As Christians, we have a natural understanding of the direct link between salvation and the word of God. To obtain eternal salvation for the soul faith is required. More specifically, faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is required. Faith is a tricky word, often finding itself gracing the face of posters with serene backgrounds for positive inspiration. The problem with this is that faith requires a proper object. For instance, the Bible says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The proper place for faith is in the written word of God.
Having read its precepts, we then place our faith in exactly what it says. A Christian then comes along, they either preach the gospel to the lost soul or give the lost person tract materials to read for themselves; they gain the intellectual knowledge necessary through the written word, and they either believe or they reject the Son of the living God. Generally speaking, this is typically how a person obtains eternal salvation.
The concern I have though, the matter I intend to address here is how that same relationship exists concerning the eternal security of the believer. Salvation is based upon our faith in what the Bible tells us about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To take things a step further, the same relationship exists regarding eternal security. Having trusted in Jesus Christ, our souls are saved, yet this is not the end of the matter. We now have Christian lives to live, and the God that saved us through his Son will now keep us until the day of redemption. Upon the arrival of the day of redemption, we are not then turned loose or given opportunity to leave, we are taken to be with the Lord himself (John 14:2-3, Ephesians 1:12-14).
John 6:67-69 “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” When the question is asked ‘Will ye also go away?” several of the Lord’s disciples have just left him. It is notable that these were men that no doubt saw Jesus raise men from the dead. They most likely were present when Jesus healed the sick, cleansed the leper, and gave sight to the blind. Furthermore, these men had the wonderful privilege of seeing God made manifest in the flesh face to face. Yet they were offended at his words, and they turned and walked away. Surely you have met people that claim, “If I could just see God.” or “If God would just show me a miracle.” then based upon God meeting their demands for a certain amount of evidence they would then believe. We read in our Bibles of multitudes of people that did see the miracles and they did see God himself manifest in the flesh, yet they did not believe and walked away. Most often it was their inability to receive his words that caused them to harden their hearts.
Remember, as we discussed in the introduction above, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” No amount of visuals will lead you to a proper faith in Jesus Christ, if at the first encounter with some part of his word you will be offended and leave.
So as the crowd of disciples clears, offended at his words, the Lord turns to the disciples that remain. “Will ye also go away?” Simon Peter responds with words so rooted in reality, they would greatly help us to grasp. Having left the Lord Jesus, the source of life temporal or eternal, where could we go? Religion is available the world over in numerous forms. People faithfully follow dead men in the hopes of finding life, which seems odd at best. Mohammud’s grave is in Mecca to this very day, how can he as a dead man help you find life, much less life eternal? The masses turn to religion for access to God and the life only he can provide. The end result is a religious world misled.
Only Jesus Christ has the words of eternal life. There will be no other way for a man to obtain the salvation God offers without faith in the words of Jesus Christ. Imagine how wonderful this is, Christ died for our sins, his sacrifice is then recorded for men to read, having read the finished work of Christ detailed in the word of God, we trust them. Christ did the work necessary, recorded it and then delivers it to men so that their souls can be saved. Not only does he have the words of eternal life, he did what was necessary to make it available to us.
Salvation will not be found in any other, only through Jesus will you find the words of eternal life. So if you are at some point offended at some aspect of the word of God, do not walk away. Spend time in study and prayer, asking the Lord to help you submit yourself to his word. Remain humble and patient, allow the Lord to help you gain the proper understanding necessary to no longer be offended by this word.
There will be more articles to come regarding eternal life. It is my hope that you will cling to the fact that eternal life is available. So often Christians are paralyzed by this doctrine and never grow in the faith. I want to encourage you to be confident in the life that you have through Christ, and press on toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.