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Eternal Life -- in Depth    Listen to .mp3 propecy podcasts.

Lyn Mize

This is a dissertation by Lyn Mize on the Biblical definition of eternal life. Every Scripture in the Bible with the phrase eternal life is explained in its context.

The Biblical definition of eternal life is given in Romans 2:7. It is the receipt of glory, honor and immortality of the soul for those Christians who persevere in doing good works in the power of the Spirit. God gives two kinds of gifts. One kind is unconditional and the other kind is conditional. The Abrahamic Covenant is an example of an unconditional gift to the elect nation of Israel, God’s firstborn son. The kingdom of heaven is an example of a conditional gift that was given to Israel, but because of their disobedience and rejection of their King, the kingdom was taken away from them and given to a nation bringing forth fruits. That nation is the Church. The following is the proof text for this truth:

(Mat 21:43 KJV)  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, (i.e., Israel) and given to a nation (i.e., the Church) bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Spirit salvation is an unconditional gift to the elect group of Jews and Gentiles called the Church. There is no condition attached to this gift, so it is unconditional. Soul salvation is a conditional gift that requires works in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, soul salvation, which is the same as eternal life, is a conditional gift. We will see in this study of the phrase “eternal life” in the Bible that eternal life is truly a gift from God, but it must be sought after by the Christian and the Christian must lay hold  on it. The failure of the Christian to lay hold on eternal life results in the loss of reward. The Christian still goes to heaven and he is still conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, but he fails to enter the kingdom of heaven and reign and rule with Jesus Christ in the millennial kingdom. Nevertheless, the loss is real and serious, as there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the terror of the Lord will be manifested to these Christians whose lives are burned up as wood, hay and stubble.

The reason for the rift between Calvinists and Arminians is the failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth and understand the difference between the spirit and the soul. The salvation of the spirit is eternally secure, and the phrase once saved, always saved is true for the spirit. The salvation of the soul is conditional upon good works, so it is not eternally secure and can be lost at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Spirit salvation secures one’s entrance into heaven, but soul salvation or eternal life secures one’s entrance into the kingdom of heaven, which is the reward of ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ in his millennial kingdom. Heaven and the kingdom of heaven are not the same. Please read the following articles for an in-depth understanding of the phrase kingdom of heaven, the difference between spirit and soul, and the difference between eternal security, which pertains to the spirit, and eternal life, which pertains to the soul: Heaven vs the Kingdom of Heaven, Eternal Life, Salvation past, present and future, The Book of Life and To Perish or not to Perish.

The transliterated Greek phrase for eternal life is aionios zoe and it is found 44 times in the New Testament. This study takes a look at every time it is used in the New Testament, and it places these verses in their context in order to understand the meaning of eternal life. Every time that it is used in the New Testament, it is used with the definition given in Romans 2:7, which means that eternal life pertains to the soul and not the spirit. This is not to say that the spirit of the regenerated Christian can or will ever die or perish. The spirit of the regenerated Christian is immortal and cannot die, but the Biblical definition of eternal life does not pertain to the spirit.

The following passage is the first use of the phrase “eternal life” in the New Testament. Please note that it pertains to good works and keeping the Ten Commandments, which is works.

(Mat 19:16 KJV)  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
(Mat 19:17 KJV)  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
(Mat 19:18 KJV)  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
(Mat 19:19 KJV)  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(Mat 19:20 KJV)  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
(Mat 19:21 KJV)  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
(Mat 19:22 KJV)  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
(Mat 19:23 KJV)  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 19:24 KJV)  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Mat 19:25 KJV)  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
(Mat 19:26 KJV)  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
(Mat 19:27 KJV)  Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
(Mat 19:28 KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
(Mat 19:29 KJV)  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

In this passage of Scripture a person comes to Jesus (vs. 16) and asks what good works he can do to have eternal life. The first thing that Jesus does is to ask why this person calls him “good” because only God is good. This statement was inserted to establish that this person asking Jesus an important question was a believer in Jesus, and was aware that He is the Messiah. Jesus next clarifies that eternal life is attained by good works in keeping the commandments. When the person states that he had been keeping the commandments since his youth, Jesus does not question his statement. It should be clear that this person had been striving since his youth to keep the commandments. Of course, he would have sinned during this time, but clearly he was being cleansed of his sin on a regular basis, and most certainly celebrated the Feast of Atonement each year to have his sins washed away. This is why Jesus did not question his statement that he was keeping the Ten Commandments.

Jesus tells the individual in verse 19 that if he wants to be made complete (i.e., be perfect) in his spiritual walk with God, then he needs to sell all of his possessions, give it to the poor and to come be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus states that this was the one thing that he lacked. Clearly, the individual was walking worthy in his spiritual walk with God, but he was deceived by riches and caught up in the cares of this world. This was the one thing that would keep him from entering into the kingdom to reign and rule with Jesus Christ. The rich man departs very sad because he was not able to give away all of his wealth.

Jesus then goes on to tell his disciples that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus even employs hyperbole in his statement about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Hyperbole is simply gross exaggeration to make a point, and the point is that rich men lean more heavily on their riches than they lean on God, and this will prevent them from receiving their inheritance (i.e., reward) in the kingdom of heaven.

The disciples were amazed at this teaching and asked how anyone can be saved. Of course, they are referring to soul salvation and not spirit salvation. Jesus tells them that it is impossible for men to realize soul salvation in the power of the flesh, but they can realize soul salvation in the power of the Holy Spirit by crucifying self and allowing Christ to live his life in the Christian. The spirit is saved by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, but the soul is saved by faithfully crucifying self and faithfully living the life of Christ. Spirit salvation is the justification by faith but soul salvation is the justification by works described in James.

Peter then asks Jesus what their reward will be, since they have forsaken everything to follow Jesus as disciples. Jesus promptly rebukes him for being interested in reward—NOT. Jesus tells Peter that because of their faithfulness in being disciples, they will sit upon twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Reigning and ruling with Christ in his millennial kingdom is the reward for living by faith and laying hold on eternal life.

Verse 29 confirms without question that eternal life is the REWARD for putting Jesus first in one’s life above family, friends and everything. The reward is a hundredfold over what the individual has given up in this life, and eternal life is the receipt of glory and honor in the coming kingdom, and the person will be remembered throughout eternity for his faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the immortality of the soul, and is the meaning of soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Thus, soul salvation and eternal life are one and the same.

The following passage is the sheep and goat judgment in the Olivet Discourse. The Church has no part in this judgment, and the Jews will have already been judged at the time of this judgment. This is a judgment on the Gentiles who will go through the seven-year tribulation period, and the judgment is based on how they treat the Jews during the time of Jacob’s trouble, which is the last half of the tribulation period. Please read my exegesis of the Olivet Discourse for an in-depth understanding of the sheep and goat judgment: The Olivet Discourse.

(Mat 25:31 KJV)  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
(Mat 25:32 KJV)  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd
divideth his sheep from the goats:
(Mat 25:33 KJV)  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

(Mat 25:34 KJV)  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

(Mat 25:35 KJV)  For I was
an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
(Mat 25:36 KJV) 
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
(Mat 25:37 KJV)  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee
an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
(Mat 25:38 KJV)  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?
or naked, and clothed thee?
(Mat 25:39 KJV)  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

(Mat 25:40 KJV)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

(Mat 25:41 KJV)  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:

(Mat 25:42 KJV)  For I was
an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
(Mat 25:43 KJV)  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

(Mat 25:44 KJV)  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

(Mat 25:45 KJV)  Then shall he answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
(Mat 25:46 KJV)  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Please note that the issue in this passage of Scripture is works, which are the ways the Gentiles treated the brethren of Jesus during the time of Jacob’s trouble. All of these people are saved Gentiles during the tribulation period. Else, they would have been cast into the winepress of the wrath of God, and they would not be resurrected for another thousand years for the Great White Throne Judgment. Those who have performed well in their treatment of the Jews will enter into life eternal.  Those who have performed poorly in their treatment of the Jews will “go away into everlasting punishment”. The Greek word for “go away” means to have good things taken away from a person. The Greek word for everlasting is aionios and means everlasting. The Greek word for “punishment” means penalty. Thus, the judgment that takes place for these Gentiles is for eternity, and the actual penalty is the loss of their souls, along with the loss of glory and honor. The loss of reward is forever. Just as the loss of Esau’s birthright was without repentance, the loss of the Christian’s inheritance is without repentance.

