What comes into your mind when you hear the word ‘life?’
How do you evaluate life? A good life?
Some may evaluate life on how exceedingly well and how often you win.
Maybe we seek to find that moment- Ah, I arrived- this is the life- mortgage free, satisfying career, good friends, strong health. Happens when I can retire and kick back play golf, or Facebook all day.
Some people may bomb out - their perspective “This is no life” ruined, broken, unfixable and hopeless. Ruined by their own actions, or the actions of others.
We have to ask the question, what does “Jesus” have to do with “Life”? Jesus and Life- how do they go together?
Maybe ‘having Jesus’ (whatever that means) or knowing about him is a good idea, a helpful option, but certainly not necessary.
Reality is many people say “I’m alive and kicking, I’m breathing and moving, making decisions. I have dreams. Sure life is not perfect, has it’s challenges, its up’s/downs, but it’s working for me… and I don’t even know this Jesus, yet I have life. Can’t be that important.
People all around us go to work, have hobbies, they bring new life into the world, healthy loving relationships- living life- yet they would openly admit they do not seek after Jesus, no interest in Him. If so many people are living life without Jesus…why Jesus? Where does he fit in?
The Bible, and the Gospel according to John- who is very keen on using the word ‘life’ – make the outrageous claims, many believe are absurd, ridiculous and untrue...
John 1:4 ‘in him was life’ - Jesus Christ
This book will repeatedly say Jesus has come into the world to give life; people are to turn to Him and receive life in Him; without a personal relationship with Jesus people remain in darkness and death heading to deeper darkness and death.
True life is not a game, not combo of luck and good decision making, true life is in a person- Jesus Christ. Or, without Jesus you have no real life.
Those statements to most people are absurd. So the life Jesus gives and John writes to us about, is… well “It‘s life but not as we know it.” It is far greater than what we naturally understand it to be. Life Jesus came to give must be life not as we know it.
The central purpose of this book is found in John 20:31 that people everywhere, may believe in Jesus Christ and therefore “may have life in his name.”
So this series is titled: Living life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Shorter still – True life in Jesus.
So why Jesus, why is True life in Him. If you are seeking, or are not sure, may these Scriptures lead you to Him.
If you are a Christian, how confident are you in putting your trust and life in Jesus.
After all in John’s day -he was a carpenters’ son, ordinary man from Nazareth, yet ‘in him was life.’
1. He is Eternal God who created all Life- Word of Creation
Introducing Jesus to us in this prologue, orientating us to a correct understanding of him, John takes us right back to…the beginning…when there was no creation. But way back there, in the beginning is Jesus – the Word.
Before planets, Sun, moon, even before light… Jesus is there, as Eternal God, in fellowship with God. Trinity – Word distinct from God- “Word was with God”, but is God, “was God”
And Jesus the Word powerfully speaks creation into existence – the planets, the sun, the earth—Jesus is the creator of life- diversity, complexity and beauty. All things are made through Jesus.
Pretty good start as to why true life is in Jesus. We can only exist and breath, move and work, because of Him. Jesus stands apart from any other person in history, The one was in the beginning with God and was God and made all things. Hence “ in him was life…” Look to him, Listen to him first and foremost above anyone else- media, self-help groups, education specialists, philosophers.
Life is not a game of luck and/or good decision making, true life is in the person of Jesus Christ. Life is to be received from him, found in him.
2. Word breathes in us New Life
John 1:12-13 right to become children of God… children born of God
When a baby is born it is existing for the first time…new life has come into the world. The Bible clearly states that we who breath, move, and work, choose and dream- we need new life, need whole new beginning in us. Not simply adaption, renovation, self-improvement.
John states this new life is not by our doing. Not by being human and doing things humans can do. We cannot manufacture it – individually or collectively- by put our best brains and braun together to discover or produce true life. We search, we try things, we want to do life without God- sin. We have to be humbled by God to see that we in ourselves, cannot make life work, we cannot bring about spiritual life.
