1 John 1:2
“The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.”
In the beginning of the First Epistle of John, the apostle declares that Jesus is the source of life. At the end of the epistle, John declares it again:”And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5.11-12)
What is this “life” that Jesus brings and that John declares?
Jesus has restored to us the life that we lost at the Fall. Genesis 2.7 tells us a very important truth about man’s origin, identity, and purpose. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
The life that God gave to man was much more than simply biological existence. It was spiritual life. Indeed, it was life made in God’s own image (Genesis 1.26-28). What distinguishes man from the rest of creation is that we were given unique attributes that God Himself possesses. We were given this special life — the image of God — so that we could be the agent of God’s kingdom on earth. God’s plan was very straightforward: Give man His image, God rules man, and man rules earth as God’s representative.
However, under the external influence of Satan’s deception, and in response to their own internal selfish impulses, Adam and Eve chose to reject the authority and character of God (Genesis 3). They rejected God’s rule. As a consequence, the life in man – the image of God in man – was broken.
After the Fall, man still retained his fundamental human attributes. But the devastating impact of sin was that man’s fundamental human attributes no longer functioned properly. This is the “death” which God had warned Adam and Eve about. Death is brokenness.
The good news is that Christ has redeemed us, reconciled us to God, and restored the life that we lost at the Fall. Christ restores the image of God in us. The challenge is to live in response to our new, restored life and not in reaction to our old, distorted condition of death.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5.24)