In the last blog I mentioned the crucial NT phrase eternal life. This is an often-misunderstood concept. Eternal life is not spatial—it is not out beyond the stars wherever God might be. It is not chronological—out there in time after we die. Nor does it have to do with mere duration—ongoing, never ending life.
Eternal life is never ending, but it cannot be reduced to just that. It is not a quantitative concept. It is a qualitative term. It has mostly to do with a kind of life. This is what Jesus meant, when at the end of the Sermon on the Mount he said:
These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on.
When the thought is “Christian Spirituality”, it is our actual life that is always in view. Not some hoped for life to come. For instance many people think: “life will be better when all the kids are in school”, or “life will be good when we are out of debt” or, “life will be different when I can retire…or when I die”, etc. That is called wishing your life away.
The option, in the way of Jesus, is to find the goodness of God in your actual present life. To hear his teachings, place your confidence in him as Master and Teacher, and then make his words the foundation of your life. As we do, we connect with the telos of God—to have a people for himself who are his cooperative friends in this life and the life to come.