The eternal life, salvation, is a gift, but it is up to us to lay hold of it.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
Salvation: from death to life
Salvation is partaking of eternal life, and we see in this verse that it is the gift of God. But this gift is given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. We read in the beginning of the same chapter that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. What death was that? “For the death that he died, He died to sin…” Verse 10. Paul also writes in 2 Corinthians 4:10, “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
The life of Jesus is the eternal life. When we are born again the eternal life is born in us and our daily salvation starts. Its beginning is like a mustard seed, but it is not the intention that it remains a tiny seed—it is to grow and increase. This new and eternal life can only grow to the degree that our old sinful life is brought into the death of Jesus. “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” Verse 11.
Daily salvation by taking up our cross
“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’” Luke 9:23-24.
Here we see our daily salvation—deny ourselves and take up our cross daily so we lose our old carnal life and gain a new and eternal life. We cannot gain more of the eternal life without losing our old life. This is where many go astray—they want the eternal life but they also want to keep their old life and enjoy their lusts a bit. If a person continues in this way they risk losing their salvation completely—the tiny seed that has sprouted can be destroyed. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Verse 25.
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” 1 Tim 6:11,12.
Lay hold of salvation—eternal life!
The eternal life, salvation, is a gift, but it is up to us to lay hold of it. And we can only lay hold of it by fleeing our lusts. We see that this is a fight of faith—who do we believe? Jesus or our lusts? When we continually and faithfully flee our lusts, they will receive no nourishment and, as is the case with all life, then they will die.
So let us fight this fight of faith so that we remain in Christ and in His death. Then we will be able to continually lay hold of more of the eternal life that is given to us in Christ Jesus.
Learn more about overcoming sin.