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What Does the True Eternal Life Refer To? – Bible Study
By Gao Han
Referring to life, we all know that man has life as long as his flesh lives; life is what supports our physical life to live; when the flesh dies, his life disappears. People in the world all sigh: Our life only lasts for a few decades, and it passes in the blink of an eye. So, whether kings and princes or common people, they all hope to get a way of having. The biography of historical characters recorded that Qin Shihuang searched for the elixir of life in his whole life by making an inspection tour of his country. When he just got to the border of Shaqiu, he suddenly caught a severe chill and later died of it. Emperor Wu of Han took the so-called exotic medicines like golden elixir (jindan) and edible jade to live long. But these kinds of medicinal stones had toxic side effects, he still didn’t get longevity. In fact, man’s life is only a breath.
People who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus think they have life as long as their flesh lives. We believers in the Lord think we have gained life because we’ve believed in the Lord. As a matter of fact, this is absolutely wrong. For the physical life will disappear in a flash; our belief in the Lord doesn’t mean we’ve gained life. Then, what is real life?
About this, let’s see what the Lord, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). From the Lord Jesus’ words, we can see: Real life refers to the word of God, that is, God’s word itself is life. When the world began, God created the heavens and earth and all things with His word. God said let there be light and there was light; God said let there be air and there was air. As a result of one sentence of God’s words, there were birds and beasts, and living things flourished on the earth. Moreover, the life of all things is endless. Grass and trees are withered in this winter and will grow leaves in the next spring. As the words of God were spoken, the growth patterns of all things and the changes of four seasons were set forever. God’s word is the authority of life, and has God’s authority. God’s word is truth, and truth itself can be man’s life and man’s everlasting life. This is the way of eternal life God bestows on us. If we really live out the truth, if the truth can really be our life, then we will never die. This fulfills the words in the Bible, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life” (John 3: 36). If we can accept God’s words in our heart, understand and accept the truth from God’s words to achieve changes in our life disposition, then when the truth becomes our life, we will surely live forever.
However, it is undeniable that we believe in the Lord, but we do not focus on experiencing and practicing the Lord’s word. We spare no effort to suffer and bear the cross, to expend and give up things and work hard for the Lord, but we were still bound by these sins, such as, arrogance, selfishness, jealousy, hate, craftiness, and so on, living a life of constantly sinning and confessing. Whatever we live out is what our inner life is. We indeed have no life.
How can truth become our life? In fact, truth becoming our life is the process of truth changing our life disposition. In seeking the truth, when the truth enters our heart, we can abandon everything belonging to the world and hate sin; when we act according to God’s words, the truth will form a new life in us and our living out will be the likeness of a new man; when we live by truth, we will love and obey God, worship God, and love others as we love ourselves. Only in this way can we have the truth as our life.
The Lord Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life. He mainly did the work of redemption of mankind by being crucified. Thus the word He expressed was limited, so is the truth we understand. When He returns, He will speak again. Just as John 16:13 records, “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” This verse tells us clearly that when the Spirit of the truth comes, He will lead us into all the truth. The Spirit of truth comes, that is, God Himself comes. Leading us into all the truth means that God will say more words. If we receive God’s words, practice and experience His words all the time, and finally understand the truth from God’s words, our inward sin will be collapsed. This is the process of gaining life. For example, we originally liked telling lies and deceiving God. When we prayed to God, we said nice words, but after that, we didn’t practice them. Even though we did little things, we were to conduct a transaction with God. Our mouth said we were willing to satisfy God, but when we encountered things which were not in line with our conceptions, we would complain about God. After we understand the truth, even though we confront things that make us miserable, we canand obey, not complaining any more, and can rebel against our own motivations. When we get some knowledge of God, we will do negative and sinful things less and less, and we will practice the truth and live out the reality of positive things more and more. If we always pursue and experience the truth in this way to the point that we have no corrupt dispositions at all and our living out is entirely the reality of the truth, then we really gain the truth. Truth is life, and the word of life is truth. When we experience the truth and gain the truth, we can live by the truth and live out the likeness of a true human. That is the fruit of having truth as our life. When we gain the truth, we will gain the everlasting life and will never die. Only then will that be the real immortality.
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