Eternal Life – Campbell Bond
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 Jn 5:11-12
Salvation isn’t a physical, material, substance that one can hold onto or store in a vault. It isn’t a mere prayer you pray or some form of spiritual ticket that you clip to get into heaven. It isn’t a club you join once as a lifelong irrevocable member. It isn’t a physical entity that God adds to your personality or something that is attached like a stamp on your soul. John the aged and wise apostle said that eternal life is “in God’s Son” and that if you “have the Son of God” you have the life and if you “don’t have the Son” of God you “don’t have the life.” In other words, eternal life is inseparable from the person of Jesus Christ. You can’t get the eternal life without the Son. You can’t reject Him or His Lordship and still possess eternal life. Christ is eternal life. They are one and the same. The life is in the Son as He is the source. The Greek text is important to study as it brings out an important truth. The verb ‘has’ and ‘does not have’ in the original Greek are in the continuous present tense and read, “He who is having the Son is having the life; he who is not having the Son of God is not having the life.” John was stating that salvation is an ongoing, vital, living relationship with the blessed Son of God. In a relationship there has to be interaction, communication, openness, trust, cooperation and accountability. This is in keeping with what Christ stated regarding the nature of eternal life in John 17:3. Christ stated “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Once again the Bible attests that eternal life is a relational and experiential knowing of the Father and the Son.
Can you imagine a potential fiancé saying, “Oh what a lovely diamond ring, I’ll take that but I don’t want you.” The man would say, “Listen here girlfriend, If you don’t want me, find someone else to buy you and expensive ring.” The ring is supposed to represent a lifelong relational commitment and certainly isn’t given away separately.
A mere intellectual knowledge of God is one thing, but knowing Him is quite another. The demons believe God and tremble says James in 2:19, but such knowledge is a mere acceptance of reality not a willing submission in loving obedience and in no way constitutes saving faith. We must be careful in this day in which many are trying to reduce Christianity down to a cheap and easy only believism that requires no submission to the loving and reasonable will of God. Believing some historical facts, praying a pray, going to church, being nice isn’t enough, the question is, do you know and are you having a real relationship with the Son of God? This is biblical and orthodox Christianity. God wants to be known, experienced and enjoyed. Christianity isn’t just facts to be believed, it’s a relationship with God to be enjoyed. God is alive, present, powerful and active and wants to walk, talk and create a wonderful future with you as you put your little life into His competent hands and walk with Him thru all that life brings your way. God is to be experienced, related to and enjoyed in all we do.
Eternal life = knowing Him