There is a just recompense of reward for all of God’s elect: Jews, Church and Gentiles saved outside of the Church Age. There is a negative side to the just recompense of reward, and the negative consequences are forever.

The following passage in Mark is the same as that given above in Matthew. Please note that eternal life is the inheritance, and the inheritance can be lost. This is a primary teaching throughout Scripture. The prodigal son wasted (i.e., lost) his inheritance and the loss was forever. He was still saved and was still forgiven by the father, but his inheritance was gone forever. Everything the father had belonged to the elder son, who remained faithful to the father. Esau also lost his inheritance (i.e., birthright) because he despised (i.e., did not think much) of it. He thought so little of his inheritance, that he sold it for a bowl of red stew.

Numerous Christians have no regard for their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and they will forfeit their inheritance and fail to reign and rule with Jesus Christ in his coming kingdom. All Christians will go to heaven, but numerous Christians will fail to enter the kingdom of God. Kingdom literally means “king’s dominion” and it refers to the regal authority belonging to a king to exercise authority in reigning and ruling. Heaven is a place but the kingdom of heaven is the reign and rule of a sovereign. The phrases “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are never used in Scripture as being synonymous with heaven. Heaven is the place where all Christians go, but the kingdom of heaven is the government of Jesus Christ when he will reign and rule over the earth from the New Jerusalem.

(Mark 10:17 KJV)  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
(Mark 10:18 KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, Why
callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
(Mark 10:19 KJV)  Thou
knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
(Mark 10:20 KJV)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

(Mark 10:21 KJV)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,
One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
(Mark 10:22 KJV)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

(Mark 10:23 KJV)  And Jesus looked round about, and
saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
(Mark 10:24 KJV)  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus again, and
answereth saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
(Mark 10:25 KJV)  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

(Mark 10:26 KJV)  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among
themselves, Who then can be saved?
(Mark 10:27 KJV)  And Jesus looking upon them
saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
(Mark 10:28 KJV)  Then Peter began to say unto him,
Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
(Mark 10:29 KJV)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

(Mark 10:30 KJV)  But he shall receive
an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
(Mark 10:31 KJV)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

The issues and judgments that apply in the Matthew and Mark sections above also apply in the following section in Luke.

(Luke 10:25 KJV)  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
(Luke 10:26 KJV)  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
(Luke 10:27 KJV)  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
(Luke 10:28 KJV)  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
(Luke 10:29 KJV)  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
(Luke 10:30 KJV)  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
(Luke 10:31 KJV)  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
(Luke 10:32 KJV)  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
(Luke 10:33 KJV)  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
(Luke 10:34 KJV)  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
(Luke 10:35 KJV)  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
(Luke 10:36 KJV)  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
(Luke 10:37 KJV)  And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The above passage is about inheriting eternal life. The requirement is that one must be a good neighbor. Eternal life is the inheritance or reward, and being a good neighbor is the prerequisite for inheriting eternal life. Thus, eternal life is the reward for being a good neighbor and showing mercy to others. This is clearly works in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The following passage in Luke is the same as that given above in Matthew and in Mark. The issue is the inheritance of the Christian and not the destination of the Christian.

(Luke 18:18 KJV)  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
(Luke 18:19 KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
(Luke 18:20 KJV)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
(Luke 18:21 KJV)  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
(Luke 18:22 KJV)  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
(Luke 18:23 KJV)  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
(Luke 18:24 KJV)  And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
(Luke 18:25 KJV)  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Luke 18:26 KJV)  And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
(Luke 18:27 KJV)  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
(Luke 18:28 KJV)  Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
(Luke 18:29 KJV)  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
(Luke 18:30 KJV)  Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

The issues and judgments that apply in the Matthew section also apply in the above section in Luke. Eternal life is the inheritance that a Christian may lay hold onto, but it can be lost, if the Christian has no interest in his eternal reward. Numerous Christians state that they have no interest in reward. This is gross ignorance of the Scriptures and gross negligence in studying the Word of God. 

(John 3:14 KJV)  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
(John 3:15 KJV)  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

These two verses are the same sentence and it is important to put them together, so we can see the meaning of “believeth” in verse 15 above and in verse 16 below. The meaning of “believeth” in the Scriptures has two primary meanings as shown below from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

4100  pisteuo-

1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in

a) used of the thing believed,

    to credit, to have confidence

b) in a moral or religious reference

            1) used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to which a man  is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

            2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing  something: saving faith

3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith

2) to entrust a thing to one, that is, his fidelity;   to be intrusted with a thing

Oftentimes in Scripture the word “believeth” follows the meaning 2) above, but verse 14 above compares Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness to the lifting up of Jesus on the Cross. Thus, the meaning of believeth in these two verses is number 1) and refers to those people who are persuaded of the truth of the atonement of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Also, the Church (i.e., kosmos) is made up of those who place their faith in the death of Jesus Christ as atonement for sin (See Exegesis of verse 16 below). This further confirms the meaning of “believeth” in these two verses. Words always get their meaning in the context. It bears repeating that there are numerous times in Scripture when the word “believeth” is definition 2) above. We will see this several times in this dissertation on the Biblical meaning of eternal life. The second meaning of “believeth” is to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ, or simply stated to die to self and allow the life of Christ to be lived out in the Christian. Thus, our spirits are saved in accordance with meaning 1 but our souls are saved in accordance with meaning 2, and this follows throughout Scripture.

(John 3:16 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is very important in this verse to understand that the transliterated Greek word for the word “world” in this verse is kosmos and the meaning of this word in the context is the one shown below in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as 8. b). The word kosmos must get its meaning from the context, and in this context, the word is defined as “whosoever believeth in him”. Thus, the word kosmos in this verse and verse 17 is a reference to the Church, for the Church is a collection or group of people with one thing in common. They have believed in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Cross. Thus, they are the elect of God and have been saved spiritually. Since God loves them, and since they have believed in the atonement, God desires that none of them perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Instead, He desires that they be sanctified in this life by dying to self, crucifying the self, killing the old man and putting on the new man, so they can realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ and lay hold on to eternal life.

 2889  kosmos-

1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government

2) ornament, decoration, adornment, that is, the arrangement of the stars, `the heavenly hosts', as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3

3) the world, the universe

4) the circle of the earth, the earth

5) the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race

6) the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ

7) world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly

the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ

8) any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort

a) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)

b) used of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

God loves the Church and gave his only begotten son to these believers in order that they SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. The Greek word for perish is NEVER USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SPIRIT IN THE BIBLE. The believer’s spirit is alive forevermore, so it is ludicrous to say that it can perish, die or be destroyed. Neither can the unbeliever’s spirit perish or die, since it is already dead. Thus, the word for perish and the words for everlasting life (i.e., eternal life) refer to the soul of the believer, and not the spirit of the believer—nor the spirit of the unbeliever.

How does the Only Begotten Son of God save our souls, as well as our spirits? Our spirits are saved by believing in the death of Christ. Our souls are saved by dying to self and appropriating the life of Christ. The Christian’s spirit is saved by faith in the death of Christ, but the soul is saved by faith in the life of Christ.

(John 3:35 KJV)  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
(John 3:36 KJV)  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God
abideth on him.

