THE LIFE THAT IS IN CHRIST

Pastor Bankie Oftentimes we hear the expression ‘eternal life’ and we immediately begin to think about living forever. Well, I think I should let you know at this time that spiritual things do not only have a length but also a depth and a height. Thinking of eternal life in terms of living forever is looking only at the length of it. There is the depth of it, which I believe refers to the varieties of issues covered, and there is the height, which, I also believe, has to do with the intensity with which each issue is covered.

Let us take a little background look in this study.

In the beginning when God made man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, He warned the man that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would bring death into his life.

“…for in the day that you shall eat from it you shall surely die.”

He specifically instructed the man not to eat of this fruit. Well, the man ate of it and you know the rest of the story.

Now, the question is this: Did the man surely die that day, as was the word of God? The answer is, “Most assuredly, yes!”

You see, God’s word cannot fail. If He said the man would die, then dying he would die. The problem we have had is that we did not understand what dying meant. Dying is much more than physical expiration and passing away; that is the culmination of the whole thing. Death is a spiritual force that affects everything it comes in contact with and produces differing levels of dysfunction. The effect of death is expressed depending on the normal function of the thing in question. When God said that the man would die, He was saying that in that day, he, the man, would become subject to death in all aspects of life.

Let us take a few examples of the effects of death.

When it touched the earth, it took away its productivity.

“It will produce weeds and thorns…you will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything…”

Apart from taking away the productivity of the earth, it also produces natural disasters.

“The earth became polluted and vomited up its inhabitants.” Lev 18.

When death touches a human body, it produces sickness, diseases, barrenness, mental illnesses and ultimately, death.

When it touches a man’s business, it begins to loose money; it collapses.

In a marriage, death produces disharmony and divorce.

These are a few examples of the manifestations of death.

Now God saw this and it displeased Him, His love nature caused Him to produce a deliverance from death for human beings.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Before God brought His solution the position of mankind was pathetic.

“From the time of Adam, death reigned…”

The reign of death is what is responsible for all the negative things of this life such as children dying in infancy, all forms of diseases, wars, famines, and many forms of the so called natural disasters and acts of God. The Bible calls all these effects of the reign of death ‘the agonies of death’.

As I explained earlier, death is a spiritual force which was introduced into the earth by sin and which produces varying effects depending on the aspect of life it touches.

“Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.”

When a person is subject to this reign of death, he or she is said to be dead in scriptural terms. See Ephesians 2,5:

“…we were DEAD in our trespasses…”

This was what the Lord wanted to spare Adam from when He warned him against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, when He warned him against disobedience. This was what the Lord saw when He sent his Son so that whosoever believes in Him might pass from death into life!

Now, that takes us back to our main topic of discussion.

Life, or eternal life, is that spiritual diametrically opposite force to death that is far greater than death, which reverses everything that death produces, and which turns around the agonies of death.

You see, the Jews knew of the existence of this life, and they also knew that it was obtainable. That was why they frequently came to Jesus asking Him what they had to do to gain it. They knew it would be the end to all their problems in life. They had examples of those who tasted different measures of this life and the effects it had in their lives and environment. They knew that this is the life that David carried to battle and no one could ever defeat him. They understood that when the earth experienced a dose of this life for Isaac’s sake, a land of famine produced a hundred fold.

That life produced Isaac in the womb of a woman that was 90 years of age. In the eyes of Moses, there was never any dimness, which means Moses would never have needed medicated eyeglasses. They had read of Caleb who advancing in years did not abate in strength.

“…I am eighty-five years today…as my strength was forty-five years ago, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in.”

You understand that any sane person will desire such a life. So, many thirsted after it and so came to meet Jesus to ask him the mechanism for obtaining it.

As for you, Child of God, read these:

“He that hath the Son hath life”

“…whosoever believes in Him…(will) have eternal life”.

“…He loved us… (and) made us alive together with Christ…”

This is the summary from Jesus Himself:

“…he who hears my word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life…and has passed out of death into life.” Jn 5v24

What I am getting at is that you, Child of God, have life. Eternal life dwells in you as you read this. God imparted it to you as soon as you believed in Jesus. What the Jews were asking for is now yours in Christ Jesus. Can you see the implications of this from what we discussed above?

This life is a spiritual substance that can permeate every area of life that you allow it into. It will give life to your body so that no sickness can dwell there. Like Caleb you will be fit, agile and productive in your old age. All these thinning of hair and falling off of teeth that have become integral parts of aging are among the agonies of death; the life that is in Jesus, which now resides in you, forbids that.

Let nobody deceive you, you do not have any predisposition or hereditary tendency to develop any disease; maybe your natural self did, but the life you have in Christ has overcome any natural thing. It is called the height and the depth of eternal life.

