“This is eternal life, that they may know YOU, The only true GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom YOU have sent.”
What do you believe eternal life is? Do you believe as the
- wealthy young ruler (Mat 19:16-23, Mrk 10:17-23, Luk 18:18-24 ‒‒ we purposely included the account of the wealthy young ruler in all three gospels, as this is an opportunity to see the harmony of the gospels at work. You need to read all three accounts to ascertain that the man who approached JESUS was young, wealthy and a ruler)
- lawyer who tested our Beloved LORD (Luk 10:25-28).
When does eternal life begin? Does it begin when this life is over, or does it begin sooner?
The answer to these two questions will be found in this BIBLE study. We will also see that HIS thoughts are not our thoughts, nor HIS ways are our ways (Isa 55:8-9); and we can never know HIS mind or understand HIS WORD (1 Cor 2:12-16) if HIS Spirit does not dwell within us (Rom 8:8-9, Act 5:32).
There are many who believe “eternal life” simply refers to continued life after death. Indeed the righteous will go on living after our earthly, perishable, mortal bodies are no more (Dan 12:2, Mat 25:46, Jhn 5:29, 1 Cor 15:51-55); but the righteous have eternal life right, here and now in this current life.
How can that be?
JESUS HIMSELF defines “eternal life” in John 17:3, as knowing The only true GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.
How can you know The only true GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST?
We will give a two part answer to this question.
First, we must establish that The FATHER of JESUS CHRIST is:
- The only true GOD, there are no others (Deu 4:35, Deu 4:39, Isa 43:10-11, Isa 44:6-8, Isa 45:5-7)
- The Creator of all things (Gen 1:1-31, Gen 2:1-7, Isa 42:5, Isa 45:18, Jer 10:12-13). HE is living (Deu 5:26, Jer 10:10, Act 14:15, 1 The 1:9), and does what HE pleases (Psa 115:3, Psa 135:6-7, Dan 4:35); unlike false gods created by the hands of men, unable to speak, see, hear, smell, feel or even walk (Psa 115:4-8, Isa 44:9-20, Isa 46:6-7, Jer 10:3-5)
- The GOD WHO does indeed have a SON (Psa 2:7-12, Mat 16:16, 1 Jhn 5:20) and no man can come to HIM but through HIS SON JESUS CHRIST (Jhn 14:6)
Second, to “know” as used in John 17:3 does not mean to merely be familiar with, because you know their name (Mat 7:21-23); it means to have an intimate knowledge of HIM and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST based on experience as demonstrated by the translation of the English word “know” as follows:
In Jeremiah 31:31-34, our Beloved LORD GOD speaks of making a new covenant with Israel (the very covenant JESUS enacted with HIS sacrifice and death ‒‒ Luk 22:20, Heb 12:24), one in which they would know HIM personally. The English word “know” in Jer 31:34, was translated from the Hebrew word “yada” (OT: 3045) and it means to have an intimate experiential knowledge of Him.
In John 17:3 The English word “know” was translated from the Greek word “ginosko” (NT: 1097) and it frequently indicates a relationship between the person “knowing” and The ONE known. In John 17:3 this relationship is not obtained through mere intellectual activity, but by the operation of The Holy SPIRIT (Rom 8:9, Act 5:32). An intimate relationship that begins in this present life and continues throughout eternity (1 Jhn 5:11, 1 Jhn 5:20).
Exactly how can you know, that you truly know The only true GOD and HIS SON JESUS CHRIST? According to our Beloved LORD GOD in 2 Cor 13:5, it is a two-step process. You first test yourself to see if you are in the faith, and then you examine yourself. When you test yourself to see if you are in the faith, prayerfully, truthfully and carefully look at your core beliefs and then examine your life to see if you are living out those beliefs:
- Do you believe The entire BIBLE was not an act of any human will, but written by GOD (2 Pet 1:20-21, Rom 15:4, 2 Tim 3:16, 1 Cor 10:6-11)
- Do you believe The BIBLE is infallible (always perfect and right, without any errors or mistakes) ‒‒ (Isa 40:6-8, Mat 5:17-18, 1 Pet 1:24-25)
- Do you believe that JESUS CHRIST is The only way to salvation (Act 4:10-12, Mat 1:21, Act 10:43, 1 Tim 2:5)
- Do you believe that GOD is a GOD of Truth (Isa 65:16) and it is impossible for HIM to lie (Tit 1:2, Heb 6:18)
- Do you believe every word, and every promise in The BIBLE (2 Cor 1:18-20)
If you cannot honestly say yes to all these questions, then you are not in the faith.
When prayerfully analyzing your day-to-day life:
- Does your life reflect true repentance (turning from your former life of sin to GOD) ‒‒ (Act 26:15-20)
- Are you in love with GOD (Psa 18:1-2, Psa 116:1, Psa 119:47-48, Jer 2:1-2, Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:18) and continually sing HIS praises (Psa 34:1, Exd 15:2, Psa 30:4)
- Do you have a sincere desire to please The LORD GOD in all circumstances at all times (2 Cor 5:9, Eph 5:10)
- Do you daily hunger and thirst for The presence and WORD of GOD (Psa 42:1-2, Psa 119:131, Psa 84:10, Psa 27:4, Mat 5:6)
- Do you daily set your heart and your soul to seek GOD and HIS WORD to satisfy your hunger and thirst (Psa 27:8, Psa 105:4)
- Do you daily study HIS WORD (Deu 17:18-20, Ezr 7:10, Pro 8:34) and practice it continually (Psa 119:33, Psa 119:44, )
- Are you being transformed from the inside out, because your mind is continually being renewed by The WORD of GOD and HIS HOLY SPIRIT (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23, Tit 3:5)
- Is your focus on the things of GOD (Rom 8:5-8, Col 3:1-4, Php 3:18-20)
- Do you truly know that your body is the temple of GOD, because GOD’s SPIRIT dwells there, and as such you are careful how you live and what you do in your body (Rom 12:1, Rom 6:12-23)
- Do you abstain (choose not to do something, hold oneself back) from sinful pleasures and purposes, such as:
- sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18-20, 1 Ths 4:3-4)
- every form of evil ‒‒ not only evil itself, but even that which seems to be wrong (1 Ths 5:22)
- wickedness (2 Tim 2:19)
- lusts of the flesh (1 Jhn 2:15-17, 1 Pet 2:11, Rom 13:14, Gal 5:24, Luk 9:23, Tit 2:12)
If you cannot honestly say yes to all these questions, then you take heed, you are not abiding in CHRIST JESUS or HIS WORDS.
The good news is if you have tested your faith and examined yourself through this study of GOD’s WORD and you have found yourself lacking, HE has promised in 1 Jhn 1:9, “If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Would you please take this moment to be reconciled to our Beloved LORD GOD, HE’s waiting….
Fight the good fight of faith
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called
And you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses
1 Timothy 6:12