The only way to have eternal life is through faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36.
Faith alone, cannot save. Jesus gives eternal life to those who obey Him. The words that Jesus spoke, His commandments, as they were also recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are the words of eternal life to those who obey Him. Jesus preached the sermon on the mount as we read it in Matthew chapters 5 to 7. At the end of His sermon he said: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.26“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27.
Those who believe in Jesus and therefor receive Him can be come children of God. We read in John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to be children of God–to those believing in His name,” Those who receive Jesus obey His words, repent and are baptized, and are born again. He give His Holy Spirit in them. They become His sheep who follow and obey Him. Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27,28. The key to salvation is obedience. His sheep follow and obey Him and He gives them eternal life.
Jesus Christ, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” Hebrews 5:8,9. All those who follow Jesus will learn obedience through suffering. Suffering is required to learn obedience and work holiness in those who follow Jesus.
Through suffering they will learn faith and be purified, if they stay with Jesus and do not turn from Him when they have to suffer for their faith and devotion to Him. We read in 1 Peter 4:1 “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.”
Following Jesus is not easy. We will be tested. Our devotion and obedience will be tested. If we deny Jesus, He will also deny us. If we disobey Him, He will discipline us to teach us obedience. That discipline will often come through suffering. We must endure the discipline and suffering and so learn obedience. We must not cave in and turn from Jesus when He disciplines us.
We read in Hebrews 12:4-12 “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as
sons,“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”
Through obedience to Jesus we are transformed into obedient children of God, in the likeness of Jesus so that we can be fit to receive the prize of eternal life at the end of our journey, if we endure and stay with Him until the end.
May Jesus bless you.