Our flesh, our humanness is significantly limited, it is spiritually dead– yet we keep trying. We must be born spiritually alive, for the first time…born of God.
To those who receive him who believe in his name- trust him, depend on his character and provision. Only to these does Jesus give the right, the authority, to become children of God. Not everyone is a child of God, only those whom Jesus gives the right, only those, who through Jesus attain New life- God centred life.
These two reasons are the beginning of John’s answer to the question why Jesus- why we need him, why life is in him- more will unfold in the course of this series.
What is this life? It’s life but not as we know it. Life only through Christ. So what is it?
3. Word who reveals to us Eternal Life
John 1:14-18 gives us some key truths about life- presence of God in his glory and knowing God.
John 1:14 He “made his dwelling among us”- God present, living amongst his sinful creation. This is life!!
Go back to the garden of Eden- Adam and Eve living in the presence of God in the garden, after their disobedience and rebellion, descended into death- first they hid from the presence of God, then God cast them from his dwelling place- by booting them out of the garden, next chapter Cain, having killed his brother, leaves the presence of God. Death reigns in humanity. We focus a lot on the mess in the world because of sin and it is a mess, but the great death of sin is separation from God, not being able to enjoy his presence. As OT continues we see God beginning undo the separation. Dwelling in the midst of the Israelites- in the Tabernacle and temple- holy of holies- God dwell with his people. Limited. Dangerous to be in God’s holy presence- getting to close to the sun.
At the end of Exodus, Moses establishes the tabernacle and the glory of God, his presence, fills the tent…but Moses can not enter. Sinful man approaching a pure radiant holy God.
But here the Word- the eternal God, creator of all things, the holy God of the OT- became human and “pitched his tent” “took up residence”. In a way greater than ever before is the presence of God. The ultimate reality of God presence. Show us the Father, seen me, seen him
Being in the presence of God, dwelling with him, reversal of Gen 3 this is true life.. But Bible ends with this same truth- God dwelling with us we seeing him face to face, enjoying his glory- its complete, it is fulfilled. This is eternal life. Also…
John 1:18.no one has seen God… but Jesus- the Son- has made him known.
This is eternal life- to know this God and his Son Jesus Christ. How can we know him- the complete revelation is Jesus Christ.
Jesus reveals Eternal life because as he reveals God to us- so that we may know him. No one else
To personally know God, to be in his presence, enjoying his glory… that is true life.
So is that what comes into your mind when you think about the word ‘life’- God’s glory, dwelling in God presence, knowing him personally.
The danger is our viewpoint is warped that we think that idea of life is strange. That is the darkness- our eyes continually need clearer vision as to what true life is.. By Holy Spirit the darkness gives way to greater light of God and life in Him.
As this series continues it will unveil more of what that means.
To whom or what are you really basing your life on? What are you relying on to make life work?
Functional family? Purposeful career? What if these don’t exist in any shape or form.
We need to look outside our world, look outside the material things of this world, look to the One who came from outside and entered our world.
For the non-Christian – in darkness…do you remain in darkness or come to the light, need to cross over from death to life. Need to be convicted that life comes from outside our world. Must be received by faith in Jesus Christ. John so that all might believe.
John 1:10-11 Many rejected Jesus and hence true life. Life rejected.
For the Christian: you say Jesus is your life, we sing “My life is in you Lord.” How does he effect our Mondays to Sundays. Spending time with him. Particulars of life here don’t define us. Live above and beyond the circumstances. We have unbreakable, secure life in Jesus Christ.
Who is the Jesus you follow? John will tells us that many started with Jesus but decided they were following a dud, they left him.
Is Jesus your life –saver- rescued you, give him a card of thanks, but move on never to cross paths again
Is Jesus your GP- visit him when required- frequent to seldom visits
Jesus in Gospel of John is the Eternal Powerful Word , God, Creator of all who by nature and by his calling, is to be obeyed, submit to him. His values, his character, his will.