How to Have Eternal Life

" many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name..." (John 1:12)

Jesus promises, that “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). If you have not done so already, pray to God to give you this new birth or regeneration. This requires “the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, He persuades and enables us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, WSC 31). The benefits this blessed salvation include justification, adoption and sanctification as described below.

WSC Q.33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

1 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He [the Father] made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Reformed theologians call this the great exchange; Christ took our sin and His obedience is reconned to out account when we put our faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior.

WSC Q.34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of, the sons of God.

As adopted children, we are no longer under God’s wrath and curse because “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). As Christians we continue to sin, yet God disciplines and redirects us as any loving father should.

WSC Q.35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.

We are not saved by good works yet true Christians will bear such fruit of sanctification if they truly are born of God. Jesus said, “every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Mat 7:17) and “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” The Westminster Confession says: “These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.” One essential fruit of true faith is “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).

If you would like to grow in your Christian faith, we highly recommend that you study Holy Scripture first and foremost. God’s Holy Scriptures are the ultimate, infallible source of eternal life. We firmly believe the Westminster Standards (Confession & catechisms) are the most faithful summary of what the Bible teaches. Prayerfully consider studying these resources following the link below. The free pdf files include an immense wealth of Scripture proof texts:

May God richly bless your studies!
Kevin Olivier