"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
If the essence of eternal life is the knowledge of the Father and the Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, we must determine to establish such truth deeply within our hearts.
By definition - "this is life eternal" - the knowledge of the Father and the Son will forever be our holy occupation. Forever has already begun for born again believers because in the present tense, the Apostle John wrote, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13). We are not waiting for eternal life, therefore, but have already received it in the person of the Spirit of Christ. Eternity's occupation is therefore today's occupation, and as a matter of both doctrine and personal devotion, we must set out sails to the wind of knowing the Father and the Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
This will involves countless expressions of such glorious truth revealed in our lives. First, we determine to acknowledge the God-exalting and self-decentralizing truth that the relationship of God the Father and God the Son is the most important reality and relationship in our lives. We therefore seek to grow in our knowledge of this holy and eternal bond by searching the Scriptures for increasing light concerning this most vital of truths. "In Thy light shall we see light" declared the Psalmist, and there is no brighter illumination than the Divine and triune relationship that constitutes the very essence of reality (Psalm 36:9).
We also accept the stunning and seemingly impossible truth that faith in the Lord Jesus has brought the wonder that is the love of God into the humble manger, as it were, that is ourselves. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). Note that the Apostle Paul does not write that God's love is revealed to us, but "in" us. This proclaims the fulfillment of our Lord's intercessory prayer chronicled in John 17.
"And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me" (John 17:22-23).
Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son have come and made their abode with us (John 14:23). We may not always remember such truth. We may not even have known it until now. And we surely do not always live as if it is true. But it always is. Born again believers are the temple of the love of God for His Son, and His Son's reciprocal response of devotion. We will eternally serve as perhaps the most vivid display of the love of God to His universe, a display made all the more glorious because it will take place in those whose former existence involved the necessity of God the Father, for our sakes, pouring out the fullness of His wrath upon the Son of His love. "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). No answer was forthcoming from the Father who had turned away from the Lord Jesus during the blackness of darkness that enshrouded the cross. But the answer came to us, and it speaks to us even now. Yes, to the proportionate degree that our Savior was abandoned at Calvary, we have been received into the very heart of God Himself. Again, we have become the temple wherein the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have made their eternal dwelling place, and wherein the love of God will be forever known both in and by us. Little wonder, therefore, that "this is life eternal," and little question that this hope of glory should be the truth that most leads, motivates, and enables us.
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (John 14:16-20).