In the past two lectures, we have spoken of the meaning of eternal life according to the teaching of the New Testament and how to accept it and receive it within. First, we spoke of the meaning of the true faith in Christ, which leads to receiving the grace of salvation. It is not just faith in the name of Jesus as our lord and savior, but a faith associated with repentance. Repentance here is not just an apology for sin but a sign of a renewed mind and the transformation of our will from obedience to sin to obedience to Christ. Secondly, we make a real covenant from all our hearts to reject the thoughts of
the evil one and to reject sin. In other words, to make a replacement in our hearts for the love of Christ rather than the love of the world. All these steps will lead us to accept the life of Christ and to receive the new nature in the Holy Spirit.
When we receive the new nature, God’s love and his lasting peace fills our heart abundantly.
In this lecture, we will teach: How we abide in eternal life that is to abide in Jesus’ life?
The Lord Jesus answered this question in the gospel of John chapter fifteen verse nine and ten saying,” As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. And he continued explaining that “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
So the first point, Jesus is asking us to abide in His love, then He tells us how to abide, and that is by keeping His commandments. The love of Christ is a free gift given to us when we ask Him with repentance. In the letter to the Romans chapter five St. Paul says “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5.) We took this gift for free, but what is our role after we receive this gift? Our role is to abide in Christ’s love, that is, in the grace of eternal life given by the Holy Spirit.
The next question is what is the sign of abiding in eternal life?
Apostle John answers in his first epistle saying, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” (1 John 3:14.) So the sign that proves that we have eternal life within us, is that we love Christ and we love our brothers.
What do I do to abide in the love of Christ?
The Lord Himself answered this question in the gospel of John chapter fourteen saying, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.” (John 14:23).
Keep my words means obey my commandments and not just to memorize and recite verses or to sing songs saying” I love you lord.” The words of the lord here are very clear and do not let us be deceived by formalities. The only proof that I love Jesus is that I obey His words and do it, not just memorizing the Bible and repeating verses. St John told us in his first epistle chapter three that we must not love in words but indeed and in truth ”let us not love in word or in tongue, but indeed and in truth.” (1John3:18.)
What is the commandment of the Lord that I must preserve?
In the gospel of John chapter fifteen the Lord says ”This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John15:12). Christ’s commandment for us is to love one another.
If you love Christ and you want to abide in eternal life, love your brother.
To love your brother means to tolerate his weaknesses, to forgive him and pray for him. If you hate your brother, know that Christ is not within you. Jesus tells you to go to reconcile with your brother before you go to celebrate the Holy Communion, in the Gospel of Mathew chapter five verse 23, He said “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. “(Mathew 5 :23.)
Brothers and sisters If you want to obey God’s commandment and you do want to follow it, but you are unable to do it, ask the Lord to pour His love on you to heal all the wounds inside you. Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking and waiting for you to open to Him in order to enter within you and give you His life, love, peace, and also overcoming the evil one. If you open to Him He will give you His eternal life.
AND NOW MAY THE LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER AND THE GRACE OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND THE COMMUNION OF THE Holy Spirit BE WITH YOU ALL IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN