Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If Living Grows out of Life, then Dying Grows Out of Death

Reading: Hosea 4  

On November 21, 2010, the Sunday message was from John 17, and we focused in on vs. 2-3 in particular. This led to answering the question, “What is eternal life?” Most of us usually answer that by defining eternal, but not defining life. We think, “It is living forever.” That is the eternal part. But we still haven't said anything about what life is. So we looked at the definition of eternal life in John 17:3, and explored why it was true. If we had a mud sculpture of a person, what would we need to add in order for it to become alive? And, where would we get it? Of course, life is what we would need to add, and we would get it from Jesus Christ. Life is that which makes the difference between man being a pile of dust and being animated. Life is found in Jesus Christ. That is where it comes from. And man died the day he cut himself off from the source of life. Once we cut off the knowledge of God, we died, and that death meant that we are now dying.

Eternal life is found in knowing the Father and the Son; it is being reconnected to the source of life. And, all real living grows out of relationship to the Father by knowing Jesus Christ. Anything contrary to that relationship is really dying. The other day this was confirmed in Hosea 4:1-6, as I saw that not only does living grow out of life (abiding in Christ), but dying grows out of death (the rejection of the knowledge of God). Death is the pursuit of life in anything contrary to Christ. And anytime we are pursuing life in something contrary to Christ, we are effectively dying.

"There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying. … 6my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. 7The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.

Notice that even the creation is being affected by the death that has come upon the people. Dying is happening all around them, because they have turned away from God. Destruction comes because of a lack of knowledge. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of God, and as we see in John 17:3, knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. To turn anywhere else for life is to exchange our Glory for something disgraceful. (See also Psalm 4:2.) This will effect everyone around you. Dads, it is vital that you are joined to the source of life, so that your living grows from it and that your wife and children can eat the fruit of it. Young people, you must live out of life, and that is only in Christ. Can those around you benefit from the fruit of the life you are obtaining in Christ?

Where are you turning for life? To what do you turn to find that missing ingredient that animates your living? Are there delusions which have drawn you away promising life, that will only deliver death?  Have you turned to Christ for the eternal part of eternal life, but not the life part?Eternal life is intended to produce a new kind of living, a living that grows out of that new life. But in order to have the living, we must be turning to the source of life, Jesus Christ. Abide in Him and let His words abide in you (John 15:7). Apart from Him, there is no living (John 15:3).

Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,

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