John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
[One of my most favorite verses of scripture is found in John 17 where Jesus defines the meaning of eternal life for us: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.]
Most people focus on the part of this verse that promises us we won’t perish. Although it’s certainly a wonderful promise, it is not the focus of this verse. The primary purpose of Jesus’ coming to this earth was not forgiveness of sins, but to give us eternal life.
Sin separated us from God so Jesus dealt with sin. However, His payment for sin was just a step toward His ultimate purpose of reconciling man to God. If someone believes that Jesus died for their sins but doesn’t go on to enter into the close fellowship with God that Jesus made available, then they are missing eternal life.
Eternal life is not a length of life, but rather a quality of life. Eternal life is intimacy with the Father and Jesus (Jn. 17:3). Many people have been done a disservice in being told that Jesus came to forgive us of our sins “period’. If it had been all that He did, it would have been wonderful–and much more than we deserved–but much less than what He actually accomplished.
Today, take full advantage of your salvation and go beyond the basic forgiveness of your sins into intimacy with Almighty God.