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Wednesday: New Covenant and Eternal Life — 12 Comments

  1. Eternal life is something beyond our comprehension. We live within a space-time continuum from which we have no escape. We know that life begins and at some time, the chemistry will stop working, the lights will go out and our bodies will return to the earth. Of course, we do not want to die. Most of us would like to keep on exploring, learning, developing. Yet the prospect to do that forever is challenging and when you really think about it somewhat daunting.

    I take some refuge in the comment by Isaiah, and quoted later by Paul:

    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isaiah 64:4 KJV

    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9 KJV

    Interestingly, although we often quote these texts in the context of eternal life, the biblical context is really about living the saved life now. We cannot imagine what God has for us now. Take the time to look up these verses and read their context.

    I suspect that God's perception of eternal life is something that begins now and continues to grow outside the limitation of time and space. It is not something that starts after the death/resurrection/translation singularity. Rather it transcends that horizon.

    If we understand that concept of eternal life, what sort of persons ought we to be now?

    Amen!(59)
    • Hi Maurice

      As I read and re-read (several times) and reflected on today’s lesson, something about it felt more and more ‘hollow’. But when I read your post, that hollowness disappeared!

      It was particularly your last sentence that resonated with me and dissolved that hollowness: “If we understand that concept of eternal life, what sort of persons ought we to be now?”

      The hollowness of the lesson was the notion that there are ‘prizes’ awaiting us - which of itself is, in my opinion, rather self-seeking/ego-centric.

      But your concluding statement had more of a sense of authenticity regarding active and international participation in something - rather than passively waiting for something to arrive one day. And what you are saying is in no way suggesting a ‘works-based’ approach. What you are saying is merely the reality of what is necessary to actually live abundant-eternal life.

      Like you, I similarly believe “that God's perception of eternal life is something that begins now and continues to (endlessly) grow outside the limitation of time and space”.

      So, thanks for your contribution today…

      Amen!(35)
      • Phil van der Klift, Elder Bill Liversidge used to say eternal life begins now! not at some point in the future. I agree with both you and Maurice that "If we understand that concept of eternal life, what sort of persons ought we to be now?" When I accepted Christ as my savior there occurred a seamless transition from eternal death to eternal life. WOW! the magnitude of that concept is more than I can begin to fathom.

        Amen!(10)
    • I was thinking the same thing, in a slightly different way.

      I want to live my life now as a servant of God, as depicted in Rev 20:6, “6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such lthe second death has no power, ‘but they shall be priests of God and of Christ’, nand shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

      Why can’t we live as “priests of God and of Christ” now? The enemy doesn’t have any power over me, because I’m becoming a priest of God, through Jesus Christ, my Lord. So, everywhere I go, and everyone that I meet, people should be able to see that I’m a child of God, without having to tell them so.

      People often asked me questions, or for advice, or just support and encouragement, sometimes on things that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about. But they see that I have a godly wisdom; they see Jesus in me.

      One day, a couple of months ago, one of my clients was telling me about her dog; I do not have any pets, and I haven’t had a dog as a pet in about 40 years, since childhood (oops, I’m telling my age, lol). Anyway, she was telling me about how she recently adopted this elderly dog, about 12 years old in dog age, so it’s a very old dog; she is an elderly woman herself. She says that the dog is so nice, but has gotten to the point that he is very finicky about eating dog food. She has tried everything, many different can and dry dog foods, but he will not eat them; the only thing that she can get him to eat is chopped up chicken and veggies. I don’t know anything about dogs and dog food, but I saw how worried and stressed she was about her dog; so, I said a silent prayer, and the next thing that I said was, “Have you thought about trying the Rachel Ray’s dog food? You should try that and see what happens.” I don’t know why I said that, I never bought any of Rachel Ray products; I’ve just heard about it on tv commercials. The next week, my client came back to the office, and she said, “Toni, my dog loves the Rachel Ray foods. I’m going to buy more of it at Costco.”

      I’m in the tax profession, not the counseling profession; I do not know anything about professional counseling. But we all can be used by the Holy Spirit to say a word of encouragement to others; there are so many people that are worried, and stressed, or just need someone to talk to, which is one of the functions of a priest, to listen, encourage, and provide guidance.

      God’s blessings to you all!

      Amen!(5)
      • Toni,

        Your story opened my understanding of how the gospel works. It sees a need and then works to alleviate it in a way that speaks love to the heart and heals the soul.

        It speaks more, more about Jesus, because he is Love in the flesh, and we are called to be the body of Christ until he returns to this earth.

        Thanks for your encouraging words.

