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What is eternal life?

In the famous verse in John 3:16 it says "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."

Often we think about 'eternal life' in terms of quantity, but there is another equally as important way to think about it and that is in terms of quality.  These are in fact linked.  If we think in purely material terms, some things we buy are designed to last only a short period of time before they wear out or break down whereas other items will last for a very long time.  The difference is usually in the quality of the materials used and the quality of the workmanship. 

Eternal life with God involves both quantity and quality.  It was defined by Jesus in John 17:3 'Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent'.  Now this knowing is not an intellectual knowing about God but a close personal interaction that shapes our lives to more and more take on the qualities or character traits of the one who has lived forever.

This extract from a new book by Jan Johnson talks about this and how it can hapen.

David Wanstall, 11/11/2008