Uneclipsing the Son ~ Week 2

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in Book of the Month | 0 comments

 This month I’m reviewing the book Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland. Come back each week for a look at what God teaches me through this excellent read. During the first week of September I will be giving away a signed copy of the book! Stay tuned!!

For last week’s review of the first two chapters, click here

 Eternal Life is Not What You Think

When you hear the phrase “eternal life,” what pops into your mind? I will admit, there have been times when I thought that existing forever and ever and ever could get, well, a little boring. Unfortunately, most Christians view eternal life as nothing more than living in heaven for the rest of eternity. We love the verses that promise this life to us, but do we understand or know what eternal life actually is?

Rick Holland uses Jesus’ prayer from the gospel of John to clearly explain eternal life to us. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

Jesus doesn’t describe eternal life as being alive forever in heaven with a mansion and gold streets. No, Jesus simply says that eternal life is knowing the one and only God and knowing Him through Jesus Christ. See, we don’t become a Christian simply to gain eternal life; becoming a Christian is a life-long pursuit of knowing Jesus!

What does that feel like? It’s all about appraising Jesus as infinitely and personally precious. It is about a conscious, deliberate enjoyment of His worth… when Jesus defined eternal life as knowing God through Himself, He placed the ultimate reality – living forever – in the dimension of a relationship, not the space-time continuum. pg. 35, 36

Paul shares in Philippians 1:21, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” This popular verse shows that Christ should be central to ALL that we do in both life and death. We must understand that eternal life is more that just existing forever and ever in heaven, it is a complete and total refocusing of the purpose and meaning of life! “To live is to know Jesus; to die is to be with Him forever – infinite gain!”

The Distance Between Heaven and Earth

We have a problem. Yes, a problem with God. Thankfully, He gave us the solution – Jesus Christ. But, for us to understand how precious this solution, Jesus, should be to us, we must first understand the problem.

This problem can be broken into two points. One, God is infinitely separated from us. He is the High King, the Lord of lords, above the Heavens, greater than all others. HE is Most High. Secondly, this magnificent God is constantly at work in my life, your life, and the lives of people all around the world. How are we to deal with this God problem – this God who is far too amazing to reach and so close we could never hide from Him?

Job asked this same question. Rick Holland goes into great detail describing Job’s musings as he ponders this God problem. (Usually we only hear about the first two chapters of Job, but Dr. Holland offers excellent insight into the rest of Job’s story.) Job struggles with the ability to understand righteousness, salvation, justice, and God Himself. He longs for a mediator to represent God in a way a commoner can understand.

God has now solved this problem! “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 2:15 This is God in human form – Jesus – fully God and truly man.

Jesus alone spans the distance between heaven and earth. He offers His nail-scarred hands to those who want to draw close to the faraway God. For those who feel their need for God and those who are wounded by this world. He suffered divine abandonment so that we would not have to.” pg. 56

Staring at the Son

Now that we know what eternity is and who solves our God problem, we must learn to STARE at this SON! But, Jesus is invisible, right? He doesn’t appear to us in person, does He? “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21) 

If we do two things ~ keep Christ’s commands and love our Lord ~ something exciting will happen in our life.

We see Christ now, and the more we know Him and the more we study Him, the more we become like the clear image we see of Him. pg. 59

First, we must do more than just know what is right, we must do it!

We must set ourselves to study the Scriptures and to obey all that Christ is revealed to be in them because sin dampens our affections and dulls our souls to our only hope of satisfaction. Sin is the moon that eclipses the Son. You will never have any prospect of experiencing the presence of Jesus promised in John 14:21 unless your life is set on a course of obedience. Sin will obscure the glory of Christ and you’ll plod forward in that nightish day of semi-Christianity, a shadowland of discouraging uncertainty. pg. 61

Second, we must love the Son with faith and understanding. This love will control everything about us. He will be what we long for, what we desire, what we hope for, our favorite thoughts and memories. This true love for Jesus will control all of our other affections and emotions.

When we are obeying our Savior and loving Him, we can bask in His glory! Won’t you pray today that you can look fully at the Son, our Mediator, and our Eternal Life!

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