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Eternal Life: Why It Cannot Be Earned

Read: Matthew 19

Matthew 19:16 – Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

Jesus is the source of eternal life. We have eternal life when we trust Him.

The question by this rich young man, what must I do to get eternal life, demonstrates the thinking of most people, that eternal life can be earned. And Jesus’ response is straightforward. If you think that eternal life can be gained by your doing, then you must keep the commandments – fully and completely. “He would needs be saved by doing, Christ sets him that to do which no man living can do, and so shows him his error.” (Trapp). The man claims to have kept all the commandments, but still feels he lacks something and soon goes away disappointed because he was not willing to part with his wealth.

Eternal life is the gift of God to all who trust in Jesus as Savior (Romans 6:23). It cannot be earned. No amount of good work will achieve it. Eternal life is not just quantity but also quality of life. Jesus is the source of eternal life and whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. The focus of eternal life is our current standing in Christ (John 5:24, John 6:47). Jesus equates eternal life with knowledge of God and of the Son (John 17:6, John 14:9). Simply put – whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11-12).

To have eternal life – recognize that we have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) and accept the gift of God by accepting Christ as Savior (Romans 6:23). Have you decided to follow Jesus?

Scripture Writing: Romans 6:23

Song: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

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  1. Pingback: Jesus’ Heart for His People: Finding Safely and Nourishment Under His Wings - Find Rest My Soul

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