I. "AND THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL."
A. Jesus has just declared that the Father has given Him the power to give eternal life to those that the Father has given to Him.
B. Eternal life is not to be thought of in terms of duration only.
1. When some people think of eternal life, they think only of living forever and ever.
a. Jesus, in speaking of Gehenna, said, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." So it would seem that the sinner goes on existing.
b. There are people today that we might say of them that they are living, but the conditions under which they are living, they would be better off if they were dead. That is presuming that they are a child of God. The sinner who is living in a torture wracked body, when he dies only goes from bad to worse. Jesus said that they would not even see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon them. But that saint of God who is living in a body that is no longer allowing them to communicate to others, or is totally disabled, how much better to move out of the prison of pain, and to be with the Lord in the new building of God not made with hands eternal in the heavens.
c. Paul said that if a person lived in pleasure, they were dead while they were living. That is, you can be living physically yet be dead spiritually.
d. There is a great difference between physical life, and spiritual life.
2. Eternal life is a quality of life. It is life in fellowship, communion, oneness with God.
a. A life of righteousness, peace and joy. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy.
b. It is life in the Spirit. It is as Christ described, it is the more abundant life.
c. It is the life that is described by David, when he declared, "My cup runneth over."
d. It is a life of joy unspeakable, and full of glory.
e. The joy of knowing my sins are forgiven, that my guilt is gone, pardoned, I am declared justified, by the judge of the universe.
II. HOW IS THIS ETERNAL LIFE ATTAINED?
A. Not by being good, righteous, or religious.
1. Our righteousness are as filthy rags. Isa.64:6
2. The Pharisees were as good as you can become by the law, yet Jesus said that unless your righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees you would not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
3. Jesus said to them, that they were as white-washed sepulchres. They might look good on the outside, but within they were full of dead men's bones.
4. Jesus said that they were of their father the devil.
B. Jesus declared, "This is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."
1. The word know comes from the Greek gnosko which is to know by experience.
2. All men know God intuitively, oidas. The vast majority of Americans declare that they believe in God.
a. Knowing God intuitively does not bring eternal life.
b. 1Jo 2:3
: "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him."
c. 1Jo 5:20
: "And we know that the Son of God has come and given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
C. Many people are deceived into thinking that they have eternal life.
1. They declare that they know God.
2. Its amazing how many people say that they know me. We get calls from all over the country from people who ask me if I know someone, that some person has declared that they know me well, that they are close and intimate friends of mine, that they actually helped me start Calvary Chapel. Yet, I have never heard of them.
3. Jesus declared that in that day many will come saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and do many marvelous things in your name, and He will say to them, depart from Me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you."
4. In 2Cr 13:5
, Paul tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.
5. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You do search the scriptures for in them you think that you have life, but they testify of Me, but you will not come to Me, that you might have life."
6. This is one issue that you don't want to be deceived about, or mistaken in for it is your eternal destiny that is being determined.
7. In Tts 1:16
, Paul said, "They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
8. How it would hurt me if I thought that some of you who have been sitting under my ministry for years, were resting in some false hope for eternal life.
D. Paul the apostle, in speaking of the old life as a religious man, said that the things that were once considered gain to him, he counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. He cried, "That I might know Him in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of His sufferings."
1. Through Jeremiah God said, "Let not the wise man glory in His wisdom, neither let the strong man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth glory in this that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord that exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight saith the Lord."
2. In 12:49, Jesus said, For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting.
3. In Isa 53:11
, the prophet declared, "For by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities."
4. The most important thing is that you know God, and His Son whom He sent into the world.
5. Paul speaks of God coming in flaming fire to take vengence upon those who know not our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Th 1:8
6. John said, 1Jo 4:14
, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world, Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."
7. Again, "And this is the record, that God has given unto us eternal life, and this life is in the Son, he that hath the Son, hath life, and he that has not the Son has not life."
8. Finally Peter declared in I Pet.1:3
, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has begotten us again unto a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
E. Do you know God through experience? Have you experienced Jesus Christ in your life? Do you keep His commandments? He that saith I know God and keepeth not His commandments is a liar.