Knowing Jesus Changes Us
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
How would you define eternal life? If you have ever wondered, John 17:3 provides the answer. Short and simple, eternal life is knowing God and knowing Jesus. This is not merely head knowledge. It is relational knowledge experienced in the heart; knowledge that is personal and intimate.
This eternal life is the promise of the New Covenant – “for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Hebrews 8:11). Dan DeHaan, a wonderful Bible teacher, wrote, “God created men to know Him. God created men to enjoy Him.” Jesus, through His death and resurrection, opened the way for this to be a possibility not just in the bye and bye, but here and now.
God took away your sins, reconciled you to Himself, justified you, sanctified you, made you alive, and poured His Spirit into your life for this single purpose. It is a “by grace through faith” relationship, a spiritual union that conforms us to the likeness of Jesus. In other words, God rubs off on us, and we become like Him.
Many years ago, a friend died of cancer. The last time I saw him he was standing before a crowd at a church youth camp sharing his story. Although he talked about the cancer, his story was John 17:3. As I watched and listened to him that day, I saw a young man who genuinely knew the Lord, who was experiencing eternal life.
And this deep personal relationship he enjoyed with Jesus changed him. He had come to know Jesus and there was nothing better in life. He had taken hold of eternal life and every day was one more opportunity to grow in his knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ died and was raised so that we could know God. And knowing Him changes us. That is what my friend discovered.
Think back to the day you believed the Gospel. That was the point when eternal life began for you, the point when you started learning the truth about the God of the universe. Let it be your life’s quest to continue to grow in your knowledge of Jesus. To know and enjoy Him is ultimate freedom. It is what you were created for. It is eternal life.
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