Verse 35 confirms that God the Father loves his Son, and He has given all things into his hand. This is in reference to the coming kingdom and the reign of Jesus over everything. All might and all power has been given to Jesus Christ to judge and to reign and rule in the coming kingdom of God the Son. All might and all power and the control of all things are given to Jesus Christ, so the context of this verse is definitely not the suffering servant who came to die on Calvary. The context is Jesus Christ as the Suzerain warrior who will reign and rule in the kingdom of God the Son. Thus, the context is not simply believing in the death of Christ as atonement, but in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ in living a life that will warrant a position in his kingdom.

The meaning of “believeth” in verse 36 is to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ. This is meaning 2 in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon shown above. This is accomplished by holding oneself to Christ, by clinging to Christ, or by being closely joined to Christ. This is the meaning of the Greek word translated “hath” in verse 36, as shown in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon below:

2192  echo-

1) to have, that is, to hold;

to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep, to have or comprise or involve, to regard or consider or hold as

2) to have, that is, to own, to possess

a) external things such as pertain to property or riches or furniture or utensils or goods or food, etc.

b) used of those joined to anyone by the bonds of natural blood or marriage or friendship or duty or law, etc., of attendance or companionship

3) to hold oneself or find oneself so and so, to be in such-and-such a condition

4) to hold oneself to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to, to be closely joined to a person or a thing

The second “believeth” in verse 36 is not pisteuo, but apeitheio-, which means to be disobedient or to refuse to obey. It is willful and perverse disbelief in the Scriptures that speak of the coming kingdom, and our accountability to be obedient to the Son. Disbelief that is willful and perverse can only be committed by someone who is spiritually alive. The unsaved reprobate cannot know Christ and he cannot know the Scriptures, so this passage is not addressing him.

Verse 36 continues by stating that the person (i.e., Christian) who has not entrusted his spiritual well-being unto Christ, but instead has been willfully and perversely disobedient to the Son shall not even be able to “see life”, which means that He will not comprehend or understand what this life is all about. Thus, these are the Christians who refuse to believe what the Scriptures say about soul salvation and about the potential for Christians to perish or lose their souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Verse 36 continues by stating that the wrath of God will abide on these people (i.e., Christians) who are willfully and perversely disobedient to the Son. The Greek word for “wrath” in verse 36 is in reference to the punishment by magistrates who impose a sentence of punishment on someone who is being judged. There are numerous Scriptures that address the punishment of Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Please read my article on the Judgment Seat of Christ for an in-depth understanding of this punishment for Christians who are willfully and perversely disobedient to Jesus Christ: The Judgment seat of Christ.

(John 4:10 KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
(John 4:11 KJV)  The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
(John 4:12 KJV)  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
(John 4:13 KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
(John 4:14 KJV)  But whosoever
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Drinking water in the Scriptures is a picture of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and to drink from the well, which is the Word of God (i.e., the Bible). Thus, the person who studies the Bible and receives with meekness the engrafted Word of God will realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ, which is the same as receiving everlasting life (i.e., eternal life). Jesus is telling the Samaritan woman at the well that if she knew the gift of God, which is spirit salvation, and she knew who Jesus was, then she would be asking him to provide spiritual water to her so that she could realize eternal life.

(John 4:34 KJV)  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
(John 4:35 KJV)  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
(John 4:36 KJV)  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
(John 4:37 KJV)  And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
(John 4:38 KJV)  I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no
labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

This whole passage is talking about sowing and reaping, which is doing works for the Lord. Verse 36 very clearly links “life eternal” with wages and gathering fruit, which is doing works for the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life is attained to by working for the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

(John 5:19 KJV)  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
(John 5:20 KJV)  For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
(John 5:21 KJV)  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
(John 5:22 KJV)  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
(John 5:23 KJV)  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
(John 5:24 KJV)  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 5:25 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
(John 5:26 KJV)  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
(John 5:27 KJV)  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
(John 5:28 KJV)  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
(John 5:29 KJV)  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
(John 5:30 KJV)  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
(John 5:31 KJV)  If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
(John 5:32 KJV)  There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
(John 5:33 KJV)  Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
(John 5:34 KJV)  But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
(John 5:35 KJV)  He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
(John 5:36 KJV)  But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
(John 5:37 KJV)  And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
(John 5:38 KJV)  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
(John 5:39 KJV)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
(John 5:40 KJV)  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
(John 5:41 KJV)  I receive not honour from men.
(John 5:42 KJV)  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
(John 5:43 KJV)  I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
(John 5:44 KJV)  How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
(John 5:45 KJV)  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
(John 5:46 KJV)  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
(John 5:47 KJV)  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

This whole passage of Scripture is a rebuke for the Jews for their rejection of Jesus Christ. The passages in red are the ones that mention eternal life, everlasting life or refer to having life or passing from death unto life. The Jews did not believe the things that Jesus told them. Verse 23 confirms that all judgment has been given to Jesus Christ. Verse 24 states that all those who “heareth” the words of Jesus, and believeth on the Father will have everlasting life. There is no reference in this passage about believing in the atonement of Jesus Christ. Verse 24 speaks of hearing the words of Jesus, which means to listen to and heed his words. It also speaks of believing or entrusting their spiritual well-being to God the Father. If the Jews had done this, then they would have received everlasting life (i.e., eternal life) and they would not be subject to severe judgment (i.e, condemnation) at the resurrection of the Jews at the end of the tribulation period. Since they did not do this, they will be severely judged at the First resurrection that takes place at the end of the tribulation period. Verse 24 continues in stating that the person who has attained to eternal life has passed from death unto life. Since eternal life pertains to the soul, passing from death unto life pertains to the soul.

Verse 38 states that the Jews do not have the Word of God abiding in them. This particularly has reference to the Scriptures as the Word of God, but there is an allusion to Jesus Christ, who is the Living Word of God. The Scriptures are the Written Word of God, but Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God. Verse 39 confirms that both the Scriptures and Jesus Christ are the Word of God, and eternal life is attained by having the Word of God abiding in the believer. Thus, verse 38 and 39 nail down the truth that this whole passage proves that eternal life pertains to salvation of the soul, which is attained to by receiving with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save our souls. The following passage is one proof text of many that confirm that soul salvation is via works:

(James 1:21 KJV)  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
(James 1:22 KJV)  But
be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

In verse 40, Jesus states that they will not come to him, so that they might have life. Verse 41 confirms that these men refuse to honor Jesus Christ. This failure to honor Jesus Christ results in their loss of eternal life. They will still be resurrected at the end of the tribulation period, and they will receive their earthly inheritance in the land of Israel. Please read Ezekiel 37 for a description of Israel’s ultimate salvation and resurrection. The Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional for the Jews and ALL will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation, and God will put his spirit into them. They will receive their earthly inheritance in the kingdom, even though they lost their double portion in the kingdom of heaven. Please read my exegesis of Romans 9-11 as follows for an understanding of the ultimate salvation of all of Israel: The Book of Romans, Part One

The following passage in John 6 addresses the issue of meat and bread and the kinds of food that can bring about “everlasting life”.  Jesus speaks of eating his body and drinking his blood, which will result in eternal life. Eating of the body of Christ is to partake of his life and live as a faithful disciple. Verse 27 tells the people to “Labour not” for the meat or food that perishes but to work for the food that will endure unto everlasting or eternal life. The term “labour” clearly shows that works are involved in order to appropriate the life of Christ and endure unto eternal life. Verse 28 also confirms that works are involved for receiving eternal life. In verse 29, Jesus states that the “work of God” is to “believe” on him (i.e., Jesus). The word “believe” is a work in this context and means to entrust one’s spiritual well-being unto Christ. This is work, as it requires repentance and dying to self to allow the life of Christ to be worked out in the individual.

Verse 33 confirms that the bread of God is Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ gives life unto the “world”. This is the transliterated Greek word “kosmos” and refers to the Church.  In order for Christians (i.e., the Church) to lay hold onto eternal life, they must feed on the Living Word, which is the Life of Christ. This is done by feeding on the Written Word, which is the Bible. All of this involves works, which is clear throughout this passage of Scripture.

