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What exactly is eternal life? If you’re thinking about your former life, before you knew Christ, you probably have the wrong idea. Even your current life as a believer, can’t compare because it has pain and suffering mixed into it.
Eternal life is far superior in both its quality and its quantity. Your former life and your present life can’t be the real-life Jesus talks about as He prays to the Father.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.John 17:3
This makes sense, doesn’t it? Only a few chapters earlier Jesus proclaimed He is life.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
Eternal life encompasses more than simply the quality of being unending in duration.
Eternal Life is Strong
Eternal life could also be called “strong life.” It’s not weak, frail, or sickly. When you receive eternal life it preserves you without fail. Jesus is faithful to finish the work He started in you and He lives forever, never ceasing to intercede on your behalf (Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 7:24-25).
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.Jude 1:24 NLT
If you know Jesus, you abide with Him and are connected to Him forever. God’s strength keeps you safe.
A person cannot become strong without first becoming connected. If a person stays separated from Christ, the person remains weak and can’t accomplish anything worthwhile (2 Corinthians 12:10, John 15:5).
Eternal Life is Abundant
If you know Jesus, you have abundant life, not insufficient life. To know Jesus is to have eternal life: Life to the fullest. Eternal life is the fullest sense of life. You can live the high life. The worldly definition of high life is an extravagant or luxurious style of living. The life Jesus offers is something else entirely.
Jesus is inviting you into the spiritual high life. To possess the spiritual high life is to have spiritual eyes which enable you to see and know God’s spiritual realities. You can grow in knowing God’s goodness, experiencing the full height, depth, and breadth of best God has to offer.
Eternal Life is Nourishing
If you know Jesus, you have nourishing life, not junk-food life. You can begin to experience this spiritual nourishment today, but you can’t fully experience it until your time on earth has passed. In this context, we can say that knowing Jesus is having an ongoing relationship with Him. You don’t have to know Him completely, yet, to possess eternal life.
To begin receiving spiritual food, you only need access to God through the way: Jesus Christ. The entering into God’s eternal care is life itself.
When something is eternal, it transcends time. Therefore, you can describe the new life you possess now in past, present, and future terms. You have already secured it; You are in the process of receiving more of it; And, you will receive it totally when you leave your current physical body.
Eternal Life is Forever
If you know Jesus you have eternal life, not temporary life. Something that is temporary is brief, limited, makeshift, perishable, substitutionary, transient. It’s meant to be replaced. If anything in the Bible is meant to be temporary, it’s the old covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13). Something that is eternal is abiding, boundless, constant, enduring, everlasting. It never needs to be replaced. It never breaks down. It never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8-12).
What kind of life do you want? What kind of life do you have?
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.