Eternal Life: Why It Cannot Be Earned

Published on Mar 13, 2024
Category: Behold!

Listen to Audio Devotion

Read: Matthew 19

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?

Matthew 19:16

Jesus is the source of 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 who needs be saved by doing, Christ sets him to do that 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

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


Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

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