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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Word, Life and Light -- John's Gospel

Note:  I have referenced many scriptures in this article.  You may want to go to my website to read it. On the website, you can read a particular quoted scripture by moving over it.  The actual scripture will come up so you can readily read it. I quote a lot of scripture so you are assured that the Word lines up with my teaching.  

          The Apostle John outlines the subject of his gospel in the first sentences – Word, Life and Light -- all of whom are Jesus. God's voice (Word/Jesus) and His breath (Holy Spirit) were a part of God in the beginning.  It is His breath and His Word that makes our God a Living God who speaks.  In the beginning, the will of God was expressed by the Word of God and carried out by the Holy Spirit. Our new birth in Jesus is carried out in the same way.  Jesus, the Word of God, by the Holy Spirit brings us into the will of God. God's ways don't change.  The Word of God reveals the mind, heart and will of God.  (John 14:9)
          John 1:4-5: In Him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John begins with the Word, light and life just as the Bible begins with the Word, light and life at creation. John is revealing that Jesus is that Word, light and life in the beginning in Genesis. Scripture interprets scripture. (Colossians 1:16-17)  God revealed to John these truths that John was to share with others – even us! Each one of the Apostles had a particular job and revelation knowledge from God for specific purposes that they were to share with others. This is true of every believer in Christ. Jesus has a particular job and revelation knowledge that He gives to every believer that He wants us to use for the establishment of His Kingdom. We are all important to Him and His Kingdom, and special in His eyes. We are all to operate in our God-given gifts without jealousy or competition as one Body of Christ.
        John repeats this revelation in his first letter in 1 John 1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” Jesus always existed as the Word of God long before creation.  John is saying in this letter that the apostles heard, saw and touched the Word Jesus who was in the beginning.  He is a real and living being.
          Again in Revelation 1, when John was transported up into the spiritual realm, he reveals that he heard a voice and when he turned toward the voice, he saw a Person—Jesus in His glory. The Holy Spirit establishes this truth that Jesus is the Word, Light and Life three times in the written Word -- in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. God instructs us to let every word be established by two or three witnesses. He does the same in His Word.


         As the Divine Eternal Word and the Anointed One, Jesus the Living Word and His written Word give spiritual life. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6  The implanted Word makes us whole because Jesus is the Word.  We secure eternal life by believing in and knowing the Son of God.  
        Jesus is also the Light of men (world). Jesus who is the Life and Light of the world lives in those who believe in Him. His light (glory) and life are to shine out of us to others.


        John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus doesn't want us to just have life, He wants us to have life in fullness. “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who 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 so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5: 11-13 God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit operate in fullness. Jesus wants us to be fully man as He was because He had no sin.  The more we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to remove our sin, the more fully Jesus abides in us.
  • Natural life is sustained by bread (food) and water.
  • Spiritual life is also sustained by spiritual bread (Word) and spiritual water (Holy Spirit).
      Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that He would give her “Living water.” Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who is the Living Water—the river of life. (see Ezekiel 37:14; Revelation 22:1) Spiritual bread (Word) and spiritual water (Holy Spirit) are Jesus' gifts to believers to help us know Him and grow spiritually.
      We secure eternal life by:
                  1.  Knowing the scriptures -- John 20:31
                  2.  Drinking the water of life -- John 4:14
                  3.  Eating the bread of life --- John 6:50-58
        1 Peter 1:22 shows us that our souls are purified by obeying Jesus' Word by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Resurrection Life

John's Gospel begins and ends with life.
  • John 1:4 – “In Him was life”
  • John 20:31: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.” John wanted us to know that only in Jesus can we have resurrected, spiritual, eternal life. Jesus sent the "breath of life" and the "living water of life"-- the Holy Spirit -- to breathe new spiritual life into His followers.  The Word was written to reveal Christ so we would believe (have faith) in His finished work on the cross, and would come to know God. 
           Just before He is about to be crucified, Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father. Jesus knew the time had come for Him to glorify the Father in His death and resurrection. “For you granted Him (Jesus) authority over all the people that He might give eternal life. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:2-4 If we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father because they are One in love, purpose, will and truth. There is a purpose for eternal life. Jesus wants us to know God, and have resurrected, eternal life. What is eternal life?  Eternal life is entering into the very life of God—His holiness, glory, love, peace, joy, justice, truth, power, light, authority and victory. When Jesus offers eternal life to mankind, He is offering all of who God is to each one of us. We begin this eternal life right here on earth when we believe in Jesus who is God. We must believe that Jesus is who He said He is – the Son of God, not just a man—but God reproduced and one with God. We must also accept His commandments as Truth. (see John 5:24)
         The deepest desire of the Apostle Paul was to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. “That I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11 Paul wanted the Lord to crucify His fleshly, self-life so He would truly know Jesus and the power that comes with resurrected, spiritual life. Paul knew that death of his fleshly, self-driven ways was the prelude to a fuller life in Christ. As the power of the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, Paul wanted that same power to raise him from the deadly ways of his flesh to new, spiritual, powerful life in Christ. Paul was willing to suffer as Christ did in order to gain this resurrected life. He wanted to experience the fullness of the resurrection life that Jesus gives believers no matter the cost. Paul wanted to truly know Christ in greater measure and in an intimate, close and abiding relationship.
           To know Jesus intimately, we must know His ways, nature, character and love. This knowledge will come through studying His Word and following His Spirit. In the Word, God is perfectly revealed in mind, heart and being. Jesus is all that God is and will always be.  As Jesus revealed the Father in His person, works and words, believers are to reveal the Father through our person, works and words. We must identify with Him and His purposes and concerns. What Paul once considered profitable, he now considers loss “compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.....I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:8-9 Paul was a teacher of the Law who in his zealousness for God was killing Christians because they left the Law to follow Jesus. The Law required man to do certain things that would make him righteous in God's sight, but grace is done fully and completely by Jesus. We are the righteousness of God in Christ, not through ritual or works. In Christ, we obey out of love for Him.
              Our flesh cannot give us eternal life, only Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Word living in us can. Our resurrection life begins the minute we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” John 5:25-26 Jesus is saying that a time is coming when the spiritually dead will hear His Word and will be spiritually alive. Jesus will breathe spiritual life into those who love and follow Him and they will have resurrected, eternal life. He is the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)
               There is a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to judgment.  The person who believes in Jesus has eternal life.  The Father and the Son work harmoniously together in this.  Jesus gives life to as many as God gives Him.  (John 3:16; John 17:2)  Those that Jesus gives life will never perish. (John 3:16; John 3:36;  John 5:24; John 6:47;)  Those who don't believe in Jesus are resurrected to eternal darkness.
Full Source of Eternal Life

