“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
John the Apostle tells us in his first letter to early Christians that God has given us eternal life through Jesus Christ. What is this eternal life? Well, it is clear from various places in Scripture that there is both a certain quality and a certain quantity to this eternal life.
The Quality of Eternal Life
Eternal life is not just about the length of our lives, such as being extended to eternal days, but also about a different quality of life. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The kingdom of God sort of life starts now through faith in Jesus Christ. We are plunged into a life enriched by God’s presence and relationship with Him. We do not wait for eternal life to begin when we die, but we enter into a new quality of life with God now. We pass from death to life, from darkness to light, from imprisonment to freedom now in Jesus Christ.
The Quantity of Eternal Life (5:12; John 3:16; 5:24)
At the same time as eternal life does begin now, it also has impact on our days beyond our physical death. We see this when read the well-known verses from John’s Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This relates to now and to what we would term eternity. Death is not the end for us who have faith in Jesus Christ. It moves on into the future for endless days with God. As Jesus says elsewhere, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Jesus is the bringer of eternal life. It is a life marked by divine quality and divine quantity.
This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “Living the Creed: Connecting Life and Faith in the Apostles’ Creed.” This series walks through the Apostles Creed as a basic summary of our faith but also as a way to live our faith out with God in the world. Each weekend of this series will explore the biblical and theological roots of the Apostles Creed, while also providing specific spiritual practices and approaches to living out what we know as we ‘proclaim and embody’ the Apostles’ Creed in our daily lives.
This weekend Pastor Nic Fridenmaker concluded the third article of the creed with a message entitled: “I believe in the life everlasting.”
You can find the message outline and video below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Eternal Life Then (Genesis 2,3)
What We Had
How We Forgot
Eternal Life in the Future (1 Corinthians 15, Revelations 22)
What Is Ahead
How We Can Endure
Eternal Life Now (John 17:2-3, Ephesians 1:17-23)
What We Can Remember
How We Can Flourish
This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:
Memorize John 17:2-3
For further study on the eternal life, read John 17. Underline or write down what you notice about how Jesus was praying that eternal life be imbued into His followers. Discuss or share your thoughts/questions with a friend.
How would you explain your goal in life, or your understanding of what ‘real life’ is?
This week we conclude our three-week series, “3 Questions We All Have About Jesus,” by looking at Jesus as the Life. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Before you begin this study, ask God to reveal His truth to you as you read His word.
The theme of life pervades Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of John. Read the following verses which mention ‘life’ or ‘eternal life’ and describe what they tell us about God, Jesus, and life:
In light of everything you just read, what do you think Jesus is trying to say in John 14:6-7 about being the way and the truth and the life?
Some people say that religion – or even Christianity specifically – is a straightjacket that takes the ‘life’ out of life. What would you say to someone who feels this way? If you feel this way yourself, why do you feel this way?
In John 10:10, Jesus makes one of His most well-known statements about death and life. Given the verses around it (John 10:1-18), what do you think it means to have full or abundant life in Jesus Christ?
Would you say that you are living the abundant life in Jesus Christ right now? Why or why not? How might you take a step deeper into life with God?
What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study about the life with God found in Jesus? How will that shape your life in the coming week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.
[Response: As we draw this series to a close, you may still have unresolved questions about Jesus. We would love to talk through those with you in person or via email. Reach out with your questions either by emailing us (email@example.com), writing them on a connect card, visiting the Eastbrook Church Facebook page, or calling the church office (414.228.5220).]
I concluded our series, “3 Questions We All Have About Jesus,” this past weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at Jesus as the life. In this series we have explored Jesus’ statement on John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” Digging into our questions, not avoiding them, helps us to know God more.
You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here.
What does it mean to have eternal life? That’s a good deal of what I talked about this weekend as I continued our “Love Letters” series on 1, 2, & 3 John this weekend at Eastbrook. My message was entitled “An Eternal Kind of Life” based out of 1 John 5:6-21.
You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter. I’ve included my outline for the message below: