By Charles Wages
(Continued from October)
We have seen previously that presently and positionally, we have eternal life because we have trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour. The more we continue to trust Him and give Him pre-eminence as the Lord Jesus Christ, the more this eternal life becomes a reality to us. The more we keep “eternal” values in view, the less burdensome and bothersome the cares of the world become. When we realize that scripturally and spiritually, we have been made “new creations” in Christ Jesus and that “old things have passed away,” it helps us to see what eternity holds in store for all believers!
“Therefore if any many be in Christ, He is a new creature; old things are passed away: Behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:17-18)
When we see that by God’s grace and power we have become “new creations” in Christ Jesus, then it is easier to have the “new heavens” and “new earth” in view. When we can see and believe what Romans 8:18 teaches:
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
we can surely keep “eternity’s values in view.” We all experience the “sufferings of this present time.” These “sufferings” of the present include vainness (vanity), groaning, and travailing (with the old creation) bondage (lack of liberty), and no hope.
However, the eternal life that God gives enables us to see beyond “this vale of tears” and fully realize that,
“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21)
The full and fulfilling realization that a believer has eternal life affects our personal life and our prayer life. The apostle Paul’s prayer as recorded in Ephesians 1:15-23 was principally concerned with his expectations of a heavenly life.
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Eph. 1:15-18)
Verse 18 of this prayer is especially significant. It concerns and emphasizes the eternal salvation that God gives to those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t take advantage of the “gift.” We should recognize the change that has taken place in our lives. We have “passed from death unto life.” To have “passed from death unto life implies a change from one place to another. It also implies a change from one person to another. That is, from Satan to the Saviour. The writer visited a rest home to visit an elderly brother. The attendant at the front office said, “Oh, he has “passed.” I knew what she meant, whether she did or not. It could spiritually be said of a lost sinner when he or she accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, “they have passed.” Romans 6:1-13 is a great teaching passage on death and life. It clearly teaches that those who believe are “baptized” into His death and raised unto a newness of life. It also emphasizes that believers “should walk in newness of life” (vs. 4). This “newness of life” includes and involves walking with “eternity’s values in view.” How wonderfully important Colossians 3:1-4 becomes!
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”