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John 6:27 (NASB):

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.

Jesus says to work for the food that lasts to eternal life, but also says that He will give eternal life. What, then, is the food which "endures to eternal life" that we have to work for?

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  • for the food (which perishes) ... but for the food (which endures to eternal life) which the Son of man shall give you ...
    – Nigel J
    Jun 1 at 20:59
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What does one need to “work for” in regards to eternal life in John 6:27?

Answer: We must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. We must then live godly lives.

This is actually very simple, and it gets much easier over time. Just as Perry mentioned, belief in Christ is "a work":

John 6:28-29: "Therefore they said to Him, 'What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'”

All of the conditions of salvation are "works."

Christ's "Law of Liberty" or "Royal Law" is comprised of the essential works of:
1. Belief in Christ (Jn. 6:29);
2. Repentance from sin (Acts 26:20);
3. Confession that Christ is Lord (Matt. 10:32);
4. Baptism or immersion in pure water, and,
5. Sustained obedience to God.

James tell us the following: "Faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:26). (5) above includes worship consisting of prayer, communion, songs, and biblically-founded preaching. It also includes studying the Word of God (immersing oneself in the Holy Spirit).

The rest we finally enter, our Promised Land in Christ, is an eternal rest with God, the New Testament sabbath. These all result in the following conditions:

Salvation, Forgiveness, Justification, and Newness of life in Christ.

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  • You can't just say "I believe" and then do nothing. I wish it was that way (don't we all?), but sadly, it ain't. Jun 5 at 21:06
  • @CoryHaffly Here is the phrase I heard for years: "Just trust in Jesus, and you're saved!" Looking back, that seems contemptible. It is faithful obedience to God that saves. James 2:21-24: Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected… You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." It is terribly unfortunate that many refuse to accept the faithful obedience we continually read throughout Scripture.
    – Xeno
    Jun 5 at 22:12
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The answer is in the context:

27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; ... (John 6:27–35, ESV)

Both times when asked for a sign Jesus referred to his death and resurrection. The symbolic language is different; the other his body as the temple, here his body the bread of life because of his sacrifice.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:47–51, ESV)

This passage is clearer.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:14–18, ESV)

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