        As Jesus was a co-worker with God and the Holy Spirit at creation, He is a co-worker with God and the Holy Spirit now in re-creating believers into the Divine image and likeness that was lost in the first Man and Woman.
        The full source of eternal life is:
  1. God – Psalm 36:9: For with You is the fountain of life; in Your Light we see light.
  2. Christ – John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
  3. Holy Spirit – Ezekiel 37:14: “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.”
  4. Word – James 1:18: He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

    Jesus came to earth with the fullness of grace and truth. (John 1:14)  He also had the fullness of the Holy Spirit because He had no sin.  Jesus' fullness is available to all who love and serve Him.  "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."  John 1:16  In the Law there was a measure of grace and truth, but in Christ there is fullness of grace and truth.  
      God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Word birth new, spiritual life into believers, and act together in harmony and agreement to do so. They do not contradict one another. The Anointed Word – Jesus and the Holy Spirit -- births the Godhead's ways and will in us using the Anointed Word of God. We were dead in sin, but now come spiritually alive in Christ—the written Word that became the Living Word of God.
        Jesus didn't speak on His own accord. He spoke on behalf of His Heavenly Father. He and His Heavenly Father were in absolute, perfect agreement in thought, word and deed—one accord. “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me, what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life.” John 12: 49-50 

Evidence of New, Spiritual Life
  • Love – “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.” 1 John 3:14-15 True believers will walk in love for God and love for others. We must be concerned for the spiritual and physical needs of others.
  • Obedience – “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands.“ 1 John 2:3 Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and don't do the things I say.” Romans 6 tells us we are slaves to whom we obey. If sin then we are slaves of the sinful nature that is controlled by the devil. If through obedience to Jesus, then slaves of righteousness. “Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16 We are to be bound to Christ in righteousness.
  • Spiritual-mindedness“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace”...Romans 8:6 Those who are controlled by the Spirit focus on the things of God and submit to the Holy Spirit's direction and enabling.
  • Live by the Spirit – “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” Galatians 5:16-17 Our sinful nature conflicts with the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus.
  • Bear the fruit of the Spirit-- “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.“ Galatians 6:22
  • Walk in the Spirit – “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:16
  • Grow spiritually “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2 Crave pure truth, and drink it so you will grow spiritually. Our Spirit man must feed on the bread and water of the Word to sustain spiritual life.
  • Faith-filled – Faith and grace are gifts of God. “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 Faith is also the work of God. Jesus said in John 6:29, “the work of God is this: to believe (have faith) in the One He has sent.” “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6 Christians are to:
      • live by faith (Romans 1:17)
      • walk by faith (Romans 4:12)
      • pray in faith (Matthew 21:22)
      • resist evil by faith (Ephesians 6:16)
      • overcome the world by faith (1 John 2: 12-17)
      • stand fast in faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) 
      • continue in faith (Acts 14:2)
      • abound in faith (2 Corinthians 8:7)
      • be grounded in faith (Colossians 1:23)
      • hold fast to our faith (1 Timothy 1:19)
      • pray for an increase of our faith (Luke 17:5)
      •  die in faith (Hebrews 11:13) 
      • have assurance of faith (2 Timothy 1:12)  
    • By faith in Jesus Christ, we have access to God. (Ephesians 3:12) By faith in Jesus, we have salvation (Mark 16:16), remission of sins (Acts 10:43), justification (Acts 10:43), freedom from condemnation (John 3:18), sanctification (Acts 15:9), freedom from spiritual death (John 11:25-26), edification (1 Timothy 1:4), preservation (John 10:26-27), inheritance (Acts 26:18), peace and rest (Romans 5:1).
        “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
         In Christ we have spiritual life and spiritual light. The Word of God has life and light! The benefits of believing in Christ are many. Next week, I will talk about the Light that John speaks of at the beginning of his gospel and his first letter.

        Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving us eternal life through your precious Son.  We ask that you increase our faith and trust in You.  And we thank you Jesus that you gave your all so we could have all.  We want to truly know You as You are, Jesus, in all of your glory.  May your holy life be reflected through Your people so that life will be seen by others that they may desire You also.  You have given us all we need to overcome our flesh and the devil, and we thank you for this.  Help us to stand steadfast in your love, your grace, and your truth.  In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen

                                                 Blessings and love,


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