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What is eternal life?

Something to read

But as for you, child of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time - he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

- 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Something to think about

Eternal life is not simply some kind of magical afterlife once we die. This is not something we should be focusing on as the meaning of being a Christian. In this context I understand it to be the eternal life given by the continual process of dying to the corrupt world around us and being born to a new way of living.

As we all know, it is not a one-off event. Every day we stumble and struggle. Every day we need to start again, even if it is a step forward from yesterday. It really is an eternal process.

We are asked to make the good confession. This is about proclaiming who God is, but it is also about proclaiming what is right and true. To live as Jesus did and bear witness to injustice. To stand against corruption and violence.

We might have fallen short yesterday but we can try again today. We can indeed take hold of the eternal life to which we are called.

Something to do

Bear witness and speak out to our leaders on climate change and global justice.

Something to pray

In the beginning, O God,

you shaped my soul and set its weave.

You formed my body

and gave it breath.

Renew me this day

in the image of your love.

- Iona

Today’s contributor is Charlotte Haines Lyon.


Published on 12 August 2019

Resource language
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Themes – Areas of work
  • Theology