“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:11)
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11)
“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
Grace is the gift of God that brings us Eternal Life. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
It may be helpful to some, as it is me, to think about the grace of God that enables us to have ETERNAL life.
First, we need to explain what ETERNAL means, (I know, but some “scholars” try to tell us it doesn’t mean what we think it means). It means EVERLASTING; perpetual, forever, ongoing. We look forward to a time when we can live with the Lord forever and ever.
How to attain to Eternal life is TAUGHT by the Word of Christ. “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (Joh 6:68). “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (John 6:27). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). We would know nothing about it separate and apart from the revealed will of God in the Scriptures.
Eternal life is our lifelong EXPECTATION of hope that is in Christ. “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (1John 2:25). “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2; 3:7). “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:7). Without eternal life, where is the hope?
Eternal life is for the RIGHTEOUS as defined by God. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt 25:46). “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:21). We are made righteous through the blood of Christ when we are baptized into Christ (Rom 5:9; Rev 1:5).
There is a NEGATIVE aspect to eternal life. The same length of eternity that awaits those that are in Christ also awaits those who are outside of Christ. The difference will be location. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41-46). “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation” (Mark 3:29). “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thess 1:9). “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7). Some will claim that the lost will be annihilated; the scriptures teach something different.
Back to the positive aspects of eternal life. We can be ASSURED of eternal life by our faithfulness to Christ. “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” (1John 5:13). When our faith begins to waver, perhaps it’s an indication of a need to study His word, examine ourselves, and make correction so we may return to that confidence we have in Christ. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1John 2:28; cf Heb 3:14; 10:22).
We can LAY HOLD of eternal life; “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses… Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1Tim 6:12, 19). This is done when we remain in the LOVE of Christ. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:21). We love God when we keep His commandments. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1John 5:3; cf John 14:15). The New Testament Scriptures are consistent on this point. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:8). “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb 5:9).
If you are in the Borger area and would like to attend one of the services of the church of Christ at Franklin and Juniper, click here for location, and time.