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How Can We Obtain Everlasting Life?

In order to obtain everlasting life, it is necessary to learn and do several acts of obedience.
Each scripture below will specify only one or more of these acts but not all in the same verse.
This page will provide these acts of obedience so that we will know all that God requires for everlasting life.

Hearing the gospel is the first step for obtaining everlasting life.
If a person has not heard the gospel, they would know nothing about Jesus and everlasting life

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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  Romans 10:17
Romans 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

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Everyone must hear the gospel, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ

John 8:47
John 8:47

He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God

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Whoever is of God hears the words of God

Luke 11:28
Luke 11:28

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it

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Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it

Hebrews 2:1
Hebrews 2:1

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away

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Give earnest heed to the things we have heard

James 1:22
James 1:22

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves

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Be doers of the word, and not hearers only

Luke 8:21
Luke 8:21

But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

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Hear the word of God and do it

John 5:24
John 5:24

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life

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This verse says to hear and believe. Does this mean there is nothing more to do for everlasting life?


Faith is an act of obedience.
After a person hears the gospel, that person must develop belief / faith.

Romans 10:8–10
Romans 10:8–10

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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Faith comes by hearing the word of God

John 3:16
John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

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This verse is probably the most popular verse in the Holy Scriptures.  It is a summary of the entire Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It reflects the whole of the gospel in which the essential idea is extremely clear;  i.e., belief in Jesus is the beginning of an everlasting life.  Here it is obvious that we have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ or we would have no reason to believe.

However, this verse does not tell us everything necessary to obtain everlasting life.   While this verse states that faith in Christ should result in a person obtaining everlasting life, this is only the beginning.  Note the word 'should' in this verse;   it is defined as: referring to a possible event or situation.   The believer does not have everlasting life at the point of believing but may obtain it in the future; after additional acts of obedience.

This verse has only one of the acts of obedience that are necessary for everlasting life (or salvation or remission of sins).
There are multiple verses in the bible that mention one or more of the acts of obedience but, as with John 3:16, none of them tell us that this is the only way to obtain everlasting life.

Consider some verses that mention one or more acts of obedience:
Acts 17:30
Acts 17:30

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent

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  says to repent but says nothing about belief.   Does this mean that we do not need to believe?   Not at all, repentance is just one of the acts of obedience necessary to obtain everlasting life.
Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:9-10

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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 says to confess and believe but says nothing about repentance.   Does this mean that we do not need to repent?   Not at all, confession and believing are just two of the acts of obedience necessary to obtain everlasting life.   It also says that believing is unto righteousness and confession is unto salvation; here again believing alone is not enough.
Acts 2:38
Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

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  says to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins but says nothing about belief.   Does this mean that we do not need to believe?   Not at all, repentance and baptism are just two of the acts of obedience necessary to obtain everlasting life.

James 2:19-24
James 2:19-24

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
...
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

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The New Testament teaches that we are saved by faith (belief).  But it does not teach that we are saved by “faith only”, or without further acts of obedience.

John 8:24
John 8:24

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins

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Jesus says, you will die in your sins if you do not believe.  Believing is an act of obedience to the gospel of Christ.  There are multiple scriptures in the bible that clearly state a person must do further acts of obedience in order to obtain everlasting life.

John 12:42-43
John 12:42-43

42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

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This is an example of some who believed but did not have everlasting life.
Among the chief rulers many also believed on him but they refused to confess Christ, yet they believed in Christ.
Is there anybody who thinks these people were saved?

Acts 2:37-38
Acts 2:37-38

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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This is an example of some who believed but did not YET have everlasting life.
They were cut to the heart and BELIEVED. But were they saved?
     Not unless one can be saved without repentance.
     Not unless one can be saved without being baptized for remission of sins.
These are some people who believed but were not saved. Not yet.  Why?
Because their faith was not yet obedient faith.
You can read the entire account in Acts   Chapter 2

Ephesians 2:8
Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

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You have been saved by grace through faith, but not by grace alone because, even here, there are some other things to do

Acts 26:24-28
Acts 26:24-28

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.
26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

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Faith alone didn't make king Agripa a Christian


Repentance is an act of obedience.
True repentance means several things:
Psalm 51:4
Psalm 51:4

Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

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Psalm 109:21-22
Psalm 109:21–22

21 But You, O God the Lord, Deal with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your mercy is good, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me.

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It involves a sense of awareness of one’s own guilt, sinfulness, and helplessness.
Psalm 119:128
Psalm 119:128

Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.

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  Job 42:5–6
Job 42:5–6

5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

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  2 Corinthians 7:10
2 Corinthians 7:10

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

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It means a change of attitude and action regarding sin.  Hatred of sin turns the repentant person away from sin to God.
It results in a radical and persistent pursuit of holy living, walking with God in obedience to His commands.

Acts 17:30-31
Acts 17:30-31

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

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Repentance is another act of obedience required for everlasting life.   God requires all men everywhere to repent.

