"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent" (John 17:3).
Eternal life is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe in him ("... He [the Son] should give eternal life to as many as You [the Father] have given Him", John 17:2). Also, it is the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven which comes upon us when we apprehend the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ ("But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God has come upon you", Luke 11:20). This life starts here on earth and continues for ever in the life to come.
Here (John 17:3) Jesus Christ confirms that eternal life is the knowledge of God through the person of Jesus Christ. "Knowledge" here does not mean the theoretical intellectual knowledge, but the spiritual knowledge based on experience, communion, living and tasting. Briefly, the means for this experience and communion are 1- in the sacrament of thanksgiving, in which we experience eternal life by receiving the body of Christ that was broken (Acts 2:24), and his blood that was shed: "if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever" (John 6:51), and 2- in the mystery of the word - the word of God - the voice of God in the Holy Bible, which gives eternal life when it is heard "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63), "He that hears My word, and believes in Him who sent me, has everlasting life" (John 5:24). This second means is the subject of the present "Short Notes".
So, the Holy Bible is the word of God to mankind.....and when we read it we know God's purpose in our life. It is important to understand that there is a personal message from God to every one of us in every passage we read in the Holy Bible, despite the widely different topics of these passages. And the messages change to suit the particular circumstances that the person is facing. These messages include knowledge, prophecy, comfort and guidance. They expose the desires and pleasures of the inner person. They motivate the will in the direction of goodness, sanctification and repentance. And, in brief, they give life, strength, hope and faith.
If you approach the word of God in this spirit ... and in readiness to receive the word of God ... and obedience to God's commandments ... surrendering your heart to the work of the word ... the Holy Bible will become the partner of your life and its light until the last hour.
We will try in this message and in forthcoming ones to introduce a simple syllabus to help you to read the word of God, understand it and become enlightened by it's light. And we leave you in the hands of the Holy Spirit that He might guide you to God's purpose in what you read, and guide your steps to its depth to gain the spiritual experience, and the interaction with the word as a continuously renewed field, in which the heroes of faith become alive among us, and the past in flesh becomes the present in the Spirit, and through Him.
To follow an organized program in our studies, we shall start by a brief outline of the books of the Holy Bible, followed by general comments on the Old Testament, then an introduction to the Book of Genesis. We hope that the book of Genesis will become the subject of the daily Bible study for all of us in the coming days until we meet again in the next "Short Notes".