The Bare Soul - April 4, 2010
Eternal Life

I John 2:25 - This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

Life on earth without the Spirit of God's indwelling is merely life -- a passing shadow of the eternal. Life testifies to the greatness of God and is His constant reminder to us that life eternal awaits all those who would but trust in His Son. The vast majority of humankind go through their daily lives without a thought that everything around them testifies of God, speaking to them continually regarding His greatest gift to all -- eternal life in Jesus Christ. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat are all temporal reminders that we are sustained by something much greater than ourselves. We are mindful that we need these basics to continue to experience life as we know it. How much more their eternal counterparts? We all need oxygen to continue to fill our lungs, just as the Holy Spirit desires to fill our "spiritual lungs" with His presence. Even as Jesus breathed on His disciples after His resurrection to receive the "breath of God" so He is ever desirous to give the same eternal gift to us all (John 20:22). Jesus told the woman at the well that He would give her eternal water that would forever satisfy her need (John 4:14), and later at the great feast He cried out that rivers of living water would flow from the very spirit of those who would believe (John 7:37-38). Finally, Jesus tells us that He is the Bread of Life and that no man will ever hunger or thirst who comes to Him (John 6:35). God gives us the gift of life that sustains us here on earth and offers us freely their eternal counterpart if we will but believe. Even until the night before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke this message of eternal life through faith in Him. Jesus' desire along with His Father's was that all who would believe would be one with Them (John 17:21). To be one, Jesus knew that He must swallow up death and sin by His death, burial, and resurrection. He must now become the Life Giver for every man, woman, or child that would trust in Him for their eternal sustenance.

When we know that we have been raised into newness of life (Romans 6:4), then we can begin to identify with the Person who has come to live within. For whatever God indwells, He makes eternal. When God's Spirit dwells within a human being, then that person takes on the character of the Indweller. No longer should we be bothered by trifles because God Himself is not bothered or worried about temporal life. He has everything firmly in control. The very power that raised Christ from the dead is now working in all areas of our respective lives for His good pleasure (Romans 8:11). The Holy Spirit's desire is that we would know that He is truly inhabiting our spirit to make us refined royalty of the Most High. To this end, we all need more revelation and understanding that the Eternal God lives within those who have trusted in Him.  Furthermore, that the eyes of our hearts would understand that He has become so much a part of our spirit that it is impossible to separate the two (Romans 8:35). Take for example a tea bag and a cube of sugar and place them in cup. While they are both in the cup, they still have their own characteristics and properties. However, if one adds hot water, what happens? The tea and the sugar release their properties to the water. They dissolve and are intermingled to the point where one cannot distinguish between the two. They have become "as one" and it is now impossible to separate them. This is how God wants us to view His relationship as He indwells us. No longer do we just possess life, but our life has now become eternal by the very presence of the Most High God. Through the transformative power of  water, both in our example and through the water of His Spirit, He has allowed us to be identified with His eternal life force both in this present age and the one to come.

Throughout His ministry, Christ continued to speak about the basic elements of life and how they paralleled the eternal. No where is this more clearly stated as when Christ spoke with Nicodemus regarding the new birth. This teacher of Israel was shocked to hear Jesus proclaim that unless a man was born of water and the Spirit that he would not experience life eternal (John 3:5). He could not understand that with every temporal explanation of human life there must be an eternal. Jesus then went on to speak specifically of the breath of life that the Spirit gives, the very pneuma (John 3:8) as stated in the Greek (where we derive our word pneumonia). A few short years later, Jesus would give up his right to these "elements" -- his very breath, the life-giving force of water as it created the blood that coursed through His veins, and finally His mortal body. Through His sacrifice, He chose to embrace the eternal in order that we all might be identified with everlasting life. The grave could not hold Jesus on that glorious Resurrection Day because He no longer was tied to earth by merely "life", but He was now overcome in His mortal flesh by eternality. When Jesus burst forth from the tomb, He no longer possessed the weak flesh of mankind but a body transformed and made perfect and eternal by His Heavenly Father.

An eternal life is a resurrected life. There is no other possibility for man. Even as Christ was raised from the dead, so we must also be identified with Christ in order to partake of life everlasting. We cannot breathe the "air of heaven" (which is nothing less than the presence of the Spirit of God [(Isaiah 59:21]), or partake of the living waters that proceed from His throne (Revelation 22:1), or partake of the marriage supper of the lamb (Revelation 19:9) unless we have first acknowledged that our earthly sustenance MUST transcend to the eternal. Unless we confess that the air we breathe is merely a shadow of the Breath of Life than we will die spiritually for lack of breath. If we don't see that the life giving power of water is merely a symbol for His Living Water, we will die of spiritual hydration. And lastly, if we don't understand that He is the Bread of Life, then we will truly starve to death spiritually. However, if we will but understand that He is the Giver of ALL sustenance, both temporal and eternal, then we too will live and reign through a resurrected life ... and eternal life ... never to languish but to be satisfied by His very life-giving presence!

Holy Father, thank you for life and the constant reminders that you are the Originator and Sustainer of life eternal. Help us to immerse ourselves and so identify with your holy indwelling that we become one, even as You and Your Son are one. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave he arose;
With a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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