I believe in: Life Everlasting
I believe in...
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
We come to the end of the creed! But here's the curious thing: the Creed ends with something unending.
We have been stepping our way through the Apostles Creed, that great summary of the orthodox faith that has been passed down through generations. It's power comes from the weight of history continually confirming that it is a faithful encapsulation of the fundamental tenets of Christianity expressed by God in the Bible.
As with all attempts to summarise a vast swathe of belief and history - we could say more! And many have. There have been many tries through the ages to create more comprehensive summaries of true faith. Some better than others, some created to address particular problems of their day (e.g. Nicaean creed was created to rule out Arianism).
Yet here's the thing: try as we might to reduce the scriptures and our faith down to the basic components, we can never do it justice. There is a reason that God used multiple genres, authors, contexts and thousands of years to communicate to us the epic history of salvation. It's hard enough to communicate the breadth of the historical working of salvation, let alone the nature of our God who brings it all to pass.
"Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD
or fully declare his praise?" Ps 106:2.
God is immeasurable and eternal. We cannot comprehend Him fully. Even with a lifetime studying the words God gave us, we will not have scraped the bottom of God's revelation to us. Even with a lifetime of faith we will not find a limit to the depths of our eternal God & His love.
God imbued something of Himself in humanity: He has made us in His image. It's hard to delineate exactly what that means, but one thing is for sure, God's people will live eternally like God. Our mortality will give way to immortality. We will reflect something of God's limitlessness in the way that we live forever!
When we touched on the Resurrection last week, we noted this. That the people who belong to the living God must live. He is the God of the living. And so even through death God will return His people to life.
But it is now worth dwelling on the eternality of that life. It is never ending!
We may not be able to plumb the depths of God now, because of our creaturely limitations. But the day is fast approaching when there will be at least two less limitations on us: we will be sinless, and we will have all the time in the world to know Him. Perhaps in the endless ages to come, in some small way, we might be able to "understand" God - something that generations of God's people have been unable to do on this earth.
Our eternal life will be lived. We will get to know God more and better, but we will also worship more and better. I think the worship and eternality of our life was well encapsulated by Isaac Newton in the verse from Amazing Grace:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
Here and now our worship is tainted by our sin and the death that snatches us away from continued faithful service to God. How beautiful it will be when those barriers are removed! We will be able to worship God more fully and freely. Yes worship in song, but also the worship of lives consecrated wholly to Him, serving Him and being reflectors of His Glory.
How can you receive this eternal life? It is only available through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to life beyond this life. Eternal life is found in the source of Life, the Creator. And He has revealed himself in Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Jn 17:3.
When we come to know and trust Jesus, we come into eternal life. To know Jesus is to know God, and to know God is to have eternal life. This is why we want as many people to meet Jesus as possible!
In the scope of eternity, these measly few years we're living on the earth that is fading away can seem insignificant. However, what we're doing here is a preparation for that eternity. We ought not squander the years we have been entrusted with and still hope to please our "investor". Make the best use of theses evil days (Eph 5:15–20).
So, although eternity is before us, begin as you mean to go. Strive for holiness, because "without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb 12:14).
We believe in Life Everlasting with God and for His Glory. It will be a long, long, long time, and a good time, and a beautiful time. It will be the fulness of life we wished we could have lived here and now. It is life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." Jesus - Jn 6:54.