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Eternal Life Now

by Randy Robison

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3)

Easter is a celebration of the most critical component of our faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is not just a nice holiday story, inflated God-man myth, or wishful thinking on the part of religious zealots. It is true. Really, for Christianity to have any value, it has to be true. In making this point to the early church in Corinth, the apostle Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless…” There is no sense in believing a myth. There is no supernatural power in a lie. “But the fact is, Christ has been raised from the dead,” Paul insists (1 Corinthians 15:17, 20).

It is this assertion that serves as the foundation for faith in a living God. It is also this claim that provides a path to eternal life for those spiritually reborn through the resurrection power of Christ.

On a recent broadcast of LIFE Today, apologist Jeremiah Johnston noted, “There are 300 passages where the resurrection is mentioned. If we don't understand the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus, we're missing the key to our strength. Because it is not just about Jesus' resurrection, the promise of John 14:19 is a promise that is given to the believer with more frequency than any other promise in the New Testament. Jesus said, ‘Because I live, you will live also.’ So our resurrection and Jesus' resurrection are linked and that empowers us.”

In a letter to his protégé Timothy, Paul urged him to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” The implication of this instruction is that eternal life does not begin when our body dies, but when our spirit is reborn. This is consistent with the “death” experienced in the Garden of Eden, which was spiritual, and the “resurrection” Paul details in 1 Corinthians. Both the physical miracle and the spiritual miracle of resurrection are great, but we need not wait to live in resurrection power because we are spiritually alive now.

How do we do that? One great place to start is where Paul addressed Timothy. Right before telling him to take hold of his eternal life, he wrote, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith…” (1 Timothy 6:11,12). Eternal life is a gift of grace. Living in resurrection power requires fighting the “good fight of faith.” It’s setting our hearts and minds on things above. It’s hearing the voice of our Savior and obeying. We cannot earn our salvation, but we can grow in our sanctification so that we impact those around us.

Johnston pointed this out on the program when he said, “The resurrection empowers our ethics today to combat evil…because Christ comes against evil, and the hope of resurrection brings people out of bondage.”

This is why Easter is more than a once-a-year pageant. It is a daily empowerment to change individual lives, impact communities, and revive societies. Because He lives, we live. Because He redeems, we redeem. Because He has power, we have power. This is the beauty of Easter. When we will take hold of that eternal life to which we are called and let it loose on the world around us, those who are dead in sin can be restored to life.