“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) How many times have you heard this scripture in sermons that justify the sinful nature of a person? Typically it goes like this: “Well even Paul called himself a wretched man, that he’s a sinner. And if Paul was like this, then what can we say about ourselves?” But what is Paul really writing about here? Is this the condition (the condition of a wretched man) of a person who is born again, born from above? Paul is writing about the condition of war, a condition where you are in constant battle between the law (which is good) and sin (which is bad). This is the condition of a person who is under the law. Christ came to free us from the law and from the wretched state, from sin!
Already more than two thousand years ago Apostle John wrote such words:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life; for the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that Eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (1 John 1:1-2)
Of what life does the apostle write? Before these words were written people were already being born, living, and dying on this earth for thousands of years, and here life appeared. What life appeared? John answers this question here. Not earthly well-established life, which has its beginning and its end, but eternal life appeared, never-ending. “And show unto you that Eternal Life,” says the Apostle, “which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us”.
Life that was with God appeared to people on earth, and this Life walked on the earth, preached, healed the sick, resurrected the dead, and performed many other miracles that if they were to be written specifically, the world itself would not be able to fit all the written books, says apostle John. In the time that this Life was on the earth in the face of Jesus Christ it could be seen, touched, observed. But how is it today? Where is the Eternal Life today that can be heard, touched, seen? How does this Life express itself today? Apostle John once again answers this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. IN HIM WAS LIFE. (John 1:1-4)
Very simply and clearly John expressed here of eternal life which is hidden in the pure Word of the mighty God, and expresses itself in a person through righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17) Blissful is the person who understood and obtained this Eternal Life! Eternal Life that was with the Father revealed itself to us just as it did to the apostles. Today we proclaim this Life to all people of the Earth through our sermons, poems, and songs.
The question arises, who are “We”? “We” – are Christians who by the great love and mercy of God understood that there is only one real Life and there is no other life. Earthly life is not the real life, but temporary, whatever kind of life it is, eventually it will come to an end and the person will pass into eternity whether he wants it or not, and it will be eternal darkness and death or Eternal Life in the Kingdom of God. By the great mercy of God the simple truth was revealed to us of Eternal Life that is hidden in the pure Word of God. In believing this Word – which is centered on the Calvary, where Jesus Christ fulfilled the redemption of people – Today every person has the opportunity to obtain this Life. We returned to the source of the pure teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles without adding anything to it or taking anything away from it, but believing in it as it was preached by the Lord Himself and His apostles.
Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. (2 John verse 9)