My Favorite Bible Passages — #2

How would you define eternal life? The next of my favorite Bible passages answers this question. The passage (verse) is John 17:3.

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3 ESV).

There is no other passage or verse that defines eternal life in such plain language. The word eternal forces you to think of life that lasts forever. And certainly it does. But here Jesus speaks to the quality of eternal life. Here are just a few of the reasons I love this verse.

  • Jesus’ definition helps me see that Christianity is all about relationship. For two thousand years, believers have been quick to say that “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.” This verse makes that point better than any other.
  • I think all roads in the Bible lead to this verse. Knowing Jesus, knowing His love, forgiveness and grace, is the pinnacle of human experience. The Gospel opens this door and delivers us to this end.
  • This relationship with Jesus, eternal life, impacts every area of my life – attitudes, thinking, actions and relationships. Knowing Jesus changes us.

If you haven’t given this verse much thought before, hopefully this post will inspire you to give it a fresh look. When I did, it helped me see that I could experience eternal life here and now.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

    I like, Thanks Bob, and it brings home to me Christ is speaking of his Father, that we may know you the only true God. Christ always pointed to his Father for us to be translated to the Father through his finished work. Today we have that translation, through belief.
    Also reminds of the verse john 16:33 I tell you the truth you will have adversity in this world, but don’t fear for I(christ) speaking have overcome the world.
    This says to me that since I am in Christ, this means I by no work of my own have also overcome the world at no effort on my part except the hard work of entering his rest. This is true for every believer
    Thanks for your insight of eternal, forever and ever
    Howard

    • Chris LoPresto

      Great verse! The final answer on the quiz of life is Jesus Christ……He is the meaning behind it all….no matter what we experience in this life that we think fulfils us….no matter the knowledge we gain in this life….no matter the human relationships we experience in this life…..if we fail to come to know Christ we have missed the whole point of our existence…..it is all really about Him and knowing Him…..and everything else is secondary….

      • http://firstlifethenchange.com Bob

        Chris, you hit the nail on the head. Every thing is secondary to knowing Christ. Thanks for adding this great comment to the conversation.

  • Brad Heath

    Great post Bob. Greatreplies Howard and Chris.
    Most Christians never come to understand the finished work of Jesus. They believe salvation is the forgiveness of sins and a ticket to heaven. They are not entirely wrong. They are forgiven and they will go to heaven! However they spend their christian lives trying to transform or convert the flesh trusting God to give them the strngth to do it; Only to experience frustration, guilt, and utter defeat. To know God is eternal life. To know God is to grow in grace. This can only happen in the new creation we have become in Christ. It will never happen in the flesh. To know God hasppens through the renewed mind not in man’s natural fallen intellect.
    To know God is eternal life!

    • greg macleod

      I have often contemplaited this verse. When I first heard it from the pulpit I was moved to hear it a bit differently.I heard it not as the definition of eternal life but as the purpose for it.Even today I hear this as almost a default understanding.I had the unfortunate experience of listening to a cult member who was teaching that she could have eternal life by gaining knowledge about God and Jesus..I ventured this alternate understanding of this verse as a counter to this position, and perhaps that stand has made it difficult to accept the commonly held view. Thanks for what you do Bob, I value both your insight and your incite!

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      Brett you are right, I think it is in Romans 5:10 where it states we all have been reconciled to God through Christ, the whole world forgiven, but it goes on to say since this is true, how much more shall we be saved by the life of Christ not the death. The sins taken out of the way at the cross is the foundation like when one of us builds a house we need a strong foundation and Christ is that unbreakable foundation where one starts their journey in who they are. I remember Romans 6:1 on through, how can one sin again once they know they have been crucified with Christ at the cross, then when the operation of God brings you back to live in the Holy Ghost of truth you know you are dead in the flesh Romans 6:11 comes alive to you personally, you are free with God now doing the leaading, you watching God’s smoke instead of you trying to get him to watch yours, as is what the flesh does. Come with me to the virgin islands have some tea kick back and enjoy life in the midst of the world’s adversity, praising God for his finished work in you now today and forever. for all yuor needs are and will be supplied for God said in the form of his Son Jesus Christ, seek ye the kingdom above all things and all needs shall be supplied, then it says John 10:10 the devil (flesh) came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I (Jesus)came to give you life and give it to you more abundantly. This is so true brother, God is not a liar but man is!!!!!! Love Howard

  • http://JesusistheonlyAnswer Donnetta McCall

    Sometimes I just weep when I thank the Lord for this ministry. From the time I first starting hearing Bob George and I found out who Jesus really was and how much He really loved even us. I had been a long time Christian that hated legalisim but I did not know why until I got into the Word after hearing People to People over 20 years ago. When Bob George passed the leadership onward I did not think things would be the same but they have been exactly the same. I love Bob Christopher and Bob Davis and Richard and all of the staff and volunteers since the message is about Jesus and not their individual personalities. These are REAL people of God that are not on ego trips. It is
    so rare right now to hear truth on the radio or on television. It always ends up being legalism in a pretty bow. Truth is simple and yet so profound because God knew a relationship with Him was what we needed and not more religion.

