By Steve Troxel
In the last two messages we've considered how the gift of eternal life is given to "everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him" (John 6:40). But we also saw that belief is much more than a mere acknowledgement of existence; "Even the demons believe that - and shudder" (James 2:19). Eternal life is a gift given only to those who so intensely believe that Jesus is the only way to receive forgiveness that they stand before a living God and enter into an eternal covenant.
Covenants were first introduced by God to Noah after the flood; "I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood" (Genesis 9:11). Over the years, God made covenants with Abraham (Genesis 15), the nation of Israel through Moses (Exodus 19), and with David (2 Samuel 7). In each case, God initiated the covenant and clearly established the guidelines.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God spoke about the new covenant He would make through Jesus; "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33). This new covenant was designed to be permanent and under God's complete protection: "I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear Me, so that they will never turn away from Me" (Jeremiah 32:40). Through the prophet Ezekiel, God gave further indication of how this would be accomplished:
"I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws."
When we truly believe in Jesus, we enter into a covenant and God transforms our heart by His Spirit; "a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" (Ephesians 1:14). At that moment we are "sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). And when we enter into His saving covenant, we are purchased with the blood of Jesus: "You are not your own; you were bought at a price" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
We are still called to continue in the faith, but God has promised we WILL continue; "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8). He is the giver and sustainer of eternal life; "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (John 10:28).
There is debate whether this covenant can ever be broken, whether it is eternal. But perhaps this only distracts from the greater truth. We are called to love God and continue to love Him with all our heart. This calling is clear! Let's remain within His arms of love, and trust that as we do, we are eternally secure.
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