"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.John 17:3(NASB)
John 17 is the holy of holies in Scripture, for it contains the greatest prayer every prayed on earth, by the greatest man who ever lived, and causes us to take off the shoes from off our feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy. And within this sacred text we discover, from the prayerful lips of the Lord Jesus Himself, exactly what eternal life is.
Eternal life is not heaven, our ultimate destination, or the life hereafter as so many people think. It is not some fuzzy feeling or something to look forward to in the dim and distant future. It is not something for which to strive throughout our earthly life.
Eternal life is a free gift of grace that all believers on Him have as their present possession now - something they received the moment that they trusted the Lord Jesus as Saviour and were born into the family of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
This is eternal life; that we know the triune God and that we know the Lord Jesus Christ Whom God sent to be the Saviour of mankind. Eternal life is knowing God personally. It is not just knowledge about God, but an intimate and eternal fellowship with Him that begins by grace through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We cannot know the Father apart from the Son, for it is Jesus through Whom God now speaks to humanity. As Jesus reminds us: "I and the Father are One." One in purpose and One in truth; One in life and One in Spirit. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and He is the only One Who makes God known - through the power of His Holy Spirit.
Without God there is no life, and His life is that eternal life of Christ that is breathed into the one that is dead in trespasses and sins, the moment we trust Him as Saviour. Without Christ there is no access to God and eternal life, for in Him is the light of life to all who believe. God has given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as God has given Him. And this is eternal life; to know God and to know Jesus Christ Whom He sent.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the new life in Christ that was given to me when I trusted Him as Saviour. Thank You for the eternal life that is already mine through Christ. May I know You more and more, and may I grow in grace and in a knowledge of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Jesus' name, AMEN.