The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 47 of 141
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The Epistles of I John and Jude.
pp. 139-144
We now approach the last of the references to aionian life contained in Scripture. Six
are found in I John and one in Jude.
It will be remembered that the apostle John tells us the object with which he wrote the
Gospel that bears his name, and it may help us to compare the author's own explanation
of his object before we proceed further:--
"These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (John 20: 31).
"These things have I written unto you; that ye may know that ye have aionian life,
even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5: 13, R.V.).
The epistle differs from the Gospel in this, that while the Gospel was written in order
to bring about faith in Christ and aionian life as a result of believing, the epistle addresses
those who are believers, bringing before them scriptural evidences that they may know
that they have this life. Notice how this different viewpoint is evident at the beginning.
The Gospel opens with the words, "In the beginning was the Word", and takes us back
"before the foundation of the world".  The epistle, however, commences with the
manifestation of the Word as man, "That which was from the beginning" (see 2: 7, 24).
Something evidential is in mind all the way through these introductory sentences,
something "heard", and "seen", and "contemplated", and "handled". In other words, as
verse 2 continues, "the life was MANIFESTED". The epistle proceeds to "shew unto" us
"that aionian life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us".  The
declaration of that which John had "seen and heard" was with a view, among other
things, to fellowship, fellowship among one another, and fellowship with the Father, and
with His Son Jesus Christ.  The message so impressively given, attended by such
witnesses, made manifest in such a Person, is this, "GOD IS LIGHT". Before it was
written, GOD IS LOVE, stand the words, God is light; this should correct the departure
from revelation towards philosophy which is manifested in the words of those who say
that whatever God may or may not do in the punishment of the wicked, all must be in
accord with this one fact, GOD IS LOVE. This we believe to be a grave error; it would
be nearer the truth to say that all God's dealings with all His creatures must accord with
these two facts that God is light and God is love. What place is there for love in the
Judge who without respect of persons is to pronounce guilty or not guilty? Light is the
focussing expression of all the attributes of the divine Judge.
"Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds should be reproved, but he
that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are
wrought in God" (John 3: 20, 21).
The aionian life which is given by God upon faith in His Son was fully manifested in
the faith, the life, and the walk of the Lord Jesus Christ. No one can have this life who
abides not in Christ.