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).
Man is mortal. Each day brings us one day closer to the day of our death.
Death is in the world as a consequence of sin: Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12).
All who sin, deserve to die: The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Do you want to live for ever with the Lord? Although we deserve to die, we can receive eternal life as a gift of grace from God: 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), 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 eternal life is 'in Christ' because it is 'in Christ' that we are redeemed, that we are justified by the grace of God. There is no salvation outside of Christ!
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).
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 the Gentiles 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).
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 chose us 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 saints in Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:1; 4:21). The 'saints' are those who are sanctified 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 1:11).
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. How do we get into 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 3:26, 27).
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 only be baptized into Christ if one was not yet in Christ before baptism. Since one has eternal life only in Christ (Romans 6:23), one does not yet have eternal life before baptism.
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 His 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 that 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 Savior!
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 valid baptism. By their own testimony, they were not baptized into Christ, they were not baptized into His death. They are therefore still outside of Christ and still do not have eternal life.
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.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive