THREE PRECIOUS GIFTS
“I give unto My sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish” John 10:28
“The gift of God is eternal life,through Jesus Christ our lord ” Romans 6:23
“He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
“Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”John 8:32
“Standfast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made US free” Galatians 5:1
“Life” “Light” and “Liberty” Three Most Precious Gifts
The Scriptures quoted above – and they are but a few of the many that might be presented — teach us, very distinctly, that there are three things bestowed upon every soul that through grace, simply, truly and heartily believe in Jesus. These are, “Life” “Light” and “Liberty” three most precious gifts, surely. These gifts in comparison with all earthly riches, pleasures and distinctions are exceeding great.
There are very many who ought to be in the full and settled enjoyment of these immense privileges but who actually do not know that they possess them at all, and consider it the height of presumption for any soul to think of possessing them. There are many sincere and earnest souls – truly converted persons children of God who, through bad teaching, self-occupation, or legality, are thoroughly in the dark as to the very basic elements of Christianity – the very simplest truths of the gospel. The dark atmosphere that enwraps the whole of Christendom, so obscures the light of divine truth, that they really do not know where they are or what they have got.
In place of life, light and liberty, they are practically in the shadow of death, in darkness and bondage. They are robbed of the enjoyment of these three precious gifts which God, in the fullness and riches of His grace, liberally bestows upon all who believe on the Name of His only begotten Son.
Now, it is for the special purpose of helping the many who are thus robbed and spoiled, that we have presented the inspired verses at the beginning of this article. And we affectionately entreat all to give earnest heed to them. We are not now going to expound them, nor enter upon a full statement of the doctrines indicated in them. Our object is rather to exhort than to expound. We want, yes, we long to see all the dear children of God in the full enjoyment of the things which are freely given to them of God in Christ.
He that believes on the Son of God has eternal life.
Let all such, then, hear what our Lord Jesus Christ says, “I give unto My sheep eternal life. ” “Yes,” some exercised soul may say; “I quite see that all Christ’s sheep have eternal life; but my great, even my soul-crushing difficulty is to know that I am a sheep of Christ. If only I knew that, I should count myself happy indeed.”
Now this thought, no doubt the language of hundreds, is a mistake. It is beginning at the wrong end. It is putting self and feelings before Christ and His Word and most surely, as long as anyone is doing this, he must be in doubt and darkness. It is utterly impossible it can be otherwise. If it is something about myself I am called to feel or believe, in order to be saved, then assuredly, I never can have settled knowledge or assurance of salvation. I must have something entirely outside and independent of myself, something divinely solid, something eternally stable, some settled and absolute truth, something true in itself, apart from all my thoughts and feelings about it. In short, I must have God’s own revelation to rest upon, or I never can know what really is abiding peace. It is the eternal truth of God and that alone which forms the real basis of the soul’s peace.
This is the basis which all the power of earth and hell, men and devils can never disturb. It is by believing in Christ and not by “feeling” or “believing something about myself,” that I get eternal life. He that believes on the Son of God has eternal life.
Anxious reader, really ponder this. It is of great importance. It concerns God’s peace and rest for your soul. We would call your earnest attention to the weighty fact that what you are called upon to believe is not something about yourself but something about Christ.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. ” (John 6:47). Do you simply and heartily believe in Jesus? Do you confide in Him? Are you thoroughly satisfied with Him? If so you have eternal life and you should, from this moment, know it and rejoice in it.
Our Lord does not say, “He that feeleth he is one of my sheep, shall have eternal life.” It is nothing like that at all. “He that believeth on Me” So also, in that well-known passage in John 5, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
Can anything be plainer than this? Everyone who hears the word of Jesus, and believes in the One Who sent Him, is the happy possessor of eternal life and shall never come into judgment. Hence it follows that if we have not got eternal life, we have not believed on the Son of God. We have not heard His word and we do not believe in God at all. Thus it is, if we are to be governed by the reliable teaching and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every true believer in Jesus has eternal life
Every true believer in Jesus has eternal life and everyone who has not eternal life is an unbeliever.
Thus speaks the word of the living God. The believer should know what he possesses. Of what use or value could it be for anyone to be left a fortune, say in Canada if he did not know anything about it?
God would have us to know what He has freely given to us in Christ. The life is in Christ.
So, he that has Christ, has the life, and he who has not this life, has not Christ. “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. ” Precious, all important word!
Nor is it otherwise with respect to the second of our “three precious gifts.” As we get “life,” so we get “light” – in Christ. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. God would not give us life and leave us in the dark. This would not be like Him. He has given us His Son and believing in Him we get life and following Him, we get light – the light of life. Beautiful words! Words full of divine power! Enfranchising words for the soul that has been groping in darkness and the shadow of death!
“The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth ” and the proper sphere for the life which we now possess is the light in which we are called and privileged to walk. The darkness is past, the shadows are gone, the clouds have rolled away, the dim twilight has given place to the full orbed light of life streaming down into our souls, and upon our path, enabling us to judge ourselves and our surroundings. We are to judge everything according to the true light that now shines within, upon and around us. This light, shines from the Father, shines in the Son, shines in the power of the Holy Ghost, shines on the pages of inspiration of God’s Word.
Finally, it follows of blessed necessity, that as we get “life” and “light,” so we get “liberty.” It is all in Christ. He quickens. He enlightens. He emancipates. Yes, more, He is our life, our light and our liberty. Blessed, throughout all ages, be His peerless Name! “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Surely, it must be so. He would not give us life and leave us in the dark. He would not give us life and leave us in bondage or slavery. No, such is not His way. He sets us divinely and eternally free. Free from guilt and condemnation. Free from the dread of wrath and judgment to come. Free from the fear of death. Free from the present power of sin, and quite as free from all its future consequences.
Written: C.H. Mackintosh
Acknowledgement: THE GOSPEL WITNESS Issue 5 © Christian Book Room
P.O. Box 95413, T.S.T., Kowloon, Hong Kong, SAR of China.
Photos by: M.E.Head