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Eternal Life

Everyone lives forever but not everyone has eternal life. All humans are eternal beings; we each have a beginning, the day we were born, but no end. Humans were created by God to live forever.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. —Genesis 2:7

Adam and Eve were brought into existence by the breath of God Himself. This living being that God created will never cease to exist. Every human being is a spirit being. This spirit being lives in a physical body and because of sin, the physical body will die. However, the spirit being or the real person will never cease to exist.

What does the Bible say about physical death?

These next two verses are specifically talking about physical death:

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. —Hebrews 9:27

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. —Philippians 1:21-24

Paul talks of physical death as a departure from life on Earth. He refers to life on Earth as “remaining in the flesh.” Death is not referred to as annihilation but as a transition to the afterlife.

In Second Corinthians, he describes physical death as being absent from the body.

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. —2 Corinthians 5:8

We have examples in the Bible of people who had died physically and, subsequently, come back from the grave to interact with those who were still alive on Earth. Samuel came from the afterlife to speak to King Saul. Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and spoke with Jesus.

There is also the example of the rich man who lifted up his eyes in Hades and begged for a drink of water from Lazarus the beggar. Notice, the rich man knew who Lazarus was, and he remembered his brothers on Earth. His mental faculties were still intact along with his memory. He was alive, but he did not possess eternal life.

John 5:28-29 assures us that life continues beyond the grave:

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

The Apostle Paul spoke of life after death in First Corinthians 15:32 by saying that if the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

Everyone lives forever, but not everyone has eternal life.

Anyone can have eternal life, but not everyone does. Paul describes unbelievers as those who are alienated from the life of God.

Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; —Ephesians 4:18

The Apostle John confirms that not everyone has eternal life:

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. —1 John 5:11-12

Living forever cannot be the same thing as having eternal life because we know every human being lives forever, but this verse makes it very clear that not everyone has eternal life, “He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

This is also made clear in John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Eternal life is a gift from God.

The Good News is that eternal life is a gift from God anyone can receive. In fact, receiving eternal life is the very heart of the Gospel.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” —John 6:40

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. —1 John 5:11-12

Anyone can receive the gift of eternal life by simply believing on Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Savior.

What is eternal life?

The Greek word for eternal life in the New Testament is zoe.

It is defined as life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself… (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary).

Vines Dictionary goes on to say:

Eternal life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ, John 5:24; 1 John 3:14, and that it will one day extend its domain to the sphere of the body is assured by the Resurrection of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:4…

Zoe is a divine substance, God’s nature. It is not just something you do—for example, “live forever.” It is something you have. It is tangible, measurable and transferrable. It is like a river made up of the very nature of God—a heavenly material like water or blood. It is a divine substance. 

Jesus described it in this way to the woman at the well, when He said, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life,” (Jn. 4:14).

Eternal life, zoe, flows into a person when they are born again. It is the divine nature of God. It flows through God; it is the same life that is in God. John 5:26 says, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself….” This is the life He makes available to those who accept Him.

Eternal life or zoe lasts forever without diminishing or degrading. It will not tarnish or grow old over time. Its quality makes it eternal. It is timeless, therefore, eternal and this life is in you! If you are a Christian, you have been made alive with the life of God. Think about that. Count on it; speak it over yourself. You have the same life in you that God has in Him. The same life that flows through God’s veins flows through your spirit!

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins… —Ephesians 2:1

The Wade translation says, He has made us spiritually alive together with the Christ.”

Ephesians 2:5 speaks of the same experience: even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

The Good News Bible says, “But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience, he brought us to life with Christ….”

The Amplified Bible says, “…He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life which He quickened Him.”

The Way Translation says, “Even when in trespasses we lay dead, thrilled us with the same new life wherewith He quickened our Messiah – By free grace alone ye have obtained salvation!”

In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul reminds them too that they had been made alive with Christ.

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him… —Colossians 2:13

The Way Translation says, “…you, God thrilled with the same new life of Jesus.

That is powerful! You have the same life in you that God has in Him. It is His nature in you! Paul prayed that “you would know what is the exceeding greatness of His power at work in you…” (Eph. 1:19).

This understanding will help you as you renew your mind and see yourself after the spirit.

You are more than a conqueror. You have the life of God in you—eternal life.

Remind yourself of these things. Read this article over and over again and let these truths explode in your spirit. As you continue to meditate on these verses, they will bring you up to a new level of faith and victory in your life.

One day very soon, this eternal life in our spirits will extend its domain to our physical bodies and they will be made immortal. Physical death will be no more; it will be swallowed up by life.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” —1 Corinthians 15:52-54

What a day that will be! We have so much to look forward to.

I am so glad that good is greater than evil, light is greater than darkness and life is greater than death!

Let me close with this verse from First John:

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. —1 John 5:13

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