ETERNAL LIFE- as taught by Jesus Christ 
based on a Holmann Bible Dictionary Study by A. Berkeley Mickelsen 
John 17:3 (KJV)
 And this is life eternal,
that they might know Thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
The quality of life including the promise of resurrection which God gives to those who believe in Christ. This important term in the New Testament is emphasized in the Gospel of John, but also appears in the other Gospels and in Paul's writings. Eternal life in the New Testament eliminates the boundary line of death. Death is still a foe, but the one who has eternal life already experiences the kind of existence that will never end.
    Yet in this _expression_, the emphasis is on the quality of life rather than on the unending duration of life. Probably some aspects of both quality and duration appear in every context, but some refer primarily to quality of life and others point to unending life or a life to be entered into in the future.
    "Quality of life" involves (1) life imparted by God; (2) transformation and renewal of life; (3) life fully opened to God and centered in Him; (4) a constant overcoming of sin and moral evil; and (5) the complete removal of moral evil from the person and from the environment of that person.
Eternal Life As Experience in the Present
This term in John has important implications. The one trusting in the Son has eternal life; the one disobeying the Son has the wrath of God abiding on him:
John 3:36 (KJV)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
 and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Trusting and obeying go together; they leave no room for neutrality. The one who hears Christ's message and believes or trusts in the Father who sent Him has eternal life. This person does not come into condemnation but has passed out of death into life.
John 5:24 (KJV)
 Verily, verily, I say unto you,
 He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
 hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life.
(Note for John 5:24: "is passed" -The perfect tense of the Greek is used for "is passed", implying that the person, "has passed, and remained in the state of having passed, from death into life" .This emphasizes eternal life as a permanent, present reality. But no presumption is possible here. Eternal life is a present reality for the one hearing and trusting in Christ:)
The bold metaphors of eating and drinking point to active involvement with Christ.
John 6:54a
"The one eating my flesh and drinking my blood, has eternal life.
John 6:57 explains: "The one eating me will live because of me."
Since Christ is our life, we must make that life part of us by "sharing in Christ," by actively coming to Him and drawing life-giving strength from Him. This is another example of Jesus using an example from everyday life which anyone can actually understand, to express a profound theological truth. As with many such basic truths, the person who is being taught by the Holy Spirit can understand this; but the casual observer, who is not born-again and does not have the Holy Spirit, will think it is nonsense and even be offended by it. Such was the case here.

Eternal life is also defined in Jesus' high priestly prayer:
John 17:3
And this is eternal life,
 that a person {Grk=would be constantly knowing} you, the only true God
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The present tense of the verb "to know" indicates that this knowledge is by experience, not from intellectual facts. Genuine knowledge of God by experience brings eternal life. Such experience transforms life.
Eternal Life as Experienced in the Present and Future
John compared the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness to the lifting up of the Son of Man on the cross and His exaltation to heaven. People who respond to Christ by constant trust have eternal life:
John 3:14-15 (KJV)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up{Grk=exalted on high}:
 {15} That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
They have healing from something more deadly than snakebite--the destructive effects of sin. Here eternal life involves a present healing, a present reality. But John 3:16 refers both to the present and the future:
John 3:16 (The Amplified Bible)
"Now God so greatly loved the world ;
that he even gave up his only-begotten and unique Son,
that everyone believing or trusting in him should not come to destruction
but should be having eternal and everlasting life."
Perishing is contrasted with having eternal life. "Eternal life" here is both present and future and is the alternative to "perishing." 

Christ defined His true sheep as those who hear or listen to His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). To such disciples, He gives eternal life, and they will not perish (John 10:28). Again, no presumption is possible. Those are secure who persistently listen, hearken, and follow. For such people eternal life is both a present and a future reality.
John 10:25-29 (KJV)
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not:
 the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
{26} But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
 {27} My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
{28} And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand.
 {29} My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all;
and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
Eternal Life as a Future Experience
 "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" the rich young ruler asked. (Mark 10:17; compare Matt 19:16; Luke 18:18). He saw eternal life as a final inheritance. His earnestness moved Jesus, and Jesus loved this young man (Mark 10:21). But he had to make a decision: Would he follow Jesus without his possessions? (Mark 10:22). He answered, "No." He could not part with his possessions first and then follow Jesus. 
Mark 10:21-23 (KJV)
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,
One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
{22} And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved:
for he had great possessions.
{23} And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples,
How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
 In Matthew 19:27 Peter asked Jesus, "What then shall be to us?" The disciples had left their dear ones and their possessions to follow Jesus. Jesus promised them loved ones and lands (possessions) with persecutions. Then He added: "And in the coming age, eternal life" (Mark 10:30). Eternal life here refers to an unending future reality. 

 In  John 12:20-26 Jesus spoke about His death and what it meant to be a disciple:
John 12:25 (AMP)
The one loving his life will lose it;
but the one hating his life in this world
 will preserve his life forever and ever.
 Jesus here contrasted eternal life with the present life. Believers are to guard their persons or souls by serving Christ and following Him (John 12:26). Such servants will be where Christ is, and the Father will honor them (John 12:26). To be where Christ is means to come into eternal life--a life freed from sin or moral evil. 
John 12:26 (KJV)
If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

And as Paul declared, that "the one sowing to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit" (Gal. 6:8). Eternal life is given by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This future reality, already experienced to some limited degree in the present, involves the Father, Son, and Spirit. Fellowship in life eternal means fellowship with the Triune God.
 Gal 6:7-9 (KJV)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
{8} For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
 {9} And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not.

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