Loving People to LIFE in Christ, Part 3
The 2nd Aspect of LIFE- That the believer would live a worthy LIFE that will merit greatness in the coming Kingdom of Christ. This is accomplished ONLY by applying Scripture to our minds and actions.
WARNING: This teaching is not readily accepted by all believers. By and large, the Church of America has dismissed, or remain ignorant to, this teaching. However, it is replete throughout the New Testament, with many Old Testament allusions and types showing the same. This immense failure to “accurately handle the Word of Truth” has led to the false teaching that works play some part in faith alone.
Note: When studying any passage, context determines meaning.
John 10:10. The Abundant Life speaks of how we live on earth and what it will yield in the Coming Kingdom.
Each of the following verses show that “eternal life” is something that is to be acquired in the future. These make up 35% (15 times) of the uses of “eternal life” in the Scriptures. They are: Matthew 19:16,29; 25:46 (cf. v. 35); Mark 10:17,30; Luke 10:25,28,30; John 4:36; 6:27; 12:25; Romans 2:7;6:22; Galatians 6:8; Jude 21.
Matthew 19:16-30. Many have explained this passage by stating that Jesus’ mention of “keep the commandments” (v.17b) was to call the man to see his sinfulness and that his failure to “forsake all” shows that he was not a saved person. This view makes one’s justification salvation contingent upon works.
Instead, observe that the man asks a works question (v.16) and Jesus gives a works answer (v.17). Jesus states that if he wants to be “complete,” he should sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Then he will have treasure in heaven. The word for “complete” is teleios and is often used to speak of Christian maturity (1 Cor 14:20; Eph 4:13; Heb 5:14; Jas 1:4). Jesus then explains to His disciples regarding the “kingdom of God/heaven” (v.23-24). Peter’s reply (v.27) is not rebuked, but embraced and answered (v.28-30).
Luke 10:25-37. A lawyer tests Jesus. Before we conclude that this man is “unsaved” simply for testing Jesus, keep in mind that we test Him every day when we question His Word. As in the Matthew passage, the man asks a works question (“inherit eternal life”) and Jesus replies with a works answer. Obviously, this is not addressing receiving eternal life as a free gift by faith in Jesus. Works are in view.
After providing a summary of the spirit of the Law, Jesus responds “Do this and you will live,” with “do this” in the present imperative, meaning that Jesus was calling on the man to “abide in this,” or “keep doing this.” Jesus’ point is that he would live the Abundant LIFE (John 10:10). Many have also concluded that v.29 is evidence that this man is “unsaved,” but Jesus does not give us that indication. Instead, Jesus answers him with a story.
For this lawyer, his “neighbor” would have been a fellow Jew. Jesus’ story calls the man to show mercy to a half-breed Samaritan, a sect of people that the Jews treated with contempt. Jesus is calling for the man to lay down his racism in exchange for living the Abundant LIFE.
For the unbeliever, eternal life is a free gift received at the moment that they believe in Christ. For the believer, eternal life speaks of a future reward for faithfulness and sacrifice now.
You can have as much as your desire in the Coming Kingdom.
Are willing to forsake the carnal comforts and satisfactions of this earthly life?
Our Father has done nothing but set us up for the best possible future. Our choices will dictate the abundance of that future.