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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Power of Eternal Life

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

To find the power of eternal life, we must start here: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Seeking God is not a preference for religion but rather a desire for the power of eternal life beginning here and now.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the Apostle Paul warned: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous... traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

Therefore, we need to ask: "Do I have a form of religion only, or the reality of eternal life?"

Likewise, Paul tells the Corinthians: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5).

How can we examine ourselves and test whether we are in the faith or not; whether or not we have eternal life?

Life is an experience. How do we identify what species an animal is? Each is identified by appearance and behavior: cats meow, dogs bark, babies cry, artists paint, lawyers argue, preachers preach. Christ's disciples remain in His Word so they will know the truth and will find spiritual freedom and new life (John 8:31, 32).

Christians are known by their appearance, characterized by modesty and cleanliness. For years Christian women in India were sought as brides because they were known for these qualities.

Christians are known by their behavior. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27, 28).

Those who have a mere form of religion "walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart." (Ephesians 4:17, 18).

Those who love Jesus, who know and practice His Word, are born of God, the Eternal One. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4).

Which do you have: a form of religion or the power of eternal life? To those who take up the disciple's cross and follow him, exchanging the old life for the new one (Luke 9:23-25), he gives every assurance (John 6:37).

The power of eternal life is Christ living in one's life by faith: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20).

"And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him (Jesus) which died for them, and rose again." (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Related reading: The Grammar of Salvation; The Disciple's Self-Concept: On Holy Baptism and Discipleship

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