Verse 25: The Promise of God
And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
The beloved apostle John reminds Christians who are being “afflicted”, “perplexed”, “persecuted”, and “beaten” from every side of the precious promise of God: eternal life.
John 19:28-30 (CSB) Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Eternal Life: This verse stands on the previous proposition: “if what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”
To remain in intimate fellowship with the Father and the Son is the very substance of eternal life:
John 17:3 (CSB) This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ.
To joyfully walk in Christ’s word and enjoy the communion of the Spirit is the true and everlasting life that has been promised to us by God. We are Christ’s inheritance, and Christ is our inheritance! Nothing – whether on earth or in heaven – surpasses that reward in the eyes of true believers.
The experience of eternal life is real now for those who keep the commands of Christ taste even now while on earth:
John 15:9-10 (CSB) As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
Yet there is also an eschatological reality of eternal life that we have yet to experience:
Romans 2:6-11 (CSB) He will repay each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. 9 There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no favoritism with God.
Matthew 7:21 (CSB) Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Therefore, let us join Paul in this prayer:
Ephesians 1:18-19 (CSB) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.