God’s gift of eternal life is in His Son.
This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is
in His Son (1 John
5:11). Life is promised in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1).
God gives us eternal life in Christ!
What gift could be greater?
Eternal life must be a gift of grace because death is what we have earned. For the wages of
sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23), for all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the
redemption that is
in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23, 24).
This gift of eternal life is ‘in Christ’ because it is by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross that
our sins can be forgiven, that we are redeemed, that we are justified by the grace of God. There is
no salvation outside of Christ!
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is
written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon
in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
(Galatians 3:13, 14).
To the Gentiles Paul wrote: But now
in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been
brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13); that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of
the same body, and partakers of His promise
in Christ through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6).
Therefore, if anyone is
in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ
reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. ... For He made Him who
knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God
in Him (2
Corinthians 5:17-19, 21).
Before the foundation of the world, God determined that salvation would be in Christ!
Every spiritual blessing is in Christ: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
in Christ, just as He
in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before Him in love (Ephesians 1:3, 4).
God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us
in Christ Jesus before time began
(2 Timothy 1:9).
God’s plan of salvation was ready before the creation of the world. In anticipation, God’s
grace was given to us in Christ Jesus: the redeemed would be sanctified in Christ. Paul calls us the
in Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:1; 4:21). The ‘saints’ are those who are sanctified, made
holy, in Christ. Salvation is in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10). There is no salvation outside of Christ!
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). In Him also we have obtained an inheritance (Ephesians
The gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Thus, if we want to inherit eternal life, we must be in Christ.
What does it mean to be in Christ?
Being in Christ means being in His body, the church. God put all things under His feet, and
gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills
all in all (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Christ is the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18). His
body is the church (Colossians 1:24).
How do we get into Christ?
This question is extremely important since eternal life is given to us in Christ.
According to Galatians 3:13, 14, the Gentiles can receive the blessing of Abraham in Christ.
Later in the chapter, Paul tells us how we get into Christ. For you are all sons of God through faith
in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized
into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians
On the basis of our faith that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and rose the
third day, we are baptized into Christ.
One can be baptized into Christ only if one was not yet in Christ before baptism. Since one
has eternal life only in Christ (Romans 6:23), one does not have eternal life before baptism.
We are baptized into Christ!
Jesus said we must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
He also said: He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16).
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). For as
many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).
What happens at baptism?
Paul explains: 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that
just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also
shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he
who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also
live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no
longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life
that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but
alive to God
in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:3-11).
We are therefore baptized into Christ because we take part in His death through baptism
(which is a burial)! Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were
baptized into His death (Romans 6:3).
Through baptism we also take part in the resurrection! We were buried with Him through
baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). Our old man of sin is crucified with Him
(Romans 6:6) and we are alive to God
in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:11).
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).
That we are baptized into Christ also explains why Peter gives the command: Repent, and
let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
and why Paul was commanded: Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the
name of the Lord (Acts 22:16) and why Peter says baptism saves (1 Peter 3:21). Our sins are
washed away, we are forgiven, we are saved at baptism because we are baptized into Christ our
This means that people who think salvation is possible by faith alone without baptism, and
view baptism as only a symbol, have not yet experienced Biblical baptism. By their own testimony,
they were not baptized into Christ, they were not baptized into His death. They are still outside of
Christ and still do not have eternal life.
Not every immersion is according to the New Covenant. Many people think: I was
immersed, so my baptism is OK. They have learned that infant baptism is not valid. They think: If I
was immersed that’s OK. But many people are not immersed for the remission of sins. They are not
baptized into Christ. They think baptism has nothing to do with forgiveness of sins or with
becoming a Christian. That is not the baptism that we read about in the New Testament.
What have we learned?
God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1 John 5:11). For the wages of
sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
How do we get into Christ? As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on
Christ (Galatians 3:27). Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ
Jesus were baptized into His death? (Romans 6:3).
God’s gift of eternal life is in His Son.
If you have not been baptized into Christ, do not wait a day longer! If you believe that Jesus
is the Son of God, if you are sorry for your sins and are willing to confess your faith, then on the
basis of that faith, repentance and confession, you can be baptized into Christ and in Him you will
have eternal life. Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Published in The Old Paths Archive