10 Minute Read + Scripture readings
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
“This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent — Jesus Christ.”
John 17:3 (CSB)
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
I’ve asked the question many times before while I’ve been teaching: “What is eternal life?”
Those who have never seriously thought about it typically answer: “It means that we are going to live forever.” And I say: “Nope. Wrong answer.”
Yes, eternity does mean forever. We see that in verses like the following where it is used to speak of the duration of time that people will inhabit Heaven and Hell.
Matthew 25:46 (CSB): “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
In Matthew 25:46, the Greek word used for “eternal” is the same in both phrases. Clearly, those who go to Heaven and those who go to Hell will live forever in those places.
But, when “eternity” and “life” are put together, they take on a nuanced meaning. It doesn’t simply mean that we will live forever in Heaven. It means that we have the life of the Eternal One inside of us. Passages like Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 6:19 make it clear that the Holy Spirit (the Eternal One) takes up residence inside of us when we trust in Jesus for salvation.
Now, let’s look at one of the most popular verses in the Bible. Listen to what Jesus promises Nicodemus if he will only trust in the Son of God.
John 3:16 (CSB): “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus said that Nicodemus could have eternal life if he would only put his trust in the Son of God.
Was Jesus saying that Nicodemus could live eternally if he trusted in Jesus? Not really. We saw in Matthew 25:46, a few minutes ago, that everyone is going to live eternally somewhere. So the promise to Nicodemus wasn’t that he would live forever.
So, what is the promise of eternal life? It is the life of the Eternal One taking up residence inside of us. God, Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, inhabits every single person who transfers their trust from “self” to Jesus in order to come into a right standing with God.
Eternal Life: The life of the Eternal One has come to reside inside of the believer.
This is where the verse I have chosen as Today’s Bible Verse comes into play. Jesus further defines eternal life. He tells us what it is in its essence. Listen.
John 17:3 (CSB): “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ.”
Jesus defined eternal life as coming into an experiential relationship with the Father and Son. The word for “know” in the previous verse means “experiential knowledge” and is the word used to describe even the most intimate of experiences of sex between a husband and wife (see Matthew 1:24-25 where “sexual relations” is really the Greek word for “know.”). It’s not simply intellectual knowledge. It’s an intimate, relational knowledge.
Eternal life is an invitation to experientially know God and His Son. Eternal life is essentially an invitation into the divine relationship. God, in His grace, has invited us into fellowship with the Trinity.
In fact, we realize that when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside the heart of a new believer, one of the things He will do is draw the believer into that relationship with the Father.
Galatians 4:6 (CSB): “And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’”
When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes inside of us and leads us to call out, “Daddy, Father” to God. He leads us to call out as a child to its Dad. He leads us to experience a relationship with the Godhead.
And this is what God the Son does, too.
Matthew 11:27 (CSB): “All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him.”
Jesus works to make God the Father known to those who trust in Him for eternal life.
Friend, I could keep going with Bible verse after Bible verse to make it clear that “eternal life” isn’t simply the ability to live forever. It is also not simply a “ticket to Heaven.”
Eternal life is the life of God in the soul of man. It is God coming to take up residence in us making our bodies the equivalence of the Old Testament tabernacle and Temple where God came to dwell among His people.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB): “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.”
What does all of this mean? It means that eternal life is a relationship. If you are truly saved, there is a compelling desire within you to know and enjoy your God. That is what eternal life does within you.
Is that desire in your heart? Do you find yourself wanting to know God more and more, to enjoy Him? I sure hope so.
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Lord Jesus, thank You so much for inviting me into the Divine relationship. While I would be more than content to be your servant or slave, You have made me a co-heir with You of Heaven and all its splendor. I pray that I would continue to grow in my understanding of this relationship and how much of a privilege it is for me. I want to know You more! Amen.