    Now I am so saddened to see more and more how little professing Christians know about the truth of the Bible. They will believe anything someone they like says and it is mindboggling to see the level of dception just like the Bible has predicted.

    Christians do not even know that Mormans are not Christians and that they teach Jesus and satan were originally brothers. That is an abomination among other abominations they teach that professing beleivers have no inkling about.

    Study to show thyself an approved……….

    Even so Come Lord Jesus. I will continue sending People to People as much of the money God blesses me with as possible in the future. We need to give more to this ministry and less to nonsense.

    I love you all.

    • Brad Heath

      Donnell you are so very correct Brother. I had heard a lot of teaching that I just accepted and actually took that and read it right back into the bible when I studied. Once I heard Law & Grace by BG in 1987 I was led to study by the leading of Jesus and not man.PTP teaches from Holy Spirit understanding(1 John 2:27) yet, until the Holy Spirit gives us the understanding we have not been taught.

      Thanks for your words of truth about PTP!

      God Bless

  • Jesse Thomas

    It is true that Jesus has set the path for us to follow to seek God’s face, live in his word, and not partake of this world around us. We are to follow things of righteousness, continually asking for forgiveness. To ask only once and be forgiven, then to turn to worldly things; (marking your flesh.. inhibiting your body with alcohol, drugs, steroids, etc.. cursing, speaking with hatred, and so on) these are not things we should ever do again. In our nature, we will sin; it is key to continually ask for forgiveness so that we can truly grow in God’s word. Yes Jesus loves us, but we must also love ourselves; our bodies are not our own, but that of the Lord’s and we are to treat it as such. Eternal life is a promise to those who follow that path that has been placed before us. Thank you all for your incite and comments, they are very helpful to (me) this new christian.

  • Brad Heath

    Howard and Greg your comments are right on. Jesse there is no better ministry anywhere. As a new believer you will become a disciple (a student, a learner, a follower of Jesus Christ) of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness of sins means that the penalty of those sins has been taken away. God will NEVER remember any of your sins. When Jesus Christ died for your and my sins ALL of them were in the future; we did not have any past or current sins we were not even born.Every sin you have ever committed, do committ or will ever committ ARE ALREADY forgiven! When you become aware of sin thank God for His forgiveness you are already forgiven. We are new creations in Jesus and God sees us through and in Jesus. God only looks at the performance of His Son Jesus. He does not look at our performance at all. We have a relationship with the Father because of Jesus’ Finished work and it is not based on our performance.

    Jesus gave His life for us, to give His life to us, TO LIVE HIS LIFE THROUGH US! God living through us will produce His works of righteousness. What we are called to do in Jesus is REST from our own effort, our flesh has been crucified Jesse. Please see Galatians 2:20. God has never said we could do anything BUT He says He can in and through us. God’s word says we can do nothing without Christ. Please see 2 Corinthians 5:17 in conjunction with Galatians 2:20.

    You are in my prayers Brother

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      Brad, thanks, and this whole dialogue has been right on we all have said what we think what we feel and have not bitten off the heads of each other, I have learned, been challenged to think about truth, for it is the truth that sets one free indeed, and if I, you or anyone is ever in bondage then there would probably be error in my truth and I would need to rethink it. I thank God for the holy Ghost the Spirit of all truth to straighten it all out in God’s timing not mine, yours or anyone else’s Thanks to all here at this sight here, looking forward to further topics as we all learn and discern by the Holy Ghost

  • troy jantz

    Truth, I am the Way the Truth and the Life. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these ‘things’ will be added unto you.
    I have truly been learning to live these verses out in my life.When we have Jesus, we have ‘everything’.
    There is a sign along our two lane highway I take to work everyday. A huge billboard proclaims…..Jesus is your ANSWER!
    He is our answer to every question we face, can we rest in Him? This is my prayer for all those that would proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!
    God bless.

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      Yes we all that believe are meant ot enter into God’s rest
      Hebrews 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

      The Promise of Rest

      4 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them,not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
      when I Read the whole chapter very enlightening for me to rest even though I work. so today I rest at work, knowing all things work together for good God’s good not mine, which ultimately is for my good along with all those around me

    • Brad Heath

      Troy we can rest in Him. Galatians 2:20 is the key to resting in Christ (Hebrews 4:9-10)You can see in Romans 7:17 Paul is recognizing that he is not sinning (the “I” in the verse is Paul’s recognition of his new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)is not sinning BUT it is his flesh (the sin indwelling his flesh). Paul recognizes the battle(Galatians 5:17) and asks in Romans 7:24, who will deliver him from this battle? Jesus!

      Paul basically says all will experience this battle and all must come to grips with Galatians 2:20 as he did and once having concluded he ceased from his own works and effort and entered the rest of Jesus Christ.

