Letters to the Prison - Week 113

Hello, everyone.  We were so thrilled to see some of you in person in St. Johnsbury and to be able to sing praises to God and consider his word together.  It is so important to meet together, and we love meeting with you.  We’re looking forward to more opportunities in the future!
Meanwhile, last week, we encouraged you to join us as we sit with three profound verses and consider what they mean for us as believers in Jesus Christ.  Here they are again:
•I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”          -John 10:28-30
There are so many things we could take away from these verses… too many to cover here.  But there are three major things we’d like to consider briefly:
1)The eternal life Jesus claims to give to his people is not temporal, biological life…  believers like John the Baptist are already dead when Jesus speaks these words.  John 11 records the raising of Lazarus to life… and yet Lazarus dies… again.  Jesus will soon die himself… and come back, as we know.  So, our promised eternal life comes after death.

2)Yet our life with Jesus nevertheless begins here and now when we hear him calling, recognize that we belong to him, place our faith, hope, and trust in him, and follow him.  And there is a promise and security about that, too.  Jesus the Son and God the Father provide a “double security,” as we saw last week.  But the Holy Spirit provides a third security.  Look what the Apostle Paul says:
•30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.-Ephesians 4:30
The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is our “seal…” our assurance on the day of redemption.
3)The idea that the third part of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, dwells in us now –in this life—has profound implications for how we are to live… and how we are empowered to live.  We are commanded not to “grieve” the Spirit living inside of us (Christians are a temple of the Holy Spirit -1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Yet we are also given everything we need --by that same Holy Spirit—to live in a way that pleases God.  Because God’s Spirit lives in us, we have the power to choose to live in a way that honors and glorifies God.  For further reading, 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 offer plenty to think about in terms of how God’s Holy Spirit operates in and through us.
Beloved friends, this is but a glimpse of a few of the stunning realities Jesus has laid out for us in those three mind-blowing verses in John 10.  As we consider such things, God has an opportunity to meet with us in personal ways and give us guidance about how to conduct ourselves where we are in ways that are pleasing to him and give him glory.  And, dear friends, we hope that these realities --and the eternal hope and security we find in them—provide you with confidence, comfort, and courage where you are.
Next week, we’ll continue by looking at the people’s reactions to Jesus’ words.  We love you!

Dean A.

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