The word for eternal is aionios. It means far more than simply 'lasting for ever.' A life which lasted for ever might well be a curse and not a blessing, an intolerable burden and not a shining gift. There is only one person to whom aionios may properly be applied and that is God. In the real sense of the term it is God alone who possesses and inhabits eternity. Eternal life is, therefore, nothing other than the life of God himself. What we are promised is that here and now there can be given us a share in the very life of God.
In God there is peace and, therefore eternal life means serenity. It means a life liberated from the fears which haunt the human situation. In God there is power and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of frustration. It means a life filled with the power of God and, therefore, victorious over circumstance. In God there is holiness and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of sin. It means a life clad with the purity of God and armed against the soiling infections of the world. In God there is love and, therefore, eternal life means the end of bitterness and hatred. It means a life which has the love of God in its heart and the undefeatable love of man in all its feelings and in all its action. In God there is life and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of death. It means a life which is indestructible because it has in it the indestructibility of God himself.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
From William Barclay's the Letters of John and Jude commentary on 1 John 5:11-13, regarding v.13 "I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life" (p.113-114):