“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” (John 6:57)
I remember seeing spectators raising various signs up at sporting events they were attending. Often some of these signs proudly display the most famous Bible verse of all time. It reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:16) It is a beautiful summary of the entirety of the Bible. In this verse it says, “That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It is a promise of everlasting life to those who believe. In our Affirmation above Jesus tells us, “I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” The Affirmation verse comes on the heels of Jesus’ discussions of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion. With these two verses I believe we can unlock John 3:16 fully. Maybe in a way you have not considered before. We are told to believe in His name and eat the spiritual body through communion, along with the cup representing His blood. Now these are worthy of a lot of study. We will cover this in greater depth later on in the book. For now I want to focus on is the idea that Jesus lives because of the Father, and we live because of Jesus. Once again seeing that Jesus is acting out for us everything the Father has done for Him. The everlasting life that we receive through and because of Jesus will be our focus.
Let us dig deep into our Affirmation from Jesus. “Just as the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father,” This is our jump off point. We need to understand what Jesus means by, “I live because of Him.” Let us turn to scripture and take a closer look. Speaking of Jesus through prophecy we read: “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” (Mat 12:17-18) In the second Affirmation, we covered how we have been chosen. We also used this verse as an example. This time, I will point out what the source of this life or living is. Specifically speaking it is the Spirit that God poured out upon His Son. John the Baptist tells us, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” (Joh 3:34-35) The Spirit was released upon Jesus without measure or limit. Meaning He received an endless resource, a never-ending supply of the “Spirit.”
Jesus could not have any advantage over Adam. The walk of humanity had to be played out fully. Let’s read, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php 2:5-8) Jesus had to be victorious in the same situation in which Adam failed. He needed to be just like us before He could make us just like Him. We read, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb 2:14) Therefore, we can now become like Him, “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co 15:49) In doing this, Jesus has truly walked a mile in our shoes. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15)
From this standpoint, Jesus now declares, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (Joh 5:26) He also declares, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me…” (Joh 6:57a) We can now know how this has happened. The answer is found in the Spirit. It is through the Spirit that He gave him without limits. This is how in the form of the second Adam, He was given life within Himself; this is how He lives because of the Father. As the Holy Word of God declares, “… but the spirit giveth life.” (2Co 3:6) Again, we read, “…but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal 6:8b) We find life in the Spirit of God.
Understanding these truths about the Spirit allows us to understand Jesus even better when He says: “… so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” (Joh 6:57b) Yes, this feeding or eating is the spiritual bread of the Lord’s Supper. More directly, it is Spirit, the Spirit of Life. Jesus tells us, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Joh 10:10) This is not just living He is talking about; this is exceptional, glorified, sanctified, beyond measure spirited vivacity. We continue, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom 8:1-2) This law of the Spirit of Life is the key to living in Jesus. Again, let us read, “And this is the will of him [God] that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Joh 6:40) Moreover, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (Joh 20:31) This life is in and through Jesus’ name and it is the Spirit of Life.
Now that we know what this life is, we need to ask the question, “How is this accomplished?” Just as God gave the Spirit of Life to Jesus, He in turn gives us His Spirit. This is how the transformation from being a follower of the first Adam and his sin nature, you are renewed by the second Adam who is Jesus. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1Co 2:12) We find great clarification when we read, “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph 4:20-24) We have received a new Spirit, that renews our minds, and allows us to throw off the old man, Adam, and put on the new man, Jesus!
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1Co 15:45) Jesus is the life giving spirit. This is how He transforms you into new creation. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Co 5:17) Your sinful flesh no longer has rule over you. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9) We live in Christ by the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ dwells within us. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph 3:14-19) We cannot do this on our own; we need Jesus to work this work for us. “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” (Php 1:19)
Now we can pull it all together. With what we just studied, we can zero in on the question, “how do we live in Jesus?” Let us read further, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal 4:6) Within all the hearts of true believers resides the Spirit of Christ. It is what allows us to cry out for our Daddy, our Abba Father. The mystery is now revealed, we can know the foundational power of the Spirit of Life. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom 8:10) The Spirit is life, because of righteousness. It is because of the righteousness of Jesus, that the Spirit is Life. “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1Jn 2:29) We can now receive this Spirit of Life from Jesus. That is to say, the righteousness of Jesus that gives life through faith.
Before we end, let us review some wonderful verses about righteousness by faith. Knowing that God has sent the spirit of His Son into our heart, I really love this next verse. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom 10:10) Therefore, with a heart filled with the Spirit of Jesus, which cries out Abba Father, we believe and receive righteousness. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom 3:22-23) Again we see that we can only receive righteousness that gives life through our faith in Jesus. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17) I hope you understand that we “live” by faith. This is not just saying we live our days “with faith.” It is saying we are “Alive” because of our faith. We have life because of our trust in Jesus. Let me paraphrase it this way, “The righteous will have life eternal by their trust in Jesus.” Alternatively, another way, “We will never die because we have faith in Jesus.” The Holy Word of God says, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn 5:11-12) Jesus is the source of all life, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (Joh 1:4) Jesus explains this even further how the Spirit gives life to us: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Joh 6:63) We can unlock what He just said with the following verse: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:14) Let us recap. Jesus, the “Word of God” becomes flesh, and He speaks the words of life. The words Jesus speaks are Spirit. Therefore, the Spirit gives life, and Jesus is that life giving Spirit!
We have learned that Jesus lives through the Father. This is accomplished by the Spirit that was given Him without limits by our Father. This Spirit is the Spirit of Life; this is how the Father granted Jesus to have life within Himself. In turn, Jesus tells us we live through Him as He lives through the Father. We then covered that we now receive the Spirit of Christ, sent by God to cry out Abba Father. This Spirit is life because of the righteousness of Jesus. It satisfies all that is required by a Holy and Just God. The perfection of Jesus through obedience, to every desire of the Father was sufficient to pay the price for unrighteousness. “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus].” (2Co 5:21, Emphasis added) With all that said, I leave you with this: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Co 3:17-18) Jesus is the “Spirit of Life!”
Let’s Pray “Daddy, I know you are the originator of all things. You are the force that makes all things move and exist. I also know that it is You working through Your Son to fulfill Your perfect will in all things. You have revealed to us how Jesus emulates You in all things. He is the perfect Echo of Your heart. He is the expressed image of who You are. He is the Spirit of Life. I love Him dearly and I love you. I ask for the ability to walk in the Spirit of Life, to excel in the righteousness of Jesus. I pray that my heart never stops crying out “Abba Father” in, through, and by the Spirit of Christ”In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray, Amen!
~We Shall Be Like Him – 1 John 3:2~