you in Christ? Do you yearn for Christlikeness? Does your life bring the peaceable fruit of righteousness? If you don’t have this true life, repent and believe. If you do, live it. Live it to the full, knowing that you were created for such a life. Praise be to our Savior Christ Jesus who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim.1:10).