(John 6:26 KJV)  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
(John 6:27 KJV)  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
(John 6:28 KJV)  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
(John 6:29 KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
(John 6:30 KJV)  They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
(John 6:31 KJV)  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
(John 6:32 KJV)  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
(John 6:33 KJV)  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
(John 6:34 KJV)  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
(John 6:35 KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(John 6:36 KJV)  But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
(John 6:37 KJV)  All that the Father
giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Verse 33 above confirms that Jesus Christ is the bread of life, which came down from heaven to give life unto the kosmos, which is the Church. In verse 34 the disciples ask for this bread to be provided evermore, which means continually. The issue is the partaking of the bread of life, which pertains to fellowship with Jesus Christ and being fed by him. Thus, the context is spiritual sustenance and not simply spirit salvation. Verse 35 is addressing those Christians who come to Christ for spiritual food, and the ones who do come to him for spiritual sustenance will never be hungry, and those who entrust their spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ (i.e., believe on him) will never thirst. The water of life is what brings about eternal life. The water of life is necessary for soul salvation and the Bible is the well from which rivers of living water flow out. The whole issue in the above passage of Scripture is spiritual sustenance, and not the new birth experience, which is the salvation of the spirit.

The interjection in verse 36 is in reference to the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ. Consequently, they did not come to Jesus for the bread and water they needed to realize eternal life. They saw Jesus and observed the miracles that he did, but they did not entrust their spiritual well-being unto him. Verse 37 above confirms that all of those ordained to eternal life would definitely come to Jesus, and Jesus will not cast them out.

(John 6:38 KJV)  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
(John 6:39 KJV)  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
(John 6:40 KJV)  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which
seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

In verse 38 above, Jesus makes it clear that He came down from heaven to do the Father’s will. In like manner, it is the Father’s will that none of the elect be lost at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but that all would be raised up (i.e., exalted) at the last day, which is the millennial kingdom. This is summed up in verse 40 by stating that the will of the Father is that every one who “seeth” the Son would entrust his spiritual well-being unto him so they MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. The word “seeth” means everyone who understands and comprehends Jesus Christ. These are all those who come to Jesus Christ. They are saved spiritually, but they need to entrust their spiritual well-being to Christ by eating his body and drinking his blood.  Everyone who does this will have everlasting life, and they will be raised up or exalted and praised at the last day, which is at the millennial kingdom. Please note the conditional phrase “may have everlasting life.

God the Father desires that every Christian work the work of God and realize eternal life, but it requires work in the power and authority of Jesus Christ (i.e., name of Jesus Christ).

The Scriptures that talk about believing in the name of Jesus Christ are talking about the Christian’s spiritual walk and not about the new birth experience. They mean to entrust one’s spiritual well-being (i.e., believe) to the power and authority (i.e., name) of Jesus Christ. This is the process of sanctification, which is the justification by works and the end result or goal of this process is the salvation of the soul or eternal life. This is stated very clearly in 1 Peter chapter 1.

The following passage in John concerns coming to Jesus for the purpose of discipleship. Therefore, he calls himself the bread that came down from heaven, and the purpose of this bread is for spiritual sustenance. The Bible is the written Word and Jesus is the Living Word, and both are described as the Bread of Life. Christians partake of the bread of life by studying the Bible and applying it to their lives. When Christians do this they are appropriating the Life of Christ, which is the means for salvation of the soul. Verse 44 is referring to a believer who comes to Jesus as a disciple. No man can come to Jesus for discipleship unless he is drawn by the inward power within him, which is the Holy Spirit working in the individual. No unsaved reprobate will ever come to Jesus for discipleship for the unsaved reprobate does not have the Holy Spirit working in his life. Verse 45 states that some of all types who have heard of the Father and have learned of the Father will come to Jesus for discipleship. The Greek word for “all” in this verse means collectively, some of all types. The ones who hear in this verse are the ones who have been made spiritually alive, and the ones who have learned of the Father are the ones who have learned about the Father and increased their knowledge about God. Thus, the ones who come to Jesus as disciples must be born again spiritually, as well as having a desire to have more knowledge of God the Father. Many born-again Christians do not seek after the deeper knowledge of God the Father. Only a select number of Christians will seek after the things of God and become disciples of Jesus. The ones who do become disciples and remain disciples until the end will be the ones who lay hold on eternal life and receive the reward of the inheritance.

Verse 47 states that the person who entrusts his spiritual well-being (i.e., believes) to Jesus Christ is the one who possesses (i.e., hath) eternal life (i.e., everlasting life). The Christian who does this is abiding in eternal life, but it is possible for him to fall away from the faith and cease to abide in eternal life. The Christian abiding in eternal life must continue to do so until the end in order to realize his inheritance. This requirement is described in detail in Ezekiel 18.

Jesus sums it up in verse 48 that He is the Bread of Life. Verse 50 confirms that the Christian who partakes of the Bread of Life will not die. This means that the Christian who dies to self now and appropriates the life of Christ now in this life will not suffer the death of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. No Christian can die spiritually because of the eternal security of the believer, and no unsaved reprobate can die spiritually, since he is already dead spiritually. The death alluded to throughout the Scriptures for believers is the death of the soul, and not spiritual death or physical death. All Christians will die physically whether they are faithful or not—unless the Rapture occurs before the Christian dies.

Verse 51 continues the teaching about Jesus being the Bread of Life, and how He gives his flesh for the life of the Church. The Greek word for “world” in this verse is kosmos, which refers to the Church.

(John 6:41 KJV)  The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
(John 6:42 KJV)  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
(John 6:43 KJV)  Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
(John 6:44 KJV)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:45 KJV)  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
(John 6:46 KJV)  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
(John 6:47 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
(John 6:48 KJV)  I am that bread of life.
(John 6:49 KJV)  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
(John 6:50 KJV)  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
(John 6:51 KJV)  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
(John 6:52 KJV)  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
(John 6:53 KJV)  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
(John 6:54 KJV)  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6:55 KJV)  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
(John 6:56 KJV)  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
(John 6:57 KJV)  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
(John 6:58 KJV)  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Verses 51-58 sums up the teaching about eternal life. In order to attain to eternal life, the Christian must partake of the body of Christ, which means he must study the Word of God and allow it to be engrafted into his life. He must also drink the blood of Jesus Christ, which portrays the daily and hourly cleansing from sin  by confessing them and seeking forgiveness in accordance with 1 John 1:9. This Christian who does these things will realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ and he will receive glory, honor and immortality of his soul. This is the definition of eternal life. Eternal life is the commemoration of a life well-lived in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. The result is honor and glory in the coming kingdom of God, and it is a life that will be remembered forever.

The following passage alludes to the fact that very few of the elect will actually follow Christ until the end. Many of the disciples stopped following Jesus when they learned the cost and the difficulties tied to being a disciple of Christ.

(John 6:66 KJV)  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
(John 6:67 KJV)  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
(John 6:68 KJV)  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
(John 6:69 KJV)  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus asks the 12 disciples if they will also turn back and cease to follow Jesus. Peter responds by stating that Jesus is the only one with the words of eternal life. Peter then states that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus upbraids the Jews in the following passage for their unfaithfulness.

(John 10:23 KJV)  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
(John 10:24 KJV)  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
(John 10:25 KJV)  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
(John 10:26 KJV)  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
(John 10:27 KJV)  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
(John 10:28 KJV)  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
(John 10:29 KJV)  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
(John 10:30 KJV)  I and my Father are one.

In this passage, Jesus is upbraiding the Jews for their unbelief in the supernatural works that He was doing. These miraculous works were the signs of the kingdom of heaven, so the whole context is the coming kingdom of heaven. The Jews rejected these miraculous works and rejected Jesus as the Messiah, so they forfeited the kingdom of heaven. They will still be resurrected at the end of the tribulation period, and God will put his spirit in them, and they will believe in Jesus at that time. The nation of Israel is the elect of God the Father. They are portrayed as his wife, whom he divorces but will take them back after the Church Age and the Bride of Christ has been taken out of the Church and the Church is raptured to heaven.

