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ETERNAL LIFE: What Is It And When Do We Enter It?

CHIASM, 1 JOHN 2:3-5


Explaining the Chiasm

Before delving into the chiasm, let’s consider something John said about eternal life, a subject of persistent discussion in the Christian conversation and widely considered to begin for the believer upon death and ascension to heaven. Turning to John 17:3, we read the words of Jesus spoken to His Father: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” Jesus’ words form a definition of eternal life–to know the one, true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. The key words here are “is” and “know.” What is (estin) eternal life in the words of Jesus found in John 17:3? It is to know the one true God and the one He sent, that’s it. This is expressed in the present tense. Absent here, though not necessarily elsewhere, are any references to faith, heaven, the afterlife, salvation, etc.[1]

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