Acts 26:20
Acts 26:20

but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance

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Repent and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance

Matthew 4:17
Matthew 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

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Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 11:20-21
Matthew 11:20-21

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:
21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! or if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

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He rebuked the cities because they did not repent

Luke 13:3
Luke 13:3

I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

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If we don't repent, it does not matter whether we believe or not

Luke 15:7
Luke 15:7

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance

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Joy in heaven over one sinner who repents

Acts 3:19
Acts 3:19
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out

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Repent in order to blot out sin


Confession is an act of obedience.
We must confess that Jesus is the son of God

Romans 10:8–10
Romans 10:8–10

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe

1 John 4:15
1 John 4:15

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God

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God abides in those who confess


Baptism is an act of obedience
We must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, salvation and everlasting life

Matthew 28:19-20
Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

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Jesus tells his disciples to baptize all nations and teach them to obey all his commandments.

Acts 2:38
Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

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Baptism is necessary for the remission (forgiveness) of sins

Mark 16:16
Mark 16:16

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

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He who believes and is baptized will be saved

Acts 2:47
Acts 2:47

praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

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God then adds us to the church; this would be the universal church.
Not by vote or the decisions of men, but God alone adds us to His Church.
What is the Church

What happens when we are baptized?
Acts 8:36-39
Acts 8:36-39

36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

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  Acts 10:47-48
Acts 10:47-48

47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

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There must be enough water for a person to get into.  Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and they both came up out of the water.  Going down into the water represents dying, going under the water represents burial, and coming out of the water represents resurrection.

John 3:5
John 3:5

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God

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  Acts 22:16
Acts 22:16

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

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  Titus 3:4-5
Titus 3:4-5

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

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  Ephesians 5:26
Ephesians 5:26

that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

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We must be born of water to have our sins washed away. Baptism washes away sins. But it is not the physical washing of the body that makes the difference.   Rather, it is our willingness to do that which God has commanded us to do.

I Peter 3:20-21
I Peter 3:20-21

20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

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 Peter tells us baptism is not the removal of the filth of the flesh.  He does not mean it is the only thing or the primary thing that saves us, as if to leave Christ out, but he certainly makes it clear that Christ will not save us if we leave out his commandment to be baptized in his name.

Romans 6:3-5
Romans 6:3-5

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

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  Colossians 2:12
Colossians 2:12

buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

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We are baptized into the death and burial of Jesus Christ

Galatians 3:26–27
Galatians 3:26–27

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

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So, we are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. But what does that faith in Jesus lead us to do?
When do we actually put on Christ?
The answer of Galatians 3:27
Galatians 3:27

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

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is simple


There is no evidence this is about the sprinkling of an infant or just a symbol of salvation already enjoyed.  The early disciples were "baptized into Christ" as a result of hearing and believing the gospel of Christ.

We need to do a careful study of the above passages and be influenced by only one thing, that is, what the Bible says. The grace of God provides the gift of salvation in Christ.   We receive that gift when we are baptized into Christ.  Baptism is not a work in the sense of earning salvation by human merit.  Baptism is a necessary part of our response to the gospel.


Finally, we must live our lives in faithful and loyal service to Jesus Christ as God has directed

Romans 6:4
Romans 6:4

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life

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We should walk in newness of life

Revelation 2:10
Revelation 2:10

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison , that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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Be faithful until death

Ezekiel 33:13
Ezekiel 33:13

When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.

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This verse is clear, that person's own righteousness will not be remembered by God, but his sin will cause him to die in that sin, separated from God in eternal death.  So, a true faithful person will continue to live righteously his entire life.   He will live faithfully for God, keeping his faith and living it out.

Romans 6:17-23
Romans 6:17-23

17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
...
22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Having completed all the acts of obedience, we are no longer slaves to sin, but being set free from sin, we have everlasting life.

However, we must continue to live a life faithful to the commands of God in order to not lose everlasting life.


CONCLUSION:
Jesus Christ commanded the gospel to be preached unto all the world (Mark 16:15)

We must hear the gospel, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

We must believe that Jesus is the Christ (John 8:24)

We must confess Jesus to be the Christ before men (Romans 10:9-10)

We must repent of our sins (Luke 13:3)

He that believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16)
    If one believes only, they are lost
    If one is baptized only, they are lost

We must be buried with Christ by baptism (Romans 6:4) and live our lives in faithful service to Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:10)


We must find a congregation that believers follow the Word of God, speak where the Bible speaks, live by His Word and His Word alone.  Trusting in God to save us as He has promised those who would be faithful to Him.

If you are not following the Bible's plan of salvation, you can change.   No matter how old you may be, you can make your life right with God. It is never too late to make your life right by obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   If you sincerely desire to serve the Lord, He can certainly help you in your pursuit of everlasting life.   If you would like to correspond or speak with someone concerning the Bible's plan of salvation, or any other bible question, you may contact us using the phone number or email address on the Contact page.

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 North Hills, CA 91343
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