Please note in verse 27 that Jesus defines his “sheep” as those who hear his voice, and he knows them intimately and they follow him as disciples. These statements are not true for the whole Church, but only those in the Church who are disciples. Verse 28 is very clear that these are the ones who receives eternal life, and these are the ones who will never perish, and no man is able to pluck this group of Christians out of the hand of Jesus. The Jews are not the sheep of Jesus Christ, though they are his brethren. Not all of the Church falls into the above category of sheep, since most of the Church does not fall into the criteria given. The meaning of sheep must be determined by the context. It is clear that Jesus is not talking about literal sheep, but He is talking about a special group of his believers who are faithful disciples. These are the ones who recognize the miraculous works that Jesus performed as being the credentials of the kingdom of heaven. Thus, they see and understand the kingdom of heaven and are striving to enter into the kingdom. This is clearly the sheep that Jesus is referring to in this passage.

(John 12:23 KJV)  And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
(John 12:24 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
(John 12:25 KJV)  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
(John 12:26 KJV)  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father
honour.

The context of this passage is the time for the glorification of Jesus Christ. The hour had come that Jesus should have been glorified, but the Jews rejection of Jesus Christ as king postponed that glorification until 2000 years later. Jesus is telling his disciples using the figure of a seed of grain that in order to bear much fruit, they must die to self and allow Christ to live his life in them. The transliterated Greek word for life in verse 25 is psuche, which is soul. If the Christian loves his soul walking according to the old flesh nature, then he will lose his soul (i.e., life) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If he hates his soul (i.e., life) in the world, then he will die to self and allow Christ to live in him. This results in life eternal. The word life in this phrase is zoe, and this clearly and unequivocally links soul salvation and eternal life together. Nowhere in Scripture is eternal life linked to the spirit. The purpose of  this dissertation is to prove that by looking at every instance in Scripture where the phrase eternal life occurs.

(John 12:44 KJV)  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
(John 12:45 KJV)  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
(John 12:46 KJV)  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
(John 12:47 KJV)  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
(John 12:48 KJV)  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
(John 12:49 KJV)  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
(John 12:50 KJV)  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

The three uses of the word world in verses 46 and 47 refer to the Church, in accordance with Thayer’s Lexicon and stated earlier in this dissertation. It is the word kosmos and it is defined in the context immediately after the first use of the word “world”. The world is defined as “whosover believeth on me”, and Jesus states that He came as a light into the Church, so that the members of the Church “should not abide in darkness”. In order to not abide in darkness, the Church must hear the words of Jesus and be obedient to the commandments of the Father. If they do this, then they shall have “life everlasting” which is the same as eternal life. Thus, having spiritual understanding (i.e., abiding in the light) is necessary for eternal life. The Christian who abides in the light and keeps the commandments of God the Father will realize eternal life at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Abiding in the light and keeping the commandments of God the Father are definitely works in the power of the Holy Spirit, and will result in eternal life.

The whole context of the following Chapter 17 in John is sanctification of the Church. Verse 2 begins the context by stating that Jesus has been given power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as God the Father has given him. Now it is a certainty that everyone given to Jesus by the Father will come to Jesus for spirit salvation, but the conditional clause “should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” shows the conditional nature of eternal life. All those given to Jesus will be born again spiritually, but not all will be given eternal life, since it is a conditional gift confirmed by every use of the phrase “eternal life” in the Scriptures, including this chapter.

In verse 3 below, Jesus clarifies that eternal life is for those who have been given to Jesus in that they “might know” God the Father intimately and Jesus Christ intimately. The transliterated Greek word for “know” is ginosko and refers to an intimate knowledge of God the Father and God the Son by studying the Bible to become acquainted with both.

Verse 6 below has reference to the 12 disciples and Jesus states that He has manifested “thy name”, which refers to the power and authority of God the Father, to the disciples, who were given to Jesus Christ out of the world. They belonged to God the Father, but He gave them to Jesus, and “they have kept thy word”.  All the disciples, except Judas, remained faithful, and Jesus tells about Judas in verse 12. Please note that everything in this chapter refers to being faithful, keeping God’s Word, knowing God the Father and God the Son intimately and Jesus prays for their sanctification. All of these things follow verse 2 and verse 3, which clarify that eternal life is conditional and the result of knowing God intimately by knowing Jesus Christ intimately. There is not one verse or even one word in this chapter that links eternal life to spiritual rebirth, which is spirit salvation or justification by faith.

(John 17:1 KJV)  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
(John 17:2 KJV)  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
(John 17:3 KJV)  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
(John 17:4 KJV)  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
(John 17:5 KJV)  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
(John 17:6 KJV)  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
(John 17:7 KJV)  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
(John 17:8 KJV)  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
(John 17:9 KJV)  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
(John 17:10 KJV)  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
(John 17:11 KJV)  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
(John 17:12 KJV)  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
(John 17:13 KJV)  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
(John 17:14 KJV)  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(John 17:15 KJV)  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
(John 17:16 KJV)  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(John 17:17 KJV)  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
(John 17:18 KJV)  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
(John 17:19 KJV)  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
(John 17:20 KJV)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(John 17:21 KJV)  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(John 17:22 KJV)  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
(John 17:23 KJV)  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(John 17:24 KJV)  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
(John 17:25 KJV)  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
(John 17:26 KJV)  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Verse 12 above confirms that Jesus is referring to the twelve disciples, and he refers to Judas as the only one who was unfaithful, and Jesus even states that this was ordained by God the Father.

Verse 19 again confirms that sanctification and not justification is the issue in this whole chapter.

Verse 20 confirms that Jesus is not only praying for the sanctification of the disciples, but all those “which shall believe on me through their word”. Please note the certainty of this verse, as it refers to the whole Church who “shall believe” on Jesus. Justification is certain, since it depends upon the faithfulness of Jesus, but sanctification is conditional because it depends upon the faithfulness of the believer.

Verse 22 also refers to the conditional nature “that they may be one.” Jesus wants all members of the Church to be one or unified in him, but this takes great effort, study of God’s Word and faithfully enduring the trials of life.

Jesus reiterates in verse 23 what it means to be one, and it is to be made perfect in Christ, which means to be made complete in Christ by growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 26 sums it up that Jesus would like the whole Church to have the love of God in them, which is the same love that God the Father loved the Son. Please note the conditional nature of this love by the phrase “may be in them”.

In summary, this whole chapter above is about eternal life, which pertains to the faithful Christians who know God the Father intimately through knowing God the Son intimately, which comes by knowing and being obedient to the Word of God.

The following passage in Acts refers to a time when the message is given to Jews and Gentiles that because of the unfaithfulness of the Jews, they failed to lay hold onto eternal life by entrusting their spiritual well-being unto Jesus. Thus, they were unworthy to attain to eternal life, and the message of eternal life went out to the Gentiles, who received it with great joy. Verse 48 below confirms that all the Gentiles who were ordained to eternal life entrusted their spiritual well-being to Christ. This is the meaning of “believed” in this context.

(Acts 13:43 KJV)  Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
(Acts 13:44 KJV)  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
(Acts 13:45 KJV)  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
(Acts 13:46 KJV)  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
(Acts 13:47 KJV)  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
(Acts 13:48 KJV)  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

The following passage provides the Biblical definition of eternal life in verse 7. Eternal life is the glory and honor and immortality that the Christian will receive for continuance in doing good works. Please read my verse-by-verse exegesis of this passage as follows: The Book of Romans Part One.