Let me explain something about the believer and medical science. You see, faith is not saying that medical knowledge does not exist; it is only saying that it only applies to the natural being and that life can take over, and indeed has taken over, my physical flesh. I have no choice but to believe what God says. I cannot believe the report of the doctor against the report of God.

Eternal life is not a matter of theological exercise but a real and tangible spiritual entity that does affect physical things. For you that have this life, your health is not adversely affected by your age. No, you advance in years and remain in perfect health.

“…He satisfies my mouth with good things, my youth is renewed as an eagle’s.”

Let us see another effect of this life.

“You are salt of the earth…”

Now, being the salt of the earth does not mean you are the one that settles all the quarrels in your office or the marital disharmonies of your neighbours. Yes, these are good things but do not imply you are being the salt of the earth. Remember that I mentioned earlier that death touched the physical earth; in the same manner but with contrary results the life in you touches the earth upon which you live and prevents it from decay, keeping it from the agonies of death. That is what ‘salt of the earth’ means. It is not necessarily a conscious attempt on the part of the child of God, but an automatic effect of the presence of the one who possesses the life of God.

To illustrate, we can see the example of Isaac in Genesis 26. Here Isaac can be called the salt of that land, seeing that the land was blessed for his sake. Also, if the Lord had found ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorah and had spared the land for their sakes, the ten could have been referred to as the salt of Sodom and Gomorah. What I am saying is that your environment, your family, the country in which you live, the company in which you work, all of these are touched by the life in you.

When you have life, your family will prosper, your company will prosper. Remember that Laban was blessed by the life in Jacob and Portiphar was blessed by that which was in Joseph. Eternal life is contagious in its effects! Your country needs your presence if things are going to go well; your family needs that life that is in you. You should not abandon any of these in search of personal satisfaction; let God bring out something good from within you as their salvation.

Now, this leads me to another effect of this life.

“In Him was life, and that life is the light of men…”

Light has to do with illumination, with spiritual and intellectual development. Light gives the ability to make good judgement.

The life that is in Christ gives you the ability to tap into sound wisdom, it gives you the inspiration that brings to birth, in your area of vocation, new ideas, so that you will not be an average man in you profession. It is this kind of wisdom that lifted Joseph to the post of Prime Minister in Egypt. Such things still happen today. That is the source of scientific discoveries. I am saying that the life in you makes you have superior intelligence.

What I’ve tried to bring to your consciousness is that Jesus did not come to leave you on the same level He met you. He came to give you life abundantly and this life really has practical effects that can be noticed by people around you. It affects your body, your children, your land, your job, and whatever else can be called yours.

Why are most believers not experiencing the effect of this life, if indeed they really have it as Jesus said?

You see, God’s gift can lie dormant in a man if it isn’t stirred up. It appears that you really need to demand what is yours spiritually before it can be released to you, just like the Israelites had to fight for the land that God had given to them.

The first step is that you must know what God says that you have. Lack of knowledge is the problem that kills most believers today.

“They know not, neither will they understand, so they walk on is darkness…”

“My people perish for lack of knowledge.”

Thank God for the much we have been able to expose in this little space we have at this time, but you need to cultivate a studious lifestyle so as to continually discover what God has said concerning you.

After you have discovered a truth about what God has given you, you need to make up your mind to accept that revelation as superior to all other evidence; this means that you believe that word. One sure evidence of what you believe is that which you speak with your mouth.

“…we believe, therefore we speak.”

Declare it boldly: “I have eternal life in Christ; this life makes me whole, immune to all manner of diseases. I do not weaken by reason of age; I retain the beauty of my youth. I have superior abilities and insight on my profession; I am not an average man. The life in me blesses my environment. In Jesus I have life.”

Whatever you discover concerning this life must be declared boldly; those words will activate the life that in present inside you.

Remember to disregard any contrary evidence. Let nobody tell you that you will die. Your present circumstances are only temporary; they have stayed this long because you had not all this while activated the life that you have in Jesus. The life in Jesus always prevails!

For those who are reading this but are not yet related to God through Jesus, let me tell you that ONLY Jesus has life and gives life. The masters of all the religions of this earth died, were buried and their bodies decayed; Jesus, however, lives forevermore and still gives life to all those who will believe in Him. This is why you need to give your life to Jesus Christ today. If you are ready, say this prayer with me:

“Lord Jesus, I come to you today; I believe you are alive and I ask of you today to give me your life.
“I give my old life up and I accept to live for you and obey you from today.
“Thank you for accepting me.”

If you said that prayer sincerely, then you are now born again.

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