Summary: Jesus Christ came to earth to offer us the gift of eternal life.
To us a child is born, to us a son is given... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
This week I read about an Indian woman who gave birth to her first child at the age of 70! Rajo Devi, who married 50 years ago, gave birth to a baby girl on November 28 after receiving IVF treatment. Both mother and child were in good health.
We might call that baby girl a “miracle baby,” but Jesus was the ultimate miracle baby. Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah the prophet foretold that a virgin would be with child (Isaiah 7:14) and that child would be known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
“Everlasting Father” is a difficult name for us because Jesus is the Son of God. But He does take on several fatherly roles: He is compassionate like a good father is to his children, and He is a provider and protector to His people.
“Everlasting Father” can be translated “Father (Possessor) of Eternity.” The birth of Jesus was not His beginning.
• He is without BEGINNING and without END.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me”’” (John 1:29-30).
“I have come down from heaven” (John 6:38).
“‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to [Jesus], ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:57-58).
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2). “From ancient times” can be translated “from days of eternity.” The infinite One became an infant.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). “One” means one in nature. If the Father is eternal, then Jesus is also eternal.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).
• He is the SOURCE of eternal life.
1. Eternal life is FRIENDSHIP with God.
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Eternal life is both quantity of life and quality of life. Jesus defined eternal life as knowing God. Knowing God means more than intellectual knowledge. It means being in a relationship of love with God.
A worm is content to live in soil. Humans have much greater needs. We need not only the wider environment of earth, sea, and sky but also contact with other human beings. And for complete fulfillment, we must know God. Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”
We can receive eternal life in this life, but we won’t fully enjoy it until the life to come.
ILLUSTRATION: It’s like getting a bike for Christmas when there’s a blizzard outside. You can enjoy it a little by driving it the house, but you won’t fully enjoy it until you get it outside on the road.
2. Eternal life is FREE.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NASB).
Eternal life is a gift of God’s grace.
ILLUSTRATION: You don’t work to earn a Christmas present.
3. Eternal life is received by FAITH.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
ILLUSTRATION: A Christmas gift must be received.
4. Eternal life is FOUND ONLY in Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
ILLUSTRATION: Eternal life can found only in Jesus like a Christmas gift can be found only at a certain store (“only at...”).
5. Eternal life is FOREVER.
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
ILLUSTRATION: I won’t take back my sons’ Christmas gifts if/when they misbehave after they receive them.
6. Eternal life was FOREORDAINED.
...all who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).
ILLUSTRATION: Some people do their Christmas shopping in January. God appointed people for eternal life before time began.