The possession of eternal life in Christ Jesus risen and glorified, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, are blessings which characterize Christianity, and it is consequently of the utmost importance for the child of God to apprehend these truths. The two are intimately connected, as we shall see.
As to what we are by nature there is no room for doubt: "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." Nor will improvement or reformation gain acceptance with God, for "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." Even the knowledge of forgiveness of sins does not touch the root of the evil in us. Supposing the fruit of a tree is offensive, to strip off the fruit may remove the offence for the time being but will not prevent a fresh crop appearing. Just so: many a soul truly trusting in the blood of Christ, but knowing only the forgiveness of sins, fails to enjoy settled peace. Fresh sins and daily failure trouble the soul, and there is a constant recurrence to the blood to get relief for the conscience. What then is needed, is not only forgiveness for our sins, but the judgment for our state, and a new nature given - a new life capable of enjoying God and of bringing forth fruit pleasing to God. All this we have in Christ. He has not only borne "our sins in His own body on the tree," but in His death God has condemned sin in the flesh, so that faith can say, "I am crucified with Christ;" adding also, "nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). This, and nothing less, is our place in virtue of the work of Christ. "Even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have" (not merely forgiveness of sins or even the new birth, but) "eternal life."
What is it to have eternal life? It is to have Christ. "He that hath the Son hath life." "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." Observe, it is the gift of God, and it is in His Son. It is not in our keeping, but it is secured for us in Christ. (1 Jn. 5:11-12). So we read, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear" (Col.3:4). Faith believes God’s record, receives Christ, and passes from death unto life; as the Lord says, "He that heareth My word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation" (judgment, it should be) "but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). How simple! May it be yours, dear reader, if not sure of your portion in Christ, to receive what God gives in the simplicity of faith. He has given His word for the purpose of removing every difficulty. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life." (1 Jn. 5:13)