Jubilee Weekly April 23, 2019

“Eternal Life”
Two weeks ago, I spoke about the “Power of the Gospel” --- the good news we have because of God’s love and Christs coming into the world to atone for our sin, rise from the dead and thereby offer eternal life to all who receive Him as Savior and Lord.
One of the very best definitions of the Gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, where we read:
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
According to this passage of God’s word, four truths become very apparent.
       1. Man is a sinner.
       2. Christ is the Savior.
       3. He died as man’s substitute.
       4. Christ rose from the dead.
Salvation and the gift of eternal life are received by faith in Christ alone! Listen to what Paul, once a skeptic wrote after his own encounter with the resurrected Christ. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Those who pursue a life of sin, will die both physically and eternally. Christians on the other hand are assured of eternal life. Paul talks about the “wages of sin.” The word “wages” implies that the punishment for sin is what a person has earned and what one deserves.
On the other hand, he speaks of “the free gift of God. This is the opposite of what one deserves. The “free gift” is because of God’s grace or His unmerited, undeserved favor. We receive His favor by trusting totally in Christ. Salvation cannot be earned.
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And, this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 3:20, “For by the works of the LAW, no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Galatians 2:16, “We know that a person is not justified by works of the Law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law, no one will be justified.”
Salvation and eternal life are gifts from God and they cannot be earned ... only wages and awards can be earned.
Paul, in Romans 4:4-5, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift, but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”
Each member of the Triune Godhead has a role in this Sovereign Plan of God.
God the Father devised the plan for our salvation.
Paul in Ephesians 1:4 wrote, “Even as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”
God the Son, our Redeemer and Savior paid for it with His own precious blood.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.”
God the Holy Spirit regenerates them and seals them or prepares them for the day of ultimate redemption.
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
Paul in Ephesians 4:30 wrote, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by who you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Eternal life is the very life of God. God has life in Himself and He imparts that life to all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand, My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
A. W. Tozer, in his book, “The knowledge of the Holy” wrote:
“Our hearts approve with gladness what our reason cannot fully comprehend.”
Warren Wiersbe wrote: “That anyone or anything should exist with neither beginning nor ending is something our limited minds cannot grasp. This explains why people like us, created in the image of God, have always craved something beyond the mundane things’ life offers us. Before we meet Jesus, we often said to ourselves, ‘There must be something better.’” Augustine was right when he wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
In closing, let me say that the eternal life which God gives us, empowers us to do His will and serve Him. The Apostle Peter certainly learned this when he wrote ---
“His divine power has given us all the things that pertain to life and godliness.”
Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter (now with the Lord) wrote:
“Whatever begins with the Holy Spirit will always end at Jesus Christ. He --- the Spirit --- shall glorify Me --- the Savior.” If we want our work and walk to glorify Jesus, and not ourselves, we must yield to the Spirit and allow Him to have His way. Like the first disciples, we must give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
May God help us to enjoy and use this new life He gives to us to please and glorify Him. Amen

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