(Rom 2:1 KJV)  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
(Rom 2:2 KJV)  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
(Rom 2:3 KJV)  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
(Rom 2:4 KJV)  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
(Rom 2:5 KJV)  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
(Rom 2:6 KJV)  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
(Rom 2:7 KJV)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
(Rom 2:8 KJV)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
(Rom 2:9 KJV)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
(Rom 2:10 KJV)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
(Rom 2:11 KJV)  For there is no respect of persons with God.

The following excerpt from my verse-by-verse exegesis of Romans is given to nail down the true definition of eternal life in the Bible:

(Rom 5:1 KJV)  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
 
Paul reiterates that all Christians have “peace with God” as a result of the justification by faith. In the following verse, Paul states that he and his faithful fellow Christians also have access by this same faith to something more than just being saved and going to heaven.
 
(Rom 5:2 KJV)  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
Since Paul and his fellow faithful Christians were justified by faith, they “also” had ACCESS BY FAITH (i.e., faithfulness) into another special gift (i.e., grace) in which they were standing steadfast and unwavering. They were not merely saved by grace, but they were now in a position to realize the glory of God and share in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. They were rejoicing in the hope that they would qualify for this glory. The Greek word for “glory” in this verse refers to the kingly majesty that belongs to Jesus as the supreme ruler of the heavens and the earth. Christians who are justified by faith have access to the gift of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ, but the requirement is faithfulness to the Lord. This sharing in the kingdom with Jesus Christ is not automatic for all Christians, but it is reserved for faithful Christians who suffer with Jesus Christ.
 
All Christians will receive glorified bodies but not all will share in the glory that belongs to Jesus Christ as the coming King over the earth. This is why this verse says that they are rejoicing “in HOPE of the glory of God”. A hope is not a certainty, as many pastors and teachers erroneously assert. Paul and his fellow Christians hoped that they would be steadfast in faithfulness, so they would share in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
 
This is why Christians are commanded to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”. If the kingdom were already theirs, then there would be no need to seek after it.
 
(Rom 5:3 KJV)  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation
worketh patience;
 
Paul continues to explain the efforts that they are making to enter the kingdom by explaining that they “glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” Paul desired to go through tribulations, so that he would grow in patience and remain steadfast in the faith—even unto the saving of the soul and entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
 
(Rom 5:4 KJV)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
 
The following Greek word for “patience” shows the goal of Paul in growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, so he would be found faithful at the Judgment Seat of Christ:
 
5281 hupomone-
 
1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
    a) in the New Testament, the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his        deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
    b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
 
The Greek word for “experience” means an approved, tried character—a specimen of tried worth. It was Paul’s desire and hope to be approved at the Judgment Seat of Christ, so he could share in the glory of Jesus Christ and reign in his kingdom. It was this hope that kept Paul on the right path, and made him steadfast in his faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Paul states in the following verse that it is this hope that will make him “not ashamed” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This happens because he will be filled with the agape love of God that is spread throughout these Christians, as they are filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit and not their own flesh natures.
 
(Rom 5:5 KJV)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
 
Unfortunately, many Christians will shrink back in shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but if they have this hope of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ, then they will remain steadfast in their faithfulness and be filled with the agape love of God, which comes from the Holy Spirit.
 
(Rom 5:6 KJV)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
 
Paul reiterates the unconditional grace of God demonstrated by Jesus Christ in dying for the elect. Paul emphasizes the helplessness of man in doing anything to earn his own spiritual salvation. “For when we were yet without strength” shows man’s total inability to do anything towards our spirit salvation.
 
(Rom 5:7 KJV)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
 
Paul exalts the fact that Jesus Christ died for us sinners by the comparison with a normal man who would die with great difficulty for a righteous man, and one might even die for a likeable fellow. But it is unthinkable that a normal man would die for a worthless sinner such as we.
 
(Rom 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
God showed his love toward us in having his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Paul is stating how amazing it is that Jesus Christ would die for the elect, who are unrighteous and not even very good-natured or likeable. Jesus Christ died for people such as Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson and other heinous villains who became Christians after despicable acts of violence and depravity. God unconditionally elected all of these to salvation, and their behavior demonstrates dramatically the unconditional aspect of election.
 
(Rom 5:9 KJV)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
 
In this verse Paul completes the transition from spirit salvation, which occurred in the past for Paul and these Christians, to soul salvation, which is present and continuing into the future. The “we” in this verse refers to Paul and the Roman Christians being addressed in this epistle. Paul clearly states that they are all “now justified by his blood” and this refers to the justification by faith that they all had experienced. Spirit salvation is effected by the death of Christ, and the blood is the evidence presented to God that Jesus died. The clause “we shall be saved from wrath through him” refers to soul salvation and the escape from the “wrath” of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Just as spirit salvation is effected by the death of Christ, soul salvation is effected by the life of Christ. When we are born again spiritually, we believe that the death of Christ was a substitute for us. At that point our spirits are regenerated and we are made alive spiritually and receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are then reconciled to God and have peace with God.
 
The imputed righteousness of Christ is only the beginning of our Christian life. We must then crucify the old flesh nature and allow the life of Christ to be worked out in our lives. This results in soul salvation, which is a salvation from the wrath or anger of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul clearly states the two salvations by the death of Christ and the life of Christ in the following verse in our study of Romans.
 
(Rom 5:10 KJV)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
 
Paul states that when we were the enemies of God, we received reconciliation or atonement by the death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. But Paul states that there is “much more” to this than just being reconciled by the death of Jesus Christ. There is another aspect of salvation that can be obtained by the life of Jesus Christ. This second aspect of salvation is something to be sought after now and completed in the future, for Paul states “we shall be saved by his life”. Paul very clearly states in this verse that Christians have been reconciled to God by the death of Jesus Christ, but there is an additional benefit of being “saved by his life”. This additional benefit is clearly soul salvation that is addressed in numerous Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. The following is one passage in 1 Peter that addresses soul salvation:
 
(1 Pet 1:3 KJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(1 Pet 1:4 KJV)  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
(1 Pet 1:5 KJV)  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Pet 1:6 KJV)  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
(1 Pet 1:7 KJV)  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
(1 Pet 1:8 KJV)  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
(1 Pet 1:9 KJV)  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
 
(Rom 5:10 KJV)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
(Rom 5:11 KJV)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
 
Verse 10 is repeated above to keep the context flowing into verse 11. A good paraphrase of verse 11 is as follows:
 
(Rom 5:11 Paraphrase) And not only shall our lives be conformed to the life of Christ in the future, but we can also glorify God now through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have already received this reconciliation.
 
These two verses state in order the following:
 
1. We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. (Escape from the penalty of sin)
2. We shall all receive new lives because of the life of Christ. We shall all be like him. (Escape from the power of sin)
3. Even more than this, we shall all glorify (i.e., praise and worship) God through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who made this reconciliation possible.
 
(Rom 5:12 KJV)  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
 
Paul explains where sin came from and how sin entered the world through the disobedience of one man, Adam. The sin nature was passed down from Adam through the blood to all of mankind. Since Adam was the father of all living humans—except for One—the sin nature has infected all of humanity. One human being escaped this sin nature, but it required a virgin birth to effect it. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is not only true, but it was absolutely necessary for Jesus Christ to escape the sin nature of mankind. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ and the fact that his blood contains 24 chromosomes—23 from Mary, and one Y chromosome from the Holy Spirit—was necessary to prevent the tainted blood from Adam being passed down to Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ was literally the blood from God and not from man. Jesus Christ also received the full measure of the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. Jesus is the name of his human nature, and Christ is the name of his God nature.
 
