“Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.”
— John 6:47 (NRSV)
Surely anyone alive, wanting the best of life, would strive to give this teaching of Jesus’, above, one fair run – one decent trial – as we Australians would say, a red-hot go or a good old crack. Surely the wisdom of Jesus compels a person to dearly want something as rich as eternal life.
But what is eternal life, and can we narrow it down so as to be tangible; explicable? It will be difficult to narrow it down, but the fact is there is a practical outworking of experienced eternal life as we venture through forgiveness, into healing, and finally into wholeness and restoration. Upon restoration, we find ourselves, as in a restored house or car, a fully usable vessel. Suddenly everything functions as it should, and we, there, are a picture of joy from the steady basis of peace.
The Components Leading to Eternal Life
If we were to add to our suite of experience the components of forgiveness, healing, and wholeness, life would well up within us and the outcome would be restoration. That would be salvation in and about us – a very tangible and palpable and felt experience continuing as we sow into it. As we engage with the components we make eternal life real in our journey. It has substance and meaning.
These components leading to eternal life are sponsored by the Father, and the Holy Spirit provides the impetus and the passionate energy to engage.
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain in engaging with forgiveness – of others, ourselves, and even with God in some cases – wherever we need to. Where we engage with forgiveness we pocket the profits of healing. And healing tends toward wholeness, and thereby restoration.
Where we withhold forgiveness and allow the bitterness of resentment it’s pathetic little reign, we break down all God’s restoration work and even make the structure of our lives vulnerable.
Forgiveness links us with eternal life as we experience it in this life. All we need to do is believe in the power of grace that transforms us. We must believe or we will perish. And only via belief can we be saved.
Eternal life is the free gift received for simple belief. When we believe we can forgive, suddenly God gives us the power to forgive. Believing we can forgive leads us to healing and wholeness and restoration, unto eternal life.
Forgive and pocket the profits of healing. Healing pays handsome dividends; it’s the windfall of wholeness. Restoration is a clean sweep of the lottery. The components – forgiveness, healing, wholeness, and restoration – lead to eternal life. And belief in the power of God is the thread throughout.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.