        Richard

        Amen!(2)
    • The quotes from Isaiah and the apostle Paul are right on the mark. Eternal life is pointless without the One who is the resurrection and the life. Knowing Jesus and his Father is the only thing that makes eternal life worth living.

      Amen!(1)
  2. Perhaps through a close relationship with Someone Who is eternal we may grasp some eternal feelings! True love is eternal! Also, our character can be eternal, that's the only thing we will take from here!

    Amen!(20)
  3. Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life....
    John 14:6.

    New Covenant and Eternal Life

    What a lesson!!! every time I read this passage John 11:1-46. But especially John 11:21-26 it cont to add new meaning to my life and understanding. I constantly being reminded about how Jesus lived his life as he lived it despite all the worries, hardship, stress, etc that surrounded him. Jesus was saying two thing, verse 25 spoke about being 'dead in Christ' as my grand parents and fore-fathers, verse 26 spoke about being 'alive in Christ.' as we Christians are today. I did not thought Martha got it what he was saying and so are many of us. Jesus is both and has the power to:
    1. The Resurrection at the last day.
    2. The Sustaining Life while we live.
    Because of this, eternal life began on this earth, now, I am presently enjoying it but needs to enjoy it to its fullest.

    He is still asking the question to all- Believeth thou this?

    Amen!(15)
  4. So wonderful to hear that someone else recognizes how those verses are misapplied to life in heaven when they are indeed written in the context of the saved life in Christ hear on earth. How my heart rejoiced when the Holy Spirit revealed this to me. What anticipation can be experienced in our relationships with Christ from day to day.

    Amen!(11)
  5. Jesus calls the natural death sleep. So in this passage(John 11:25, 26) He refers the the final death of the wicked from which there is no resurrection. Calling Himself the resurrection speaks to His power to restore life to those who die in this life while believing in Him. This belief is seen in the transformed life of all who follow His example and obey His commands.

    What does the Psalmist say in regard to this question of present benefits of believing in Jesus? (Ps 1:1-3; 19:7-11; 119:165) The wise man also speaks of these benefits. (Prov 2:1-5; 3:1-8) Jesus came to magnify the law and make it honorable among all who would believe in Him. God's law has ever been the foundation of His covenant, and basis of life, both present and eternal. Jesus' life is the Example which He bid all who believe in Him to follow, demonstrating “a more excellent way”(John 13:34).

    Amen!(8)
  6. There is really nothing more one can add to Ellen White’s quote. It does not leave out anything which could lead to daubt/misunderstand about how our union with Christ is formed.
    I very much appreciate her statement that “Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave, - not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith His life has become ours.”

    The Holy Spirit has packed so much Truth into this inspiration/revelation, that one cannot just read it casually; it needs to be understood thoroughly in the light of God's New Covenant and Eternal Life.
    Matt.7:24-27KJV - Christ Jesus describes the life of man to a house build on a solid foundation – on THE ROCK, Himself, but He conditions it: (24)”Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: …
    He points out that we build our house of life, and we can chose to build it according to His Words which are the ROCK, or go about it our own way; applying by faith that which we believe in makes the difference. If we only believe half-heartedly, our house will not be strong enough to withstand the storms of life.

    2Cron.5:1-10KJV – v.6-8: ”Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (7) (For we walk by faith, not by sight); (8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
    Phil.2:12KJV - Building my house of life on the Rock Christ Jesus is no easy task; every step is taken by faith!
    Rev.21:1-4KJV - is to be my eternal home of the New Covenant's Promise!

    Amen!(5)
  7. God’s eternal purpose for mankind was always to be fulfilled/accomplished in His Son, Christ, God-Man (Last Adam), not Adam ( the First) Eph 3:9-12; Rom 5:14; 1 Pt 1:20; 1 Cor 15:44-49; 2 Tim 1:1,9,10; Tit 1:1-3; 1 John 1:2,3; 2:25; 4:9; 5:11, 13, 20. Believers possess eternal life now (Jn 5:24; 1 Jn 3:14; 5:13)

    When we proclaim restoration to Edenic nature we distort God’s eternal purpose. Israel was so fixed on the signs and types - Sabbaths, physical natural provisions - when the Anti-type, the Substance, appeared they rejected Him; He didn’t fit… The New Covenant is about the New Creation with the Last Adam as Head of a new “race” of people, firstborn sons of God having the Holy Spirit indwelling them, heirs of the kingdom (Rom 8:9-17).

    How did Christ, the Eternal Life, accomplish His life work here on earth? (Jn 5:19; 14:9-12). Christ intimated that it was His Father abiding in Him doing His works that He had assigned Him. God has assigned “good works” to the new creatures of the New Creation (Eph 2:8-10) and they accomplish them like Christ did (Phil 2:12,13).

    Amen!(2)

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