Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31; emphasis added)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13; emphasis added)
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (John 1:3-4; emphasis added)
Now the Apostle John tells us that the singular reason he wrote both his gospel, and what has become 1 John, is that the reader would come to know that only in Christ Jesus do we have real, spiritual, heavenly life; the life of God; a life fitted for His Kingdom and His household; the life that makes us His children; the life for the age(s) to come; a life conformed to the image of the only One upon Whom the Father has set His seal.
It is interesting that John did not say he shared these things so that we might know how to live (what most religions, including so-much false Christianity, emphasize), but that we might know that in Christ Jesus we have life. He is the life we need and have, if we have come to Him in faith. Oh brethren, these are wondrous and profound truths, and I share this compilation of Scriptures that you might feel compelled in the Spirit to consider them, to meditate on them, to take them to the Lord and ask Him for help to enter into the living reality of them.
So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Cor. 15:45-49; emphasis added)
John also assures us that the only life that truly matters, the quality and principle of life that measures up, is to be found “in Him”; in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then Paul augments this by saying – ““The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” So the life that was breathed into Adam there in the beginning, and the life imparted by the Lord to all those who come to Him in faith; these are different somehow. The one gives way to the other. It is preliminary and temporary. It is the Creator’s first thought but not His last thought, regarding the human race. The natural must be supplanted by the spiritual; what the New Testament calls “eternal” or (better still) “age-lasting” (GK – AIÓNIOS) life.
The writings of John (and Paul) are replete with the living principle surrounding this new spiritual life that is to be found only in the Father’s Beloved Son, He who was sent into the world as the “life of the world” and the “Last Adam” –
Mark this dear saints, that there is something about the life of the Lord Jesus; that it is a life that cannot be contained; that it is a life that is designed to permeate all that it touches. It is the very life of God, and to think or imagine that it shares anything in common with the corruptible life of the soul, the life breathed into Adam, is to miss everything that the Spirit is teaching regarding this “newness of life”. To be breathed on by He Who is the life-giving spirit is something else entirely. Yet, do we not today have this strange phenomenon where so many “Christian” teachers are convincing so many others that Jesus came and died and rose again so that He might thereby enhance and extend our own life; that we can have “our best life now”, and forever into eternity besides? Perhaps someone needs to tell such false guides and their disciples that the only way to enter into this life, is through death; the cessation of our own life. To be born again in the spirit (of Christ) necessarily implies the end of the life that came before. To rise up out of the water of baptism, and to stand and walk in this newness of life – do we truly know what this means? That our old self, the life according to Adam, must remain behind us in the pool of death?
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (or soul). (Gen. 2:7; emphasis added)
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22; emphasis added)
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Here we have two parallel passages in the Word where life is imparted through the breath of the Creator. The one conveys the life of the soul, whereas the other conveys something else: spiritual life. This higher form of life requires a cessation of the first type of life, and a rebirth into the second. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8)
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:14-16)
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”” (John 4:13-15)
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Rom. 8:2)
…for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)
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.” (John 6:27)
There are many perhaps who quite happily follow the Lord for the bread and water (the food which perishes) that sustains this present life in the flesh, but turn away whenever He calls them deeper into the true meaning of His life, and the price for entering in. There are many more still who thank Him for this life, then seek to store it up in barns so that they can continue on in themselves rather than go out each morning to gather in His provision. They will go from hillside to hillside whenever there is the promise of loaves and fishes, but mention the path and the pain of the cross, and they scatter like rabbits at the firing of a gun. Oh how I wish I could confess that this does not describe myself, but the Lord knows and I cannot. We must all come to see and esteem this life above our own, and to most fully appreciate that the only real life is “in Him”. Not in ourselves even on our best days. Not in a reformed or improved Adam. Not in religion. Not in things or service. Not in doing. Not in law-keeping or the adherence to rules or regimens. Not in formalism or ritual. Not even in attempting to mimic the Lord, for this too is futility. Only His life in us can be the well-spring of living water springing up into eternal life; the very life of God.
And this life can only be found on the other side of the river, on the other side of death, through the cross, through the death of the soul. For this life has been determined by the Father to reside only in His Son, and all those who abide in Him. It is for this very reason called the life of Christ, and for any man to say that He truly lives, he must confess that “to life is Christ and to die is gain” and also that “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” No brethren, this eternal life is no mere extension of our own lives into so many numberless tomorrows, as is widely taught. There is, in the end, only one life, and to abide in that life is the reason for our salvation and existence. Although we all try in so many ways, we cannot bring our own lives into this new life that we derive in Christ Jesus. A new principle is now in effect, one that offers genuine freedom and deliverance from death, and it is something the Holy Spirit calls the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus“. Without this life, nothing else really matters. Everything is just a teaching, a concept, an empty promise.
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who 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 which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:47-51)
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58)
Dear reader, have you come to that place of awful reckoning where the Holy Spirit has convinced you that you have no life in yourself? That you need this life-giving Bread, not for what He might add to your life, but to replace you entirely? Have you come to the place where you can confidently confess that He is your life? Not the focus of your life; not the love of your life even – BUT YOUR VERY LIFE? Please review all of these Scriptures most carefully, for they are intimating something so very radical and wonderful. To accept them and to enter into the reality of them by faith will ultimately cost us everything. “It is no longer I who live,” confessed Paul, “but Christ lives in me.”
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and 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)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. (John 12:24-25)
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” (John 12:49-50)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
…because I live, you will live also. (John 14:19)
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— (1 John 1:1-2)
This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. (1 John 2:25)
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2)
And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:11-12)
For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. (2 Cor. 5:4-5)
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2 Cor. 5:14-15)
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Col. 1:17)
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. (Col.2:6)
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions… (Col. 2:13)
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal. 6:7-8)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:1-6)
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)
…for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:8-11)
…for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ (Acts 17:28)
Beloved brethren, it is hoped by placing all of these glorious passages together, that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes and penetrate our hearts to the living and personal reality of the Life that the Father has sent into the world. Yet the abiding question remains – Is He our Life? And when He is revealed in glory, will we be revealed with Him? Is our life bound up in the life of the Vine and the branches?
It is interesting that the majority of those who came for the life offered by the loaves and fishes never stuck around for the abundant life really being offered by the Lord Jesus Christ. With their bellies full, and strength to live on another day in themselves, they slipped away. We are not told what ultimately became of the Samaritan woman at the well who said – “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” Perhaps she did come to see that the One speaking to her was in fact the Living Water. Perhaps she is now waiting to be revealed with Him in glory when He comes into His presence. This is our hope and prayer for all of you who to come here on a regular basis; for the very most anyone can do is to help others to see that only in the Lord Jesus Christ do they truly have abundant life.
Dear brethren, this is our hope and prayer in the spirit for all of you!