"And this is the record that God hath given to as, eternal life; and this life is in his Son."—1Jn_5:11
Subject preeminently important; in which every man is concerned, and deserving of supreme attention. It is fully and clearly exhibited only in the gospel: "This is the record," &c.
The text presents to our view, I. Eternal Life. II. Eternal Life, as God's gift. III. Eternal Life in Jesus Christ. IV. Eternal Life, recorded for our belief.
In this subject we have,
I. Eternal Life.
Life is a very significant term, and is often employed to express all possible good, and includes the divine favor, likeness, and spirit. It is the opposite of condemnation, guilt, and alienation from God. See Rom_8:6, Rom_8:10; Col_3:1, Col_3:3; Eph_1:1, Eph_1:5; Psa_30:5.
Eternal life is this favor perpetuated; his blessedness in its consummation. It is the full, free, and uninterrupted enjoyment of God forever. It is represented as an inheritance; 1Pe_1:4. As a kingdom; Mat_25:34. As a crown of life; Rev_2:10. It is called "eternal glory;" 1Pe_5:10. "Eternal weight of glory;" 2Co_4:17. "A crown of glory;" 1Pe_5:4.
II. Eternal Life is the Gift of God
"God hath given us eternal life."
1. Life is in God essentially.
"He is the living God." "Hath life in himself." "Who only hath immortality;" 1Ti_6:16. His life is underived, perfect, and eternal 2. All life proceedeth from him.
He giveth life to all his creatures; all beasts, to man, and to angels. "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing;" Job_12:10.
Man's natural, rational, and spiritual life are necessarily from God. Eternal life can only proceed from the same divine and infinite source.
3. Eternal life is God's gift.
All life must be his gift, but eternal life is especially so; as it was given, in the highest and most gracious sense, to creatures utterly unworthy of the boon; and without any possible motive, except what his own unbounded compassion and mercy furnished.
III. Eternal Life is on Jesus Christ
"And this life is in his Son."
1. It is inseparably connected with his divine nature.
"For as the Father hath life in himself so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;" Joh_5:26. "He is the life of the world."
2. Eternal life is in Christ, as it is grounded on his mediatorial work.
He hath procured this life for us by his obedience and death. "He died for our sins according to the Scriptures;" 1Co_15:3. "He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Heb_5:9. Eternal life is God's gift, "through our Lord Jesus Christ;" Joh_10:11, Joh_10:15, Joh_10:17; 1Jn_3:16; 1Jn_4:10; Rom_6:23; Rom_5:6-7, &c.
3. Eternal life is in Christ, as it is officially bestowed by him.
"I am come that they might have life," &c.; Joh_10:10. "I give unto my sheep eternal life;" Joh_10:28. "He that hath the Son hath life;" 1Jn_5:12. He is the bread of life, and "giveth life to the world;" Joh_6:33.
4. Eternal life is in Christ alone.
"Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Eternal life is not in Moses, or Elijah, or the Baptist, or in the apostles: it is not in duties, nor in ordinances, nor sacrifices, nor yet in graces: no, it is not in repentance, nor yet in faith. However these may be connected with the blessing of eternal life, (and connected they are,) eternal life is only truly in Jesus Christ. "This is the true God and eternal life;" 1Jn_5:20.
In this subject we have,
IV. Eternal Life recorded.
This is the record," &c.
1. Where is it recorded?
In the Holy Scriptures: in the Psa. s and Prophets; especially in the Gospels and Epistles. In these, his person, his works, his sufferings, his offices, and his benefits are all recorded.
2. How is it recorded?
(1) Plainly. "Life and immortality brought to light." "True light come." Day longed for by prophets and kings. No longer the shadows, the ceremonies, and the types.
(2) Fully. Not in drops; but now in copious streams.
"Salvation, like a river, rolls,
Abundant, free, and clear."
3. For what is it recorded?
(1) For our information. That we may Know the joyful news.
(2) For our faith. That knowing, we may believe.
(3) For our salvation. "And that, believing, we may have life;" Joh_20:21; 1Jn_3:23; 1Jn_5:12, 1Jn_5:13.
1. Let us value and search the record. 2. Let us receive the Saviour. And thus, 3. Obtain the gift, even eternal life. "He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him;" Joh_3:36.