[This is part two of a series on the subject of eternal life. If you have not read part 1, I encourage you to do so before reading this.]
In part one, we discovered that "Eternal Life" is not just living forever, but is actually our receiving God's own Life and Nature in our spirits in the New Birth. Specifically, we found that the Greek word, "zoe", which is translated as "life" in the NT refers to the Nature of God that is imparted to us. That is how we can become children of God.
But there are two other words, "light" and "love" that also describe the Nature of God. 1 John 1:5 says that "God is light". That means that light, spiritual light, is what God is. In 1 John 4:16, the NT tells us that "God is love". The Greek word is 'agape' which is used almost exclusively as the kind of love that God possesses, and that which He gives to us.
The fact that we have the kind of love that God has is best described in Romans 5:5, "The love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit." That love is the Divine Nature given to us in the New Birth. Notice 1 John 3:14. "We know that we have passed from (spiritual) death to (eternal) life because we love the brethren." I recall when I was in college, I came across a sister in the Lord who was doubting her salvation. She had struggled spiritually when she was away from Christian fellowship back when she was on break (I could relate) and came back to school wondering if she really was a true Christian. I asked her if she was happy to get back with the Christians in our college fellowship group. She said she was overjoyed. She had missed them so much! I shared with her this scripture to assure her that if she loved the brethren that was proof that she did know the Lord and had eternal life.
Some Christians doubt that we can even have the God kind of love. They fall short many times and figure they could never love as Jesus loves. "I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26) This is quite a statement by Jesus. He says that the love that Father has for the Son is in us. That should settle that issue once and for all. God's love, His Nature, is in us. That is not a hope but a fact.
Why do we still struggle? If we truly have God's love in us, why do we not seem to experience it. Once again, we must be aware of the fact that that love is in our hearts (spirits) and not in our flesh or our minds. Our flesh still must be kept under and our minds renewed with the Word of God so that the love of God can come out of us and bless others. "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him." (1 John 2:5) We have to do what the Word says so that God's love can be perfected in us. In other words, the love of God has to grow in us.
Can the love of God grow? Paul taught that it can. "The fruit of the spirit is love ... ". (Galatians 5:22) Love is a fruit that grows. It grows in our spirits. We must bear the fruit of love. So we can grow in love and the other fruits of the spirit. If we let this love grow in us and yield to it, then we will experience the love of God in greater and greater measure.
God's life and love in us can grow. It will eventually dominate our beings until we are just like Jesus. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can never live up to the high demands of the love commandment. "Love one another as I have loved you" and 1 Corinthians 13 is not some unattainable ideal. These things were not put in the Bible to show us how inadequate we are. On the contrary, they tell us who we are in Christ and what we can do. God would not tell us to do something we could not do. He would not tell us to love as He loves unless He provided that love to us.
Here is a suggestion that can help you along these lines: Read 1 Corinthians 13, especially verses 4 through 8 every day for 30 days. Spend time thinking on these scriptures. Meditate on them. Let them sink into your consciousness. It will change you. I especially like the Amplified Classic translation of these verses. It brings out the fuller meaning of it.
Another suggestion for developing the love of God that is in you: Walk in love! That's how to grow it. Love is an action not a feeling. You can walk in love even if you feel nothing. Ask yourself in any situation, what would love do? Then do it.