What is eternal life? (2)

Eternal life is Jesus increasing and I decreasing.
30. He must increase, but I must decrease.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

God has made everything beautiful in its time. And yet people find it hard to see beauty in their life. Instead, people feel like they are average. God has put eternity into man’s heart. And yet people find it hard to see meaning or purpose in their life. Instead, people feel like their life boring and routine.

The bad news is that you are a sinner or criminal in God’s sight and there is nothing you can do to make yourself acceptable to God.
In other words, your lack of beauty inside and lack of meaning or purpose of life makes you feel average and bored all the time.

Do you want to find out what hell feels like? Hell feels like trying to find beauty in a world where there is no beauty and trying to find meaning and purpose in a world where nothing really seems to matter.

Eternal death is you increasing and Jesus decreasing.
Eternal death is the deep abyss that sinners feel inside their heart to give up on their life, give up on their relationships, and give up on their responsibilities.
Because people want beauty and significance (meaning and purpose in who they are and what they do), we try hard to make things beautiful and life meaningful.
But good works don’t work.

Isaiah 64:6
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

God is just and must punish every sin you have committed.
How would you feel if you were hit by someone and that person runs away?
How can you find beauty and eternity on earth when you have hijacked God’s glory in heaven? It’s a cosmic hit and run. How can you feel happy when you are guilty before the just, righteous, and ever present God? How can you feel beautiful when you have ruined God’s beautiful creation by choosing darkness and shame? How can you sense any purpose in life when you are running away from a loving God who gives you meaning and purpose?

I have a good news for you. Jesus is your eternal life now.

Eternal life is a present reality already.

26. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27. John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’

All are going to him. All are going to Jesus. I am not the Christ. Jesus is the Christ.
Jesus is baptizing – water and Spirit: new life – the restoration of beauty and meaning.
The good news is that God has provided a Substitute to take the punishment for us. God has demonstrated his love to us through Jesus. Jesus would take the punishment for us. He was baptized, he is baptizing, and will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is became a human being. He became the payment for the cosmit hit and run. Jesus came to fix the car and pay for the penalty on the cross.

Eternal life is a present reality already for those who confess that they are not Christ. When you confess that you do not have all the answers to the life’s problems. When you confess that you cannot help everyone who is in trouble. When you confess that you cannot do everything to be successful, you are saying that you are not Christ.

When you are at the end of your earthly life, you begin to grasp the beginning of eternal life.
Jesus was punished for your sins and paid for your penalty, died for your sins and rebellion, but rose again to give you eternal life – a life where you see more and more of Jesus.

You see more and more of your everyday life being connected to Jesus, his story, his work, his plan, his presence, his patience, his suffering, his service, his goodness, his grace, his beauty, and his glory. “Christ plays in ten thousand places.” Creation, history, and community.
Creation and recreation through the work of redemption, restoration, and reconciliation in history in and through community of humanity that is renewed by the community of the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

Eternal life is not yet experienced in its fullness.
29. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.

Why is eternal life not experienced in its fullness?
Because we are on this journey of going from complete joy to complete glory through the process of being holy completely. 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27

How are you being sanctified by Christ?
First, God’s word – listening to the truth and fighting the lies
Second, God’s Spirit – receiving the Spirit of Jesus to become humble, helpful and honorable
Third, God’s people – living with people who want to increase but learning together how to decrease
Fourth, God’s world – living in the world broken and fallen but redeemed and restored

CG Questions

1. Do you make time to be in God’s word? If not, what are activities that occupy or prevent you from reading, listening, and meditating on God’s word intentionally?

2. Do you make time to be in prayer? If not, who or what is in control of your life?

3. Do you make time to be in fellowship with the believers? If not, what are the reasons you make for not being in fellowship with other believers? 

4. Do you make time to be intentional with people at work? If not, what would people at work say about your character and work ethics and why?

5. What are areas or which question is the Holy Spirit leading you to repentance and trust in Jesus as your Christ?