The Eternal Son
Read 1 John 1:1-4.
by Sarah Wootten Corinth Missionary Baptist Church
When was the last time you pondered the idea of eternity? Have you ever thought about something having no beginning and no end? If you’re like me, it probably takes you about two minutes before you are utterly confused. It is very difficult for us time-bound humans surrounded by death and endings to consider the eternal. And even if we are comfortable with something not having an end, we will surely never understand something not having a start. However, John begins his letter with reminding his readers about the eternal Son of God.
There has never been a time that Jesus was not. His beginning was not the day He was born in Bethlehem. He was not created as God’s saving backup plan when sin entered the world, nor was He formed during the six days of creation. Jesus said that He is one with the Father (John 10:30). Just as God the Father has always existed, so the Son has also.
John is enamored with the fact that the infinite One would come to earth as a man and live among finite man.
That which was from the beginning … the life was made manifest … the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifest to us,” (1 John 1:1-2, ESV, emphasis added). I can almost feel John’s awestruck state when I read those verses. The difference between the eternal God and ordinary man is very great. God is eternal; our days are very limited. God knows each star by name. I can’t remember the name of someone I met last week. God gave billions of people breath in the past five seconds. I wouldn’t have any breath at all if God hadn’t given it to me. And yet, the holy, all-powerful Son of God came to earth and dwelt among mankind. John touched, seen, and looked upon Jesus. He heard the message of the gospel from Jesus’ own lips, and then testified and proclaimed it to everyone that would hear. What a joyous privilege those eyewitnesses had.
As Joey explained last week, this letter is all about the believer’s assurance of their salvation (see 1 John 5:13). Why would a letter about assurance open with a reminder of the eternal Jesus coming to earth as a man? Because its readers need to know that it is only through the eternal One that we may have eternal life.
The Bible often uses the language of “in Christ’’ or “in Him” to describe the unity Christians have with the Son. While we are not equals with Jesus, this unity comes with shared experiences. For example, Romans 8:17 says that we are co-heirs with Jesus and that we share in His experience of suffering. Romans 6:4-5 says that believers are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. When we consider the believer’s assurance of salvation and the hope that we have in Christ, it only makes sense to consider Jesus’ eternality. The eternal One gives eternal life to all who are found in Him. For Christians, death is not the end. There is a joyous eternal life waiting for all who believe.