“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
John the Apostle tells us in his first letter to early Christians that God has given us eternal life through Jesus Christ. What is this eternal life? Well, it is clear from various places in Scripture that there is both a certain quality and a certain quantity to this eternal life.
The Quality of Eternal Life
Eternal life is not just about the length of our lives, such as being extended to eternal days, but also about a different quality of life. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The kingdom of God sort of life starts now through faith in Jesus Christ. We are plunged into a life enriched by God’s presence and relationship with Him. We do not wait for eternal life to begin when we die, but we enter into a new quality of life with God now. We pass from death to life, from darkness to light, from imprisonment to freedom now in Jesus Christ.
The Quantity of Eternal Life (5:12; John 3:16; 5:24)
At the same time as eternal life does begin now, it also has impact on our days beyond our physical death. We see this when read the well-known verses from John’s Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This relates to now and to what we would term eternity. Death is not the end for us who have faith in Jesus Christ. It moves on into the future for endless days with God. As Jesus says elsewhere, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Jesus is the bringer of eternal life. It is a life marked by divine quality and divine quantity.