I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. John 6:47
One could preach a hundred thousand years about these words and emphasize them again and again. Yes, one can’t speak enough about these words. Here Christ explicitly promises eternal life to the believer. He doesn’t say that if we believe in him we will have eternal life. Rather, he says that as soon as we believe in him, we already have eternal life. He is speaking, not of future gifts, but of present ones. He is saying, “If you believe in me, you are saved. You already have eternal life.” This passage is the cornerstone of our justification. With it, we can settle the disputes we’re having about how we receive God’s approval. Good works don’t lead us to heaven or help us in the sight of God. Only faith can do this. Of course, we should do good works and live holy lives in obedience to God. But these efforts won’t help us earn salvation. We already have eternal life. If we don’t receive it while here on earth, we’ll never receive it after we leave. Eternal life must be attained and received in this body. Yet how do we acquire eternal life? God becomes our teacher, for he tells us about eternal life through those who preach his Word. He convinces us that we should accept his Word and believe in him. That is how it begins. Those same words that we hear and believe will lead us to none other than the person of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary. God will take us nowhere else. If we believe in Christ and cling to him, we are redeemed from both physical and spiritual death. We already have eternal life.
Martin Luther | Faith Alone, Zondervan. Kindle Edition, 192.
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