HOW TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE
Date: October 5
Category: New Life in God
"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgement [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life."
This verse is so powerful! It's so significant for us, who are called by Jesus' name, to pay attention to this verse. As you can see, we have already passed over out of death into life because of Jesus Christ. The moment we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have passed from eternal damnation to eternal salvation. Our salvation is based upon our faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross of Calvary. The moment that we accept Jesus into our hearts, we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness where Satan dwells into the kingdom of light where God dwells.
The moment we made that decision, we received eternal life. But not only did we receive eternal life in heaven after we die and leave this earth, but Jesus says that we possess eternal life even now while we are still on the earth. Having eternal life now means that we are guided by a life that is different than just being guided by our emotions and feelings. Because we have accepted Christ, we have the Holy Spirit leading us and by that leading, we now possess eternal life.
This verse explains to us how that happens. First, Jesus says here, "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you." That means that what Jesus is about to say is a very significant and vital truth for us to know. Then He says, "the person whose ears are open to My words." Everyone has ears. Sometimes our ears are open to gossip and slander. Sometimes our ears are open to hearing the words of movie stars and musicians. We all have ears to hear, but we are the ones who choose what we are going to hear. But Jesus says here that we should have an ear to hear His words, meaning we have to listen to His messages. That's the first step to receiving eternal life, both in heaven and on the earth.
We need eternal life now as well as in heaven. Jesus said that He came to bring us life and that more abundantly, meaning to the fullness until it overflows (John 10:10). If you want an abundant life, then you need to have an open ear to hear His words. The Bible is not just a holy book. It's the book of life for us here on the earth. We gain in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, success, happiness, joy, peace, and power by having the Word of God within us. When we receive the Word, we become imparted with the things of God. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the Word of God is spirit and life so when we take the Word into our hearts, we are receiving God's spirit and His life into our lives.
Along with having our ears open to the Word, Jesus also says that the person who "believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me" will have eternal life. The first step is having an open ear to hear the Word of God. The second step is to believe the Word of God that you've heard. But there is no way you can believe the Word without hearing the Word first. The Word that we hear becomes the basis of our belief. But there is to be a willingness on our part to believe because believing is a choice. In Romans 10:17 it says, "So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself)." Faith increases by the Word of God. So in order to have more faith, then you have to have more of the Word within you.
Since we have eternal life, both on this earth and in heaven, Jesus also says that we will not come into judgment or condemnation. In Romans 8:1 it says, "Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit." So we do not have to experience punishment for our sins because Christ has already paid the penalty for the sins of the world. All we have to do is accept Him into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior and walk after the dictates of the Spirit, meaning take on God's nature. We do that by hearing, believing, and obeying His words.