‘—-Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses’ (1Timothy 6:12)
Taking hold of your house after you have signed your deed is when you start living in it. Taking hold of your car after your have purchased it is to start driving it. Taking hold of an inheritance is when you begin to use it or spend it. ‘Taking hold’ is when you begin to truly own something you have been given. It is when you begin to experience something in a more intimate fashion. What does it mean to take hold of eternal life?
The first step is the realization that you have been granted eternal life- the most valuable possession any man can have! Paul reminds Timothy about this great calling which came into effect when he made his confession of faith in Christ Jesus. Recognizing this great calling is truly the first step but not enough to take hold of eternal life.
When Paul says that we can take hold of eternal life, it means that we can begin to experience eternal life right here on earth. We surely see the fullness of it after death, but it is a life that is begun to be experienced right here on earth. It indicates a radical departure from the way of life familiar to most men and to us before we came to the faith. It is a life where a man of God flees from worldliness and a love for pleasures. In the verses preceding this verse, Paul elaborates on this.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1Tim 6:10-12).
‘Flee’, ‘pursue’ and ‘fight’ are all action words that signify the need for a Christian to actively change the way he lives here on earth. Once called to be a follower of Christ, there are several things we need to run away from- things that have the potential to pull us down in our walk with the Lord. As we pursue godliness and persevere to incorporate Christian virtue into our lives, we need to struggle against our sinful natures that resist every move. But with time as these actions work out in our lives, we begin to experience God’s nature in a more definitive way, we see transformation occur in our lives and we find delight no longer in the pleasures of this world but in will of the Lord.
That is when eternal life begins right here in this world and that is when a Christian begins to take hold of the eternal life that has been granted to him.
- MYSTERY OF CHRIST