Life Beyond Measure

When the Bible speaks of eternal life, it’s not merely referring to longevity of years, or of never ending spiritual life. No, the phrase “eternal life” is laden with implications critical to Christian faith. In John chapter three, Jesus enlightened Nicodemus, who was Israel’s lead teacher, how he could see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Jesus informed this enquiring Pharisee that unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Poor Nicodemus, his lifetime of religious achievements counted for nothing, and he didn’t understand what it meant to be born again. He was outside of God’s Kingdom and therefore without eternal life. His religion had failed him badly!

As part of Jesus’ answer to perplexed Nicodemus’, Jesus explained, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life (John 3:14-15). Drawing from Nicodemus’ knowledge of Numbers 21:9, Jesus shows that He would be lifted up to crucifixion in order to save the lives of everyone who would look to Him believing to be saved from the eternal condemnation of death resulting from personal sin.

Nicodemus now had gospel truth to work with, which, by the way, he later put into practice following Jesus’ crucifixion, leading him to bury Jesus (Jn 19:39). So, eternal life, entry into God’s Kingdom, occurs when a person attaches their dependant belief to Jesus, realising that Jesus had their sins placed in His body upon the cross by God, and their punishment from God for their sin was taken by Jesus. The sinner confesses their sinfulness in repentance, turning from disbelief to belief. Faith reaches out to Jesus as the only possible source of forgiveness and cleansing of sin. It is this specific belief that initiates God’s gift of eternal life.

Having believed in Him, (you) were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14). While God often uses our circumstances and struggles in the lead up to salvation, it is belief alone in Jesus as forgiver and Lord that actions salvation. The instant authentic belief occurs, never ending spiritual life is granted. Simultaneously, God the Holy Spirit moves into the life and body of the new believer, sealing the permanency of His irreversible regeneration.

The inheritance of eternal life and the certainty of heaven is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, galvanising this irrevocable gift until we transition from earthly mortality to heavenly glorification (1Co 15:42-44). This spectacular gift is all of God, planned from eternity past and enabled by Jesus’ substitutional death and resurrection, then actioned by the Holy Spirit. Every step leading to salvation, with the subsequent blessings, were purposed for the praise of His glory. As redeemed sinners, we are the earthly expressions of praise, declaring the excellencies of Jesus Christ.

For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses – as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honour than the house itself (Hebrews 3:3). The only appropriate response to all that the LORD graciously does for the saved, is to think, speak, and live worship. Eternal life’s ultimate purpose shall reach its zenith when we join the heavenly hosts saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing! (Revelation 5:12). May we today, walk in worship of God’s gift of eternal life, which really is life beyond measure.

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