“. . . and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
When I shared my faith with a Jewish friend, he told me that thinking I had eternal life was presumptuous and no one can know that for sure. At that time, I didn’t think to say, “If eternal life is based on whether I live a good enough life or not, then my assurance is presumption, but if eternal life is based on the promises of God, then it is about whether I believe Him or not.”
Jesus promised, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out . . . . For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37–40)
Jesus also promised, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day . . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” (John 6:44–50)
Paul believed Jesus and suffered for his faith. He said, “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
John believed Jesus and knew that the life of Christ is eternal. He said, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1–3)
He also said, “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:9–13)
The testimony of men is that we must earn the favor of God. The testimony of God is that He gives His favor to us in the Person of His Son. Whoever has the Son has life.
Presumption is not about knowing and believing God’s promises, but in presuming that my ideas about eternal life are greater than His. Who am I to presume that Jesus Christ is in error and I know better? Pride says I can please God, but God says all fall short.
The more I know of God, the more I realize there is nothing in me than can come anywhere near measuring up to the glory of Jesus Christ. I fall short, totally. Without His life, my life is nothing. With His life, I have eternal life. This is based on what He says, not how I perform, and I know it is true because God says so.