NOTE: It is very important to understand that only two individuals died spiritually from the actual commission of sin—Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were spiritually alive, and both died spiritually when they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The rest of humanity—except for Jesus Christ—were born spiritually dead. Jesus Christ also died spiritually, but not from the commission of sin. He died spiritually because of our sin and not his sin. Thus, NO HUMAN CAN EVER DIE A SPIRITUAL DEATH. Christians were born spiritually dead and were quickened or made alive spiritually—never to die again spiritually. All unsaved reprobates were born spiritually dead and will never be quickened or made alive spiritually, so THEY WILL NEVER DIE SPIRITUALLY either. Consequently, all verses in the Bible that speak of persons dying or perishing because of the commission of sin are not addressing spiritual death. A human being can only die a physical death or a soulical death. Physical death occurs in this life and the death of the soul occurs at the Judgment Seat of Christ—unless the Christian crucifies self in this life. Thus, the following verse is addressing the death of the souls of Christians and not the spirits of unsaved reprobates:
 
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
“Wages” is a reward or recompense for behavior. The reward or recompense for living a sinful life on the part of a Christian is the death of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We have seen that “eternal life” pertains to the soul and not the spirit.
 
(Rom 5:13 KJV)  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
 
Even though the fall of man into sin took place in the Garden of Eden, the sin of the fall was not imputed or actually credited to humankind until the receipt of the law of God in the Ten Commandments.
 
(Rom 5:14 KJV)  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
 
This verse confirms that death reigned from Adam to Moses, even though no one actually died spiritually from his own sin. All were born spiritually dead because of Adam’s sin.
 
Even though sin was not imputed until the giving of the law, death from sin reigned from Adam to Moses. This was true even for those who did not sin knowingly after the manner of Adam. Adam was not tainted with the sin nature until he knowingly sinned against God. Adam had free will to sin or not to sin, but he chose sin. The rest of humankind does not have this free will to sin or to not sin, but sins automatically without the ability to discontinue sinning. It is only after a believer is spiritually regenerated that his will is released from bondage, and he can choose to escape the power of sin in his life.
 
(Rom 5:15 KJV)  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
 
Just as the sin of Adam brought about spiritual death for everyone, AND MANY ARE STILL SPIRITUALLY DEAD (i.e., many be dead), the grace of God and the gift by grace resulted in many being brought back to spiritual life. This verse is one of the proof texts for limited atonement. Jesus Christ died for many, and not for every single solitary human being. This is also confirmed in the following verse:
 
(Matt 20:28 KJV) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
 
(Rom 5:16 KJV)  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
 
The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:
 
(Rom 5:16 NIV)  Again , the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
 
This verse refers to the justification by faith. One sin brought about the downfall of all men, but the gift of God atoned for many sins and brought about the justification by faith for many.
 
(Rom 5:17 KJV)  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
 
This verse again makes a transition to soul salvation for ones that have the imputed righteousness (i.e., gift of righteousness) of Christ. This verse states that “they which receive abundance of grace” AND “of the gift of righteousness” shall exercise the highest influence and have self-control in their Christian life. “Abundance of grace” means that there is the superabundance of the divine influence upon the heart in the life of this Christian. The Christian that has this abundance of divine influence upon his life—in addition to the “gift of righteousness”—shall have power over sin in his life, and this power comes through the life of Jesus Christ. Please remember from the introduction to this discourse that the “gift of righteousness” (i.e., imputed righteousness) delivers one from the penalty of sin, but the Christian that allows the divine influence upon his heart in abundance is delivered from the power of sin in his life. This Christian will “reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
 
(Rom 5:18 KJV)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
 
Paul continues with the transition from spirit salvation to soul salvation by stating that in the same manner that one’s righteousness resulted in spirit salvation (i.e., imputed righteousness), the free gift of God came upon all kinds of men unto justification of life. The Greek word eis translated “unto” means unto or toward the “justification of life.” The justification of life is soul salvation, which comes about through the justification by works explained in James, 1 Peter, Hebrews, 1 John and in hundreds of Scriptures throughout the Bible. The Christian that realizes the “justification of life” is the one that receives the crown of life addressed in Revelation. Jesus warns Christians not to allow their crown of life to be taken away in the following verse of Scripture:
 
(Rev 2:10 KJV)  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shallcast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 
James, the brother of Jesus, also explains how the crown of life is won by enduring temptation and being an overcomer when one is tried at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(James 1:12 KJV)  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
 
NOTE: THE CROWN OF LIFE IS THE REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS, AND IS NOT ACCORDED TO EVERYONE.
 
(Rom 5:19 KJV)  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by theobedience of one shall many be made righteous.
 
This verse can be paraphrased as follows:
 
(Rom 5:19 Paraphrase) Just as Adam’s disobedience makes many Christians live orexhibit themselves as preeminently sinful, the obedience of Jesus Christ makes manyChristians exhibit themselves living righteously.
 
In this verse Paul is addressing the way many Christians continue to sin because they have not been delivered from the power of sin in their lives, but many Christians live righteously because of the obedience of Jesus Christ. This verse must be understood in its context.
 
The following Scripture passage explains eternal life in detail, but it must be read and studied in context, since the summation verse 23 is often incorrectly used as a proof text for spiritual rebirth.  The passage is actually addressed to Christians exhorting them to be faithful, so they will attain unto eternal life.  The whole passage will be addressed verse by verse in order to follow through with the purpose of the whole passage, which is to cause the ones being addressed to crucify the old flesh nature and allow Christ to live in them.  If these Christians are able to do this, then the end result will be eternal life.  If they are not able to do this, then they will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 5:20 KJV)  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
 
When God’s moral precepts were given, transgression increased since man was now violating the law.  He was doing the same thing before the law was given, but there was no law to violate.  Example:  A 15 year-old who drove a car before a license was required was not breaking the law.  When the drivers license law was made, the 15 year-old was then transgressing the law.
 
Grace is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.  When sin abounded, God’s divine influence superabounded.
 
(Rom 5:21 KJV)  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by (i.e., through) Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
The reign of sin in a person’s life leads unto death.  This is the death of the soul and not the body, and it pertains to the Christian.  That is who Paul is addressing, so it would be foolish for him to be warning them about something that could not happen to them.
 
Since sin in the life of the Christian causes death of the soul, Paul states that it is possible for the divine influence of God to change this end result of the death of the soul into righteousness and eternal life.  This comes about through grace or the divine influence of God on our life.  This divine influence causes us to live righteously, and we do this through Jesus Christ who lives His life through us.

The following passage in Romans is all about the obedience of Christians to God the Father. The command is to crucify self and yield one’s self to God the Father in order to become servants of righteousness.

Verse 22 confirms that the issue is “fruit unto holiness” and the resulting end at the Judgment Seat of Christ is “everlasting life” which is eternal life.

Verse 23 confirms that the “wages” of a life of sin for the Christian is the death of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the gift (i.e, conditional gift) for those Christians who appropriate the life of Christ by dying to self and allow Christ to live in them will realize eternal life. Eternal life must be laid hold onto by living the exchanged life of Christ, and this can only happen to Christians who die daily to their old flesh natures.

(Rom 6:16 KJV)  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
(Rom 6:17 KJV)  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
(Rom 6:18 KJV)  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
(Rom 6:19 KJV)  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
(Rom 6:20 KJV)  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
(Rom 6:21 KJV)  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
(Rom 6:22 KJV)  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This whole passage in Romans is addressing Roman Christians exhorting them to die to self and become servants of righteousness. The passage is addressing sanctification or holy living by dying to self and escaping the Law of Sin and Death. Please read my article on the Law of Sin and Death as follows: The Law of Sin and Death.

The Christian can only escape the Law of Sin and Death, when he puts off the old man and puts on the new man. Please read my exegesis of Romans Chapter 7 and 8 as follows: The Book of Romans Part One.

Verse 22 above clearly states that when we are made free from sin—by escaping the Law of Sin and Death—then we will bear “fruit unto holiness”. The end result of bearing fruit unto holiness is to attain to or realize “everlasting life”, which is eternal life. Verse 23 is the remainder of this statement because of the conjunction “For” and states that the reward (i.e, wages) of living a sinful life controlled by the flesh nature is death at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The gift of God is eternal life, but this eternal life is a conditional gift, since it can only be realized through the life of Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life is a gift, but it must be appropriated, laid hold on or secured by dying to the old flesh nature and allowing Christ to live his life in us. This is seen in every verse in the Bible that uses the phrase eternal life.

