Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for This Week is: This Is Eternal Life - John 17:2-3 - As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give
eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou
1. In His “High Priestly Prayer” (John 17), Jesus makes mention of eternal life...
a. “that He should give eternal life to as many as thou have given Him.” - John 17:2 -
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as
thou hast given him.
b. “And this is life eternal,...” - John 17:3 - And this
is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
2. Eternal life is a major theme in the gospel of Christ...
a. Jesus was crucified in order to offer eternal life - John 3:14-16 - And
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
b. Eternal life in Christ Jesus is the gift of God - Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
3. But what exactly is eternal life...?
a. Is it simply a future blessing, pertaining to life after death?
b. Or is it a present possession, something to enjoy in this life?
[What does the Bible say? Let’s see if we can find the answer to the question...]
I. ETERNAL LIFE: PRESENT OR FUTURE?
A. ETERNAL LIFE AS A FUTURE BLESSING...
1. Many scriptures refer to eternal life as a future blessing
a. Jesus spoke of it in this way - cf. Matthew 25:46 - And these shall
go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. - Mark 10:28-30 - Then Peter
began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily
I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children,
or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time,
houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal
b. Paul wrote of it in this way - cf. Titus 1:2 - In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot
lie, promised before the world began; - Titus 3:7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life. - Romans 6:22 - But now being made free from sin, and become servants
to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
2. Thus many think of eternal life in this way
a. As a future blessing
b. An everlasting existence in the presence of God, free from death, sorrow and pain - cf. Revelation
21:1-7 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there
was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is
with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the
throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write:
for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
c. Available in this life as a hope
-- It is certainly scriptural to conceive of eternal life as a hope for the future
B. ETERNAL LIFE AS A PRESENT POSSESSION...
1. John often writes of eternal life as a present possession
a. As that which is abiding in one (or not) - cf. 1 John 3:14-15 - We know that we have passed
from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth
in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
b. That God has given us eternal life, that we have eternal life - 1 John 5:11-13 - And this
is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe
on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son
2. Might John be using a form of speech known as the futuristic present?
a. “This use of the present tense denotes an event which has not yet occurred, but which is regarded
as so certain that in thought it may be contemplated as already coming to pass.” - Dana & Mantey, p. 185
b. Examples of such speech can be found in John 14:3 - And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there
ye may be also. - John 17:24 - Father, I will that
they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou
lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
c. If so, eternal life would still be only a future blessing, something to be hoped for
3. There is another explanation which I believe highly plausible
a. John chooses to use the phrase “eternal life” in a special sense
1) Describing a quality of life (and not just quantity of life) which comes by knowing
God and His Son Jesus Christ
2) In the manner in which Jesus uses it in His “High Priestly Prayer” - John 17:3 - And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
a) Jesus says “This is eternal life...”
b) Defining it as “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ...”
b. In these sense, eternal life is a present possession!
1) When we come to ‘know’ God and Jesus, we experience a quality of life that surpasses
what the world has to offer
2) As a present possession, this quality of life is a foretaste of the future blessing we shall
experience with God
3) As a foretaste, this quality of life can rightly be called eternal life
4) For is not our life with God now really the beginning of eternity with God?
[Since Jesus spoke of eternal life in both ways, it is both a future blessing and present possession.
As we come to ‘know’ God and Jesus, we begin to experience the blessings of eternal life. This naturally raises
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘KNOW’ GOD AND JESUS?
A. THE MEANING OF THE WORD ‘KNOW’...
1. There are two different words for ‘know’ in the Greek
a. oida - this word suggests a fulness of knowledge, coming from observation
b. ginosko - this word suggests a progression in knowledge, frequently implying an active relationship
between the knower and the object known
2. In John 17:3 (And this is life eternal, that they might know thee
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.), the
word is ginosko
a. So to ‘know’ God and Jesus goes beyond knowledge of facts about them
b. It implies a progressive knowledge and understanding which comes by having an active relationship with
c. “To know the Father and Jesus Christ (for He is the only way to the Father) refers not to merely
abstract knowledge, but to joyful acknowledgment of his sovereignty, glad acceptance of his love, and intimate fellowship
with his person (through Scripture, that is, through his Word to us; and through prayer, that is, through our word to him).”
B. WHAT IS INVOLVED IN ‘KNOWING GOD’...
1. As suggested by Hendriksen, it involves communication through the Word and prayer
2. It is also directly related to keeping the commandments of the Lord
a. As emphatically stated by John in his epistle - 1 John 2:3-4 - And hereby we do know that
we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him.
1) This is how we know that we know (ginosko) Him
2) Otherwise we lie if we say that we know (ginosko) Him
b. As explained by Jesus to His apostles – John 14:21 - He
that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and
I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. - John 14:23 - Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make
our abode with him.
1) Keeping His commandments results in being loved by the Father and the Son
2) Keeping His word results in the Father and Son dwelling in us
c. Thus we will ‘know’ (ginosko) them: ever progressing in knowledge because of an
active relationship with God and Jesus!
1. Eternal life is more than just a hope regarding a future blessing...
a. It is a present possession, an unparalleled quality of life available in this life
b. It is a blessing that comes from ‘knowing’ God and Jesus in a personal and progressive
c. It is enjoyed only by keeping the commandments of God and Jesus!
2. In the course of our short sojourn in this life, ‘knowing’ God is most important... - Jeremiah
9:23-24 - Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let
the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man
glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
a. More so than wisdom
b. More so than power
c. More so than riches
Jesus came to show us the only way to truly ‘know’ God, and to experience the eternal life
that He made possible through His death on the cross. Are you walking in the commandments of the Lord that you might truly
know God and His Son Jesus, and thereby experience eternal life...?
Mark 16:15-16 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but
he that believeth not shall be damned. - Lord I truly thank
You for giving the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will keep them in Your blessings and
accept them into Your heart - this I pray in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the
Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Amen
be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace
be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. - Ephesians 6:23-24
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