Summary: This sermon teaches how we are to look at eternal life from the perspective of The Exchanged Life.
How do you think about “eternal life”? I think that most people believe that eternal life is an extension of or a continuation of their life. They believe that when they accepted Christ as their personal Savior, God attached an extension on to their life that began say in 1956 as mine did. However, when they were “born again” they believe an extension was tacked on to their life that would last forever. But that’s not true. That’s an error.
Why would God want to take the Lord-of-the-Ring life, the life "in Adam" that had separated you from His presence in the first place and extend it forever? His plan was to exterminate your old life and exchange it for new life. And that life is a person, Jesus Christ. So:
I. Eternal Life is Jesus Christ 1 John 1:1-2
John claims that he actually handled and saw eternal life! Eternal life is not an “it.” Eternal life is Jesus! For that reason, a critical part of victorious living is comprehending how to let eternal life, ie., Christ be expressed through your personhood, your personality to do His will.
Jesus said in John 14:12 as he comforts His disciples, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these . . .” Jesus had been doing the will of His Father. Now for you and me Christ is the Vine, we are the branches. There is no qualitative difference in the life of the vine and the life of the branch. It’s not “vine life” and “branch life,” but THE life. It’s not the duty of the branch to try its hardest to produce fruit. Branches simply abide in the vine and the fruit-bearing takes place as a normal process. Which can produce the greater works: a vine alone with one branch or that same vine with millions of branches abiding in the vine? You see, it’s not greater quality Christ made reference to, but greater quantity. In addition, let me mention how you know you are abiding in the vine. 1 John 4:13 “By this we know that we abide in Him And He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
A common objection that Satan often serves up into the mind of a Christian is that Christ as our life, expressing Himself through our life would rob us of our identity. We’d become a water pipe that Jesus flows through; we’d all be exactly the same. Well, let’s defuse that deception. Say, in a wood workshop you have a drill, a saw and a grinder. All three serve different functions, yet all three are plugged into the same power source – the electric outlet. The electricity is their “life.” The “life” doesn’t make them all identical. It actually gives them their unique identity. So long as the “life” flows, each of these tools manifests its true identity. It’s the life that reveals their uniqueness and purpose for being. You know when they lose their identity? When you unplug them from their “life” or power source. Without their life, they’d all be exactly the same – paperweights!
You were specifically recreated in Christ to offer your members to Him to express His eternal life through you. It’s His Life that gives you your identity. It’s His Life that enables you to experience the true eternal you. Just think: You and the God of the universe cohabitating in the same "earthsuit," body! That’s Eternal Life!
II. Eternal Life is God’s Perspective
Eternal life is not time dimensional. John wrote again in his gospel at John 1:3 “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Christ created all things. Therefore, there is no such thing as a “natural phenomenon.” If it exists in its natural state, He created it. This includes the time dimension. Time was created by the Lord Jesus. Therefore, logically, He’s not bound by time; He’s not time dimensional. If He were, the created would be superior to the Creator. Therefore, Christ is not time dimensional. He is “supratime.” And I might add, the time dimension as we see it in our finite existence is actually present tense in God’s perception.
Let me see if I can illustrate. (The picture of this illustration can be found on page 77 of "Lifetime Guarantee" by Bill Gillham) Suppose your time on earth is represented by the Main Street of an Old West movie set. Say every episode in your life is represented by a storefront on the street. Let the letter “B” stand for your physical birth, the “H” represents your first haircut, the “E” is your entry into elementary school, the “S” is the day you invited Jesus Christ to become your Savior and Lord, the “T” stands for today and the “D” is for your physical death.