The notion of eternal life is so central to our Christian faith that we may find ourselves thinking in too limited a way about what its promise truly means for us.
Our natural inclination can be to “ignore” that which is most familiar . . . what deep renewal awaits us, then, when we reimagine the peace, purpose, and power that God’s promise of eternal life brings to us right now. Eternal life becomes then not just something anticipated but also something experienced today as we keep God at the forefront of our lives.
Eternal life of course refers to continued life after death. Our Apostles Creed reads: “I believe … in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve lost their way because they disobeyed God. But in the New Testament, Jesus’ perfect obedience to God wins the reward of eternal life for all of humanity.
We don’t gain eternal life as a reward for our own good works, though—we gain it through Christ alone. His saving power is transferred to us for trusting in Him. There’s no other way to get it except by faith alone. We can’t merit it, earn it, or deserve it. We must draw continually closer to Jesus so that our trust in Him cannot wane. When we put our trust in Christ, who alone is worthy of the gift of eternal life, He in turn gives eternal life to us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
If trusting in Christ is the path to eternal life, what does that mean for our lives right now? God has let us know He has planted eternity in our human hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He does this so that we will know and love Him. Unending life with God is with us now, making us holy and allowing us to experience life on earth more abundantly. Above all, and always, we acknowledge that He is always part of us.
Truly beholding Jesus means putting our faith and trust in Him every day. Life can be hard, but the Word of God and the gift of eternal life that we accept from Him give us peace and hope in the midst of every difficulty, and lead us always back to Him.