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Eternal Life

How can we have eternal life? Millions of people go through all types of religious exercises hoping they will be right with God when they die. They don't have any real assurance they will see Him in peace after their last breath. But there is hope. Let’s briefly look at the origin of sin, and God's redemptive plan of salvation for mankind.

God created man and breathed life into him, and he became a living soul. A triune being with a spirit, soul, and body.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 God gave man free reign over earth and told him to subdue it and have dominion over it and all creatures.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion... over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over... every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:26-28 

Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:15-17

Man was to govern the earth under God. He was authorized to rule the earth as God’s representative. However, man  disobeyed God and committed treason. His betrayal resulted in sin, death, and his fall from his God given authority. Genesis 3:1-24

"The wages of sin is death...." (Romans 6:23a)

This disobedience caused man to be spiritually dead, and eternally separated from God. He could no longer enjoy the sweet fellowship and communication he previously had with God. Now there was a barrier of fear, guilt, shame, and sense of condemnation.


The separation from God, caused by sin, is called spiritual death. It is the death God spoke of when He admonished Adam to never eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 

The union man previously enjoyed with God was broken and the penalty of death was now inevitable. Man's rebellion brought him under the control and power of the devil, who lured him into disobeying God. Man was now lost and a slave to sin. Yet, God saw his plight and provided a way for him and all mankind to escape the consequence of eternal death, and to have eternal life.

Not Religion

The Gospel of John it describes a religious leader coming to Jesus at night to ask Him questions about His ministry. Jesus seemed to ignore his inquiry and went straight to the heart of the matter. Here is what He said.

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again." John 3:5-7 NKJV

This statement had perplexed Nicodemus, so he questioned Jesus further.

Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? John 3:4 NKJV

Jesus patiently explained He was talking about a spiritual rebirth and not a natural one. 

Jesus answered, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:5-8 NKJV

Jesus gave Nicodemus understanding how he could be saved and receive eternal life. He foretold how He'd take the sin of the world upon Himself, as a substitutionary sacrifice, so anyone believing on Him could be redeemed,  saved from eternal death, and have the life of God. 

Not just eternal existence, but eternal life. Every person born will live eternally, but not everyone has eternal life. Eternal life is the life of God available to us through Jesus Christ. It is not just a quantity of life; it is a quality of life that only God possesses. 

Jesus further shared with Nicodemus a promise that applies to all who believe. It is the core of the gospel message or the “good news.”

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 NKJV

Salvation is not about us meriting an eternity with God in heaven by our own good works. Salvation is God freely bringing us to Himself,  through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. All we must do is accept His grace through faith.

Because God is just, there had to be punishment for sin. However, He's also a merciful God, so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to suffer the penalty for our sins, once and for all. (Isaiah 53:10-12; Hebrews 9:28)

God is pursuing us. Not to destroy us, but because He's amazingly in love with us. Salvation is God’s plan. It is His idea and remedy for our sins so He can be merciful and gracious to us for all eternity.

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19  

We cannot save ourselves. The penalty for sin is too costly.  Jesus willingly came and suffered in our place as as the spotless Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. Such love! The gospel and first epistle of John tell us how we can become the children of God and have eternal life.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12 

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3  And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11

We must choose to receive Him. God will not force Himself on anyone. He's given us a free will and the power to choose. He  extends an invitation for us to know Him and His Son Jesus Christ and to have eternal life.

By turning from our sin to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, we become born again, and obtain the gift of eternal life. This is God's eternal plan of salvation.

But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10 

Are you willing to confess Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life? Are you prepared to turn from your sinful ways to accept God’s boundless mercy and grace? 

God wants all men to be saved but leaves the choice to us. We can choose His plan for our lives or turn to our own sinful ways. 

If you have not committed your life to Christ, or are unsure of your salvation please surrender your life to Him today. 

Here is an example of a simple prayer you can pray to receive Christ today. You can repeat this prayer or use your own words to invite Him into your heart and life. 

“Jesus, I believe You are Lord, and You died on the cross and rose from the dead so my sins can be forgiven and I might have eternal life. Today, I receive You as Lord of my life.


Renew me and breathe Your life into my spirit. Cleanse me from all my sins and make me a new creation in You. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. Amen!”

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, I believe you were born again into new life, and your spirit has been made new. Welcome to the family of God!


Now ask God, your Heavenly Father, to give you grace to renew your mind, which is a separate part of your triune being (spirit, soul, and body). Our minds must be trained to walk in the ways of God each day. This is an ongoing process.

Find a Bible believing church or fellowship to attend. Read and meditate upon the scriptures (I suggest starting with the Gospel
of John and the book of Romans). Share your new faith with others. Pray and communicate with your Heavenly Father. Make it a priority to spend time  alone with Him and Christ each day.


If you do these things, you will grow spiritually in the Lord and be radically changed.

May God, our Heavenly Father, richly bless and keep you!

James Brown

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