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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

The Truth about Eternal Life (Romans 6)

It surprises me to see so many false beliefs about Eternal Life among Christians. I have heard everything from earning your salvation through works, to being a good person, to everyone will go to heaven. But what does God's Word teach us about Eternal Life?


No where in God's Word does it teach us that we can earn Eternal Life by our own works or good deeds. In fact, God's Word says just the opposite:


Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


No where in God's Word does it say that everyone will go to heaven. In fact, God's Word says just the opposite:


Matthew 7:13-14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."


So we see the truths of eternal life throughout the Bible tell us that we cannot earn it ourselves and not many attain eternal life. Then we get to the book of Romans.


Eternal life is a major doctrinal teaching of the book of Romans. Paul started off in Romans 1 telling us of specific sins that are worthy of death.


Then in Romans 3, he clarifies that everyone has sinned.


Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.


That means absolutely every person who has ever lived, except Jesus, is guilty of sin.

  • Abraham, the great Old Testament patriarch, sinned.

  • Moses, who led Israel out of bondage, sinned.

  • Noah, who was called righteous by God, sinned.

  • Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, sinned.

How do we know?


Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, not even one."


So the only one who has ever lived who is and was completely righteous is Jesus Christ. Jesus is both fully God and fully man. So He, being fully God, is the only one untarnished by sin. And that is good news for us.


Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.


Romans 6:23 is the gospel message of salvation in a nutshell. Let's break it down and understand it:


The wages of sin is death

  • Every one of us has committed at least one sin in our lifetime.

  • That means the wages, what we earn, due to our sin(s) is death.

  • The "death" talked about here is eternal death, the lake of fire. It's real and it's not a pleasant thought. But thankfully that's not the end of the story.

  • This verse goes on to say:

but the FREE gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Eternal life is a free gift because there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it.

  • We can never do enough right to pay the price for even one of our sins.

  • We can never do enough good works to pay the price for our sin.

  • We can never be a good enough person to pay the price for our sin.

  • We can never go to church enough to pay the price for our sin.

  • We can never work out our sin after we die.

  • There is nothing we can do personally to ever pay the price for our sin.

This is why this verse says "through Christ Jesus."

  • When Jesus was nailed to the cross, God the Father took our sin and put it on Jesus.

  • Jesus experienced the pain and suffering we deserved for our sin.

  • Then in John 19:30, Jesus said "It is finished" meaning He had completed the payment for all of our sin: past, present and future:

  • Then Jesus willingly gave up his life and died the death that we deserved.

  • Three days later, He arose from the grave, defeating sin and death for all who have repented of their sins and trusted in His sacrifice in their place.

So what about you?

  • Are you still trying to do more right than wrong to earn salvation in a battle that you cannot win?

  • Have you realized there is nothing you can do to escape the penalty of death for your sins according to God's Word?

  • Have you repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus as your savior and asked Him to be the Lord God of your life?

If you have repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus, the Bible says you can be assured of eternal life, the free gift of God, through Jesus' sacrifice in your place.


If you have not made that step, what's stopping you? You can take that step right now, today. Just pray and tell Jesus you want to turn away from your sins and stop trying to be the lord of your own life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and accept His free gift of salvation. Then, out of gratitude for that free gift of eternal life, ask Him to guide and strengthen you each day to live a life that pleases Him and brings Him glory.


Dear Lord, Thank you for the free gift of eternal life. Lord, I know I have sinned and that I can never do enough good to right even one of my wrongs. Lord, thank you for taking the penalty of my sin upon yourself on the cross so that by repenting of my sin and trusting in You, in Your sacrifice in my place, I can be assured of eternal life. Lord, I want to live my life in gratitude for that gift, pleasing You, glorifying You, and sharing your message of love and redemption with others. Please guide me Lord, and protect me from pride, temptation, and the desire to be my own lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.



Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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