The death in verse 23 above is the death of the soul and the loss of eternal life at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The spirit of the Christian can never die. Also, the spirit of the unsaved reprobate can never die either, since it is already dead. In the history of mankind only three people have had their spirits die: Adam, Eve and Jesus Christ. The spirits of Adam and Eve were regenerated or made alive that same day with the death of the animal that provided their covering or atonement. The spirit of Jesus Christ was regenerated or made alive that same day, and he descended into Sheol into Abraham’s bosom that same day. The spirit of Jesus Christ was made alive the moment that his blood trickled through the cross whole crack caused by the earthquake, flowed 20’ through the crack down to Jeremiah’s Grotto where the Ark of the Covenant was hidden and fell on the Mercy Seat of the Ark. The stone covering over the Ark split apart in the earthquake to allow the Blood of Jesus Christ to fall on the Mercy Seat. When the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ struck the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant, the Veil of The Temple was split in two and the spirit of Jesus Christ came alive forevermore.

(Gal 6:1 KJV)  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
(Gal 6:2 KJV)  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
(Gal 6:3 KJV)  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
(Gal 6:4 KJV)  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
(Gal 6:5 KJV)  For every man shall bear his own burden.
(Gal 6:6 KJV)  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
(Gal 6:7 KJV)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(Gal 6:8 KJV)  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 6:9 KJV)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This whole passage in Galatians is about works that will result in “life everlasting”, which is eternal life. This passage could not be any clearer that eternal life is the reward for doing good works. The transliterated Greek words aionios zoe are translated in the Bible as “eternal life”, “everlasting life” and life everlasting.

The Christian who operates in the power of the flesh will reap corruption or be destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the Christian who operates in the power of the Spirit will realize soul salvation or eternal life at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

All of these Scriptures stating that eternal life can be lost are the reason there are so many Arminians in the Church. These Arminians have not rightly divided the Word of Truth to understand that eternal life pertains to the life or the soul and NOT THE SPIRIT. The life of the unfaithful Christian will be lost (waisted) at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but he will still be saved spiritually and go to heaven. He will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, which means he will not receive the reward of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ.

(1 Tim 1:15 KJV)  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
(1 Tim 1:16 KJV)  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
(1 Tim 1:17 KJV)  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be
honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 Paul states in this passage that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and Paul was chief of the sinners. Paul goes on to state that for this cause (i.e., he was chief of sinners) Christ wanted to demonstrate in Paul the longsuffering of Jesus to bring Paul into faithfulness, even the faithfulness to attain life everlasting (i.e., eternal life). Simply stated Jesus used Paul as a pattern for all Christians to entrust their spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ, which would lead to eternal life. The word “believe” is pisteuo and it means to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ. The transliterated Greek word for “to” before “life everlasting” is eis and it means the point reached by entrusting one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.

Paul’s spirit salvation was most certainly NOT A PATTERN for Christians to follow for spirit salvation. Paul’s spirit salvation was very dramatic with Jesus Christ appearing to him in person and making him alive spiritually. Paul’s faithfulness in spite of the severe persecution he experienced is most definitely a pattern for Christians to follow to realize soul salvation, which is eternal life.

The NIV does a pretty good job of translating these verses as follows:

(1 Tim 1:15 NIV)  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.
(1 Tim 1:16 NIV)  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
(1 Tim 1:17 NIV)  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The red in the above passage means that Paul was an example for Christians who were to entrust their spiritual well-being on Jesus Christ to the point of realizing eternal life at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Christian who entrusts his spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ is the one who crucifies self and appropriates the life of Christ.

(1 Tim 6:11 KJV)  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
(1 Tim 6:12 KJV)  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.
(1 Tim 6:13 KJV)  I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
(1 Tim 6:14 KJV)  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
(1 Tim 6:15 KJV)  Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
(1 Tim 6:16 KJV)  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
(1 Tim 6:17 KJV)  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
(1 Tim 6:18 KJV)  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
(1 Tim 6:19 KJV)  Laying up in store for
themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

This whole passage in Timothy is about doing good works, so that the Christian MAY LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE. Eternal life is definitely a gift from God, but it is a conditional gift from God. The Christian must do something to receive it. Realizing soul salvation and realizing eternal life are one and the same. Both can only be laid hold on by crucifying self and appropriating the life of Christ. Our spirits are saved unconditionally by the death of Christ, but our souls are saved upon the condition that we die to self and allow Christ to live his life in us. Simply stated, our spirits are saved by the death of Christ, but our souls are saved by the life of Christ.

(Titus 1:1 KJV)  Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
(Titus 1:2 KJV)  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Paul is clearly referring to having knowledge of the Word of God, which leads us to godliness, and this godliness gives us a hope of eternal life, which God promised. Even Paul is hoping for eternal life, and his hope is a reasonable expectation, but it is not a certainty.

(Titus 3:7 KJV)  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(Titus 3:8 KJV)  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Verse 7 states very clearly that since we have been justified by his grace, we SHOULD be made heirs according to the HOPE of eternal life. Eternal life is a hope and not a certainty. Even if I am abiding in eternal life now, I cannot be certain that I will not fall away some time in the future. A hope is not a certainty in Scripture, in spite of the numerous sermons by preachers attempting to change the meaning of this word. There is a reasonable basis for the realization of this hope, but it is still not a certainty. Verse 8 links good works to the realization of eternal life. Good works are good and profitable unto Christians, since they result in the reward of eternal life, which is the receipt of glory, honor and immortality of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

(1 John 1:2 KJV)  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

This verse confirms that eternal life is in the life of Christ, and it has been manifested or shown to Christians. We can lay hold on to eternal life by allowing Christ to live His life through us. Eternal life is a result of good works as stated in the verses in 1st Timothy that follow.

(1 Tim 6:12 KJV)  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.
(1 Tim 6:17 KJV)  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
(1 Tim 6:18 KJV)  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
(1 Tim 6:19 KJV)  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life

Verse 12 clearly states that eternal life is the result of fighting the good fight of faith and the Christian must “lay hold on eternal life”. Verse 18 nails down the fact that good works are necessary in order to lay hold on eternal life.

(1 John 2:25 KJV)  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

This Scripture confirms that eternal life is the result of continuing to abide in the Son and the Father. Eternal life pertains to the salvation of the soul and not the spirit. If it is impossible for a Christian to fall away from the truth and cease to abide in the Father and the son, then this warning to Christians by the Apostle John would be ludicrous in its intent to keep these Christians from falling away from the truth.

(1 John 3:15 KJV)  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

The Christian who hates his fellow Christian is not abiding in the love of Christ, so he is not abiding in eternal life.

(1 John 5:11 KJV)  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

The Scriptures record that God has given us the gift of eternal life, but this gift is conditional on Christians appropriating the life of Christ into their lives. Eternal life is attained to by dying to self and living the life of Christ. Spirit salvation is realized by the death of Christ, but eternal life (i.e., soul salvation) is realized through the life of Christ. Soul salvation and eternal life are synonymous throughout the Scriptures.

(1 John 5:13 KJV)  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.

The word “believe” means to entrust one’s spiritual well-being, and the word name refers to the power and authority of a person. Thus, this verse confirms that the Christian who has entrusted his spiritual well-being to the power and authority of Jesus Christ can understand that he is abiding in eternal life.

(1 John 5:20 KJV)  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

This verse in 1 John confirms that Jesus Christ has given us understanding THAT WE MAY KNOW HIM THAT IS TRUE. Jesus is truly God and we can attain to eternal life by knowing him intimately.

(Jude 1:21 KJV)  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

It is important to note that a Christian must keep himself in the love of God and he must be looking forward to the mercy of Jesus Christ to attain “unto eternal life”. Eternal life is the reward for faithfully serving the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.