Summary: This sermon explains the truth about eternal life, gives the believer assurance of eternal life and at the same time presents the gospel to the unbeliever from the Exchanged Life perspective of Christian truth.
I. The Introduction
How many of you have seen the sad, saga of Anna Nicole Smith’s life, death and hopeful burial broadcast across the news for the past two weeks? The saddest thing is, there seems to be no hint of eternal life in anything that’s been broadcast. However, God’s original purpose for mankind was to have eternal life.
Mankind’s original purpose was to have Life, to express the Life of God through his life having been created in the image of God (being) and according to the likeness of God (behavior). However, when Adam fell he chose to take his question to the woman rather than to God. He didn’t want to lose the greatest thing that had ever happened to him. Then he said, “Oh my goodness, Eve has eaten from the forbidden tree.” In that moment she had been deceived by the Enemy and she chose to eat. Subsequently, she gave to her husband who was with her and he ate, deliberately disobeying God’s command. In so doing, he in essence chose not to lose her over his intimate fellowship with God.
Another aside is that as far as we know Eve was not created when Adam was given those instructions. Eve had gotten her information from Adam. The bottom line is however, Adam chose not to lose her and to do what she did over what the Father had instructed him to do. So, Adam became separated from the Life of God and each of us are born “in Adam,” in his likeness and according to his image. Thus we’re left to attempt to get our love and acceptance, value and worth from our behavior rather than out of our being, who we are. So what we need then is to be born again and that’s what we’re going to look at this morning.
II. The Narrative
The Christian life folk is, Christ living His Eternal Life through your life. I like to say it this way: Jesus gave His Life for you, in order that He might give His Life to you, that you might live through His Life. Eternal Life Is Christ’s Life as your diagram explains. God’s Life is eternal as Exodus 3:14 indicates. The most personal revelation of Himself God ever gave in the OT is when Moses was called to deliver the Israelites. Moses asked God who shall I say to them sent me, what is His name? “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” In the OT a name indicated a person’s character. Thus, the name “I AM” means that I am that I am, I exist, it means I always have been what I always have been and I will always be what I have always been. God is eternal and the solid line with arrows pointing in infinite directions indicates that God’s Life had no beginning and has no end.
Then in the NT Jesus defines Eternal Life for us at John 17:3, “And this is Eternal Life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” So, eternal life is - knowing a person, Jesus Christ; it’s knowing God. And knowing Him means to experience Him intimately, to experience His life, to know Him in your experience personally.
Now the experience of Jesus for 33 years of life while on the earth is represented by the dotted line on your diagram. And while He was on earth, John 1:2-4, indicates that In Him Was Life, “He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing, came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Man’s greatest need is Life. Jesus brought life to men, because as Paul said, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…” Not physically dead, but spiritually dead – separated from the Life of God. So, in Him was life and that life was the light of men. He is what lights up our lives and makes us alive for the very first time!
John 1:14 goes on to say, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word was the Eternal Logos to those whom John was writing in the first century. And it’s important today in light of Islam’s attack on the Trinity. God is one in essence and has revealed Himself in 3 personal manifestations from all eternity. But Jesus didn’t just stay in the recesses of eternal past, no He became flesh. The Eternal God took upon Himself human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and tabernacled among us, sojourned, temporarily lived among us. And John says we perceived who He really was – the one of a kind Son from the Father and a part of who He was is, he was full of grace and truth. He was full of unmerited favor, unconditional love, and unlimited power; as well as unabridged truth. All that He thought, said, felt, or did was truth. As a result,