Seven Comforting Portraits of Christ Our Savior-4
Jesus As Our Promiser (2:25)
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 5/30/04
7 Comforting Portraits of Christ Our Savior. We will see…
In our study of 1 John 2, we have looked at five of the seven portraits of Christ our Savior. The first portrait of Jesus Christ is as our advocate with God the Father (2:1). We saw that the word advocate is paraklhton (parakleton) which means one who pleads another’s cause before a judge. Jesus Christ is our advocate. He stands at the right hand of God pleading with Him to forgive our sins.
The second portrait we saw that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins (2:2). The Greek word translated propitiation is ilasmov hilasmos which means to appease, satisfaction or covering; the fulfillment of a demand. Jesus Christ took the punishment for the believer’s sin. God is fully satisfied with what Jesus Christ did on the Cross. It fulfilled God’s demand that sin must be punished.
Then we moved on to the third portrait of Jesus being our abiding place (2:6). The word abide is a translation of the Greek word menein menein, which means to continue permanently or without intermission, to remain in the same state. It is important to abide in Christ because the life’s blood of the Christian life is Christ! If you do not abide in Christ you cannot produce true fruit in your Christian life.
The fourth portrait of Christ we looked at was Christ as our anointer (20 & 27). The Greek word anoint and unction crisma Chrisma which means "something smeared on; an ointment, salve or balm." It is used here and other placed in the New Testament figuratively of being given the Holy Spirit. When a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, He immediately anoints that person with the Holy Spirit. That is, Christ sends the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer.
Last week we looked at the fifth portrait, Jesus As Our Christ and The Son of God. Jesus indicates the humanity of our Lord, while Christ means ‘Messiah, anointed.’ This indicates His deity. Jesus of Nazareth is the God-man, the Christ, the Mediator, the Messiah, the Son of God and Savior. What a wonderful and comforting portrait for all who believe Savior.
Focus -- The portrait that we will look at today is…
"And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." 1 John 2:25
Let’s begin by looking at the word promise. It is a translation of the Greek word epaggelia epanggelia (ep-ang-el’-ia) which means to announce or proclaim something with the intention of carrying it out, or a promise. Promise (promised) appears twice in the verse. The he that is making the promise in this verse refers to God the Father. So, what has God the Father promised? The answer is, eternal life. The word life is the Greek word zwhn zoen (dzo-ane) which means just exactly that, life. The word eternal is a translation of the Greek word aiwnion aionion (ahee-o’-nee-on), which means without end, never to cease, everlasting. Therefore, God who cannot lie, has promised eternal life to all who believe on Christ Jesus (Titus 1:2-3). That is a great promise!
Facts About Eternal Life
While I freely admit that I do not understand the mind of God, I am thankful for His perfect plan. We read these words in Titus 1:2 which clearly show that God authored before the creation of man, and even before the creation of the world -- "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
I do not think, this side of Heaven we can properly define Eternal Life. However, we have some strong clues. First, eternal life is knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ, intimately, personally. Here’s why I say that. Turn with me to John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Knowing the only True God means having an intimate, personal relationship with Him, not just knowing about Him. Friend, do you know Him?
One Christian writer defined eternal life as "the union of the Christian with God through faith in Jesus Christ, especially the perfect enjoyment thereof in heaven." Eternal life is "uninterrupted fellowship with God." I agree with these definitions. However, I want to point out that there are present and future aspects of eternal life. Turn with me to John 5:24-29 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
This passage suggests that by hearing the Word of Christ in faith eternal life is given now. However, our mortal body will itself not participate in this eternal life until the bodily resurrection at the second coming of Christ. This dichotomy makes eternal life difficult to understand. It is easy to see the future aspect of eternal life with God the Father and Jesus Christ in Heaven, but it is difficult to grasp the eternal life that Christian currently possesses in this mortal body that will one day die.
To help us better understand Eternal Life I want to try and explain the three modes of eternal life. To be sure there is one eternal life that is a gift of God's grace in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). However, the Bible testify that believers experience this life everlasting in three different modes.
The Present Aspect of Eternal Life
1 John 5:10-12 "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
When you believe on the Son of God, immediately you are as good as in Heaven (Ephesians 2:4-7)! The Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer the moment of they are Saved which will assures us that we will be resurrected unto eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14). As we will see later, the indwelling Holy Spirit insures that we will be raised to immortality.
Eternal Life with God in Heaven
The second mode of eternal life is the interval, between physical death and the resurrection of the body at the Rapture. While this mode is not spoken of in the Scriptures as much as the first mode, there is enough Scriptural evidence to understand something about what it is like. Turn to Ecclesiastes 12:5b-7 "… man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:8 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." When a believer dies, his body goes to the grave and his soul and spirit to be with the Lord.
Eternal Life At The Rapture
The third mode of eternal life comes at the Rapture. There are two key passages that talk about the reunion of the body with the soul and spirit. These are 1 Corinthians 15:42-58 & 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Beloved, do you have eternal life? It is a gift (Romans 6:23). It is a gift given that is a sure gift, never to be withdrawn once it is given (John 10:28-30).
I will close with 1 John 5:11-13 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
In summary, Eternal Life is knowing
God and His Son Jesus Christ, intimately, personally. Further, it is the
union of the Christian with God through faith in Jesus Christ, especially
the perfect enjoyment thereof in heaven. However, it is experienced in
three modes or stages. The first is by faith while still in this
mortal life here on the present earth. The second is that of the
soul before God in heaven while the body is in the grave. And the third
will be that of the body and soul reunited in a glorified body at the
Rapture. What a comforting portrait – Jesus Christ Our Promiser, the
promiser of eternal life.