The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
Eternal Life is God’s marvelous gift to man. It is a priceless treasure given to those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a new life imparted to the believer by the Holy Spirit through the New Birth. God is the author and giver of both physical life and eternal life. There is no life apart from God, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Acts 17:28
“Everlasting Life is a jewel of too great a value to be purchased by the wealth of this world.”
The word “Life” is used in a variety of ways in scriptures, 1. Physical Life, Genesis 2:7, Mark 10:45, Acts 17:28, 2. The sum of man’s activities upon the earth, Luke 12:15, Acts 5:20, 26:4, 3. Eternal or everlasting life, Acts 11:18, 13:46-48, Matthew 18:8-9. It is this third area that we will consider in this article.
The Meaning of Eternal Life
The word “Eternal” is contrasted with the world temporal in II Corinthians 4:16-18 showing that it means everlasting, forever, perpetual, and never ending. Eternal life is the life of God imparted to the believer by the Holy Spirit through the new birth. It is literally a new life in Christ which grants us entrance into the kingdom of God, Matthew 18:8, 9, 19:17, 29, 25:46. It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27. The word eternal describes the length of salvation for the Christian, John 3:15-16, and the length of punishment for the unsaved, Mark 3:29. Eternal life does not mean everlasting existence, for all have that (including angels, fallen angels, devil and devils). Everyone will live somewhere for all eternity. But eternal life is the opposite of eternal damnation. That is, those who possess this life will escape judgment.
The sinner is dead to the things of God and must be regenerated, Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:17. But, at the moment of conversion he becomes partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life. The best definition of eternal life is found in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” This chapter describes the intercessory prayer of Christ. In verse 3, eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ. This knowledge is more than mere intellectual understanding. But, it is to be brought into a right relationship (union) with God through Jesus Christ. It is a moral knowledge and a personal experience with the Savior. It is to have fellowship with God and His Son. The entire book of John deals with eternal life. The author says he wrote the gospel in order that ye might have life (chapter 20:31). The greatest word in this gospel is life.
Eternal life is equivalent to “entering into the kingdom of God” or “laying up treasures in Heaven” in the following verses, (Matthew 18:8-9, 19:17, 19:29, 25:46, Mark 9:43-46). To enter into life and entering into the kingdom are basically the same. Both refer to that spiritual realm of Heaven in which God reigns.
Please note, the word eternal is used to describe God in Duet. 33:27, to describe the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 9:14, and our redemption in Hebrews 9:12.
The Means of Eternal Life
There is no such thing as having eternal life apart from the Son. Neither is it possible to have the Son without having eternal life. If you have the Son you have eternal life and if you have eternal life, it is because you have the Son, I John 5:11-13, (And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God).
The Lord Jesus is called the “Prince of Life” in Acts 3:15. He said of himself in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life”, John 6:48, “I am that bread of life”, and in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Eternal life is in Jesus Christ and those who exercise faith in him are brought into a relationship whereby they partake of this life, John 5:24, 29, 6:47, 63, 68.
Please consider the following facts about eternal life (I John 5:11), Christ is the source of eternal life. I John 5:12, it is a present possession and you can know that you have it (I John 5:13). According to Titus 1:1-2, it was promised before the world began and revealed to us through the gospel, (II Timothy 1:10). Eternal Life received by faith (I Timothy 1:16). According to Romans 5:10, it was mediated by Christ’s death and became a reality to the believer by his resurrection (Romans 6:11). It is imparted to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2, 6, 9, 10) and gives conquering power over sin and death (Romans 5:17-19). Eternal life also guarantees a glorious future to the Christian (John 6:54, 11:23-26, 5:24-29).
According to Revelation 20:14-15, those who have eternal life are written in the “Book of Life” and those whose names are not in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire which is the second death. Please not, the Book of Life is simply a book containing the names of those who possess eternal life and participate in the first resurrection, Revelation 20:5-6.
The Magnitude of Eternal Life
According to the Scriptures, Eternal Life is available to everyone. The Lord Jesus said in John 3:15, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” In verse 16, it is called everlasting life. But if this life is rejected the wrath of God abideth upon the individual according to verse 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
In conclusion, eternal life is the “gift” of God according to Romans 6:23. A gift is something not earned by our own merits. If we work for something, it is not a gift. Eternal life is something given to each believer based upon the merits of Jesus Christ. If we can earn salvation, why did he die?
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:27-28
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523