      God Bless

      • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

        Brad Thank you for that incite of those verses and I see this in context.
        Howard

        • Brad Heath

          Thanks Howard. It is such a shame there is so much bad teaching in the body today. So many churches emphisize their people need to witness to bring others to Christ. They miss the instructions Jesus gave in Matthew 28 – to go into the world and make disciples! Most miss that God is responsible for that and the body suffers for it. Discipleship is the greatest need in the body today. Many struggle with and are focused on their sin that has already been dealt with. Understanding that we have been (past tense) cricified (our flesh realm) and the life(His life) we live in our body is by faith in Jesus. I live in my new creation everyday and in His rest. Every thing I study I trust God to used the eyes of my new creation, the mind of Christ and my renewed mind for the training of my mind, controling my emotions and directing my will. I am growing in Christyet still have those times in the flesh. He is increasing and my flesh is decreasing. Praise be to God!

          God Bless

          • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

            Thanks Brad, yes daily i am decreasing and am dead to the old nature, as I grow this is more and more the truth as Paul said reckon thyself dead to the flesh, and alive to the Spirit of God, where one is set free from the wrath.
            I nowtoday realize that anytime I get proud and boastful ther is a messenger of Satan that comes to buffet me. So I now undertstand what Paul meant by glorying in his iniiquities, remindin him of his need for God. No more righteousness from the law. Righteousness is in Christ Jesus only. Romans 4 and romans 8:3Romans 8:3
            The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
            Wow!!!! lets move onto to perfrection through belief!!!

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    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      You know, nothing else matters except to know God the Father through God’s only Son Jesus Christ the two being one and our coupler is the Holy Ghost that connects us as one, that Christ sent to the ones that just want to know him. There is nothing else that matters, so Just want to know God and you will
      thanks Howard

  • Brad Heath

    Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    Something is not right with your post. I clicked your link and saw the same info.
    What is Christian Codependency and Loving too much?

    God Bless

  • William

    This verse is complimented by 1John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write theses things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

    If you have the Son you have life.
    If you have the Son you know the Son.
    If you know the Son you have eternal life.

    If you do not have the Son you do not have life.
    If you do not have the Son you do not know the Son.
    If you do not know the Son you do not have eternal life.

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      And through it all it is this sinmple, there are a lot that instill doubt and that is what started this mess in the beginning doubt and they ate, I am thanking God for God’s miracolous Mercy he has bestowed on the whole world through his Son Christ Jesus

  • frank cormia

    Knowing eternal life.Having eternal life.All despite the fact that we reside in a bag of decaying flesh and blood.Kind of makes our sloushing through the petty disagreements that arise all day long irrelevant

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      Yes the only rerverance is eternity snd eternity is love God’s that goes on forever,all else will pass away
      Thanks frank
      howard

  • http://underthewaterfallofgrace.blogspot.com/ Sparrow

    What a wonderful verse! Eternal life is knowing Him in all His love and grace!

    I want to thank you for your ministry, it has blessed my life so much…about 10 years ago, my cousin mentioned he had been learning about ‘grace’ at his church, and it was like a light bulb went on in my performance-oriented, tired, burned-out Christian brain. My cousin recommended Classic Christianity, and reading it turned my world upside down. I will never be the same! I had gone to seminary and yet never understood that being justified means Jesus has made us acceptable to God! I had been struggling my whole Christian life, working so hard trying to get God to accept me, when I had actually been accepted by Him since the day of my salvation years before! I have never forgotten that and have given the book to a friend and watched her have the same revelation and joy over that very subject as well!

    Grace is the best thing going! It is amazing that God really does love and accept us unconditionally, that He is not requiring things of us in order to earn our keep with Him, that we really do have His Life inside us, the very Spirit of Christ, to fellowship with us and live through us! I am never alone again! I never have to face anything on my own strength. And I never have to be afraid of His rejection, for His acceptance is forever. What a relief.

    I have even started a blog about His grace and love, just wanting to share about Him and His love with other people. So I just thank God for your ministry, it has truly changed my life to learn about His grace and the free gift of His life to me!

  • William

    The way I understand this verse is that you must have life to know God and His son.

    John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

    John 6:33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

    John 6:63 The Spirit gives life: the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

    So if you have been born again, received the Holy Spirit, then you have life, and because of this you may now know God and Jesus. So the ability of knowing God comes from having life, not the other way around. You cannot get life by getting to know God, you can only get to know God by having life.

    • http://www.godjustloveyou.com Howard Schultz

      Thanks William, that was explained perfecftly, as I have said before without the Holy Spirit, one cannot have life, it is being born again, so it is the death, burial and ressurection that leads to receive the Holy Spirit, and one is sealed with this the day they first believed Eph 1:13, and what God seals man cannot break, yet tampers with it a lot to deceive to their own gain claiming born again but are only imitaters, worshipping with lips, yet their hearts are far from him and this will be revealed at the judgement, with go away to those that work iniquity for Christ will say to those fakers he never knew those with impure hearts. Hoping for me, you and all to change from an impure heart to a heart that wants to know God, where God reveals God’s mercy to all those that truly seek him
      Thanks for letting me rattle on
      Howard