Genuine Life – BT3
Summary of BT1 and BT2
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The “light” we have and enjoy in this world is the result of the zoe genuine “real-thing” life that’s found forever in Christ. It’s not a life that happens only when you get to heaven but then lasts for eternity. It’s the Logos Communicating Expression of God that has always existed – the same Life that spoke light into the world. Through Christ, God’s light brings us this zoe genuine-life.
Without the Light of God’s Life, there is only the darkness of death. Satan, his angels, and his demons of darkness are what steals, destroys/corrupts/pollutes what we have, or ultimately kills us. None of this is from God – even if the insurance companies call them “acts of God!” When Jesus rebuked the violent wind and waves, he wasn’t rebuking God. When Jesus healed all manner of disease and disability or rose people from death, he wasn’t rebuking God but demons and the “god of this world, the prince of the air, Satan.”
The only way to escape darkness and death is to embrace the genuine-life Jesus came to perissos super-abundantly give. Jesus made it clear that he was the only way to God the Father – only Jesus has been given authority over all mankind to give eternal life to those the Father has given Him. Some will say this is very narrow-minded! However, Jesus said that His way was narrow and that few find it, though the way to death was broad and many travel on this road per Matthew 7:13-14.
Can’t our religious working for God get us more of this genuine-life? No! Only relying on the work of Christ can! He alone is The Righteous One – “No one is good but God,” Jesus replied when asked “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” When asked “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God: That you have trusting-relying-faith in Him whom he has sent” (a). Paul says: So that God’s purpose of election might stand, not because of works but because of God who calls – even as God chose Jacob over Esau, even though they had not yet been born or done either good or bad (b). Earlier Paul says “there is none righteous, no, not one. . . . all have turned aside” (c) and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (d). It’s clear none of our “good” will be good enough! <Notes> a) John 6:28-29, b) Romans 9:9-12, c) Romans 3:10, 12, d) Romans 3:23.
However, when we surrender our “not so good” lives to Christ, Jesus puts that on the cross to die with Him, and gives us His “good” Life to live within us. Any message that isn’t about Jesus as God’s righteous Life revealed and given to us simply isn’t the Gospel or “Good News!” It’s not often you hear this anymore, even from the pulpit! You’ll hear A-Z about how to live a better Christian life, but rarely will you hear the Gospel that actually gives you the abundant Christian life!
What does this zoe genuine-life consist of? Is it an abundance of health, wealth, comfort, etc. as many who preach dominion theology or ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ say? Jesus clearly defines it: “Now this is zoe genuine-life everlasting – that they experientially, relationally ginosko know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent” (a). Jesus came to bring a life-giving relationship with the Father and the Son! This isn’t a one-time event, but a progressive experience! Even Peter preached that “His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and/coupled godliness dia through-the-realizing-channel-of the genuine, progressive, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of the One who called us by His own glory and excellence” (b). Sure, the denying of our flesh causes us to suffer and Jesus promised persecution from unbelievers, but our progressive experience of God “living on the inside” more than makes up for our temporary losses, like Paul says: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (c). <Notes> a) John 17:3, b) 2 Peter 1:3, c) Rom 8:18.
How can you tell if you genuinely have zoe genuine-life? You will share the nature of the Spirit of God, who is agape unconditional love – the descriptive “flavors” or qualities being peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (a). However, this isn’t just feeling God’s unconditional love, but experiencing this toward others. Lack of such love is clear evidence you are deceived – you aren’t in the light and life of God, but still in darkness and death. <Notes> a) Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
This genuine-life is given to those who inwardly join with Christ in his death on the cross for them. If we try to hold onto what we call “life” here, we remain in a darkness and death that lasts forever – we lose the chance for the genuine, eternal life of God. Paul tells Timothy: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to . . . set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, . . . storing up treasure for themselves [in heaven] as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly zoe genuine-life” (a). The world promises life, but it can’t deliver! Jesus warns “The deceitfulness of riches and the cares of the world choke the logos [gospel] message so it proves unfruitful” (b), and for that reason: “Only with great difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven” (c). <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 6:17-19, b) Matthew 13:22, Mark 4:19, c) Matthew 19:23.
However, if we surrender our so-called “life” and join Christ in his death on the cross by turning our back on living for ourselves and turning toward Christ to live for him – this “turning of our attitude” is called repentance, then we have Christ in us, the genuine-life of God. Through trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s death for us on the cross, a person crosses over a bridge from eternal death to eternal life. They are no longer under the wrath of God expecting judgment for their sin. They have been reconciled to God and their name is written in Christ’s Book of Life! Though they may physically die, the genuine-life of Christ in them will then enable them to have Christ’s resurrected life forever – the indwelling Holy Spirit is our guarantee per 2 Corinthians 5:5. Our “blessed hope” is that when we meet Christ, we will be fully glorified as Christ is with His resurrection body.
Physical food can only give us bios biological life for a little while, and we work so hard for it! Jesus says it’s so much wiser to seek food that gives zoe genuine-life that satisfies forever – and that food is Jesus, the Bread of Life, which He gives to those who “eat and drink of Him.” Though some believe this refers to partaking in communion (or the Lord’s Supper) which was instituted after Christ’s death, most agree that it means taking all of Jesus into your life, trusting Him completely with your whole life, and to rely on Him fully for your life. You can’t just give a part of yourself to Christ and keep the rest for yourself – it’s all or nothing! And you can’t just sample Jesus. You must look to “His flesh (body) and His blood (‘life is in the blood’)” for your entire life.
The zoe life-giving Holy Spirit is Christ living on the inside of believers while they are still on earth, which is like an artesian spring that will forever bubble up zoe life-giving waters in order to give them more and more of Christ’s life. This is the “living waters” spoken of in scripture – never water that has sat in a puddle or lake or even cistern, but water from the rains, water that is fresh, running, and that gives life. The Holy Spirit is what Paul says to “be repeatedly filled by” in Ephesians 5:18 – see Spirit-Baptism!
Salvation, which is being rescued, delivered, and made whole again, isn’t just a one-time event during your water-baptism, but a lifetime process of “taking up your cross daily” by turning your back on ourselves and our fleshly desires, and “sowing to the Spirit” by feeding our spirits, in order to experience more of the life of Christ within us! The life-giving Spirit of Christ within us is the only way to be freer from the slavery of sin that leads to more darkness and death. I reflect on this more below.
The freshly-spoken rhema-words of Christ to a believer are of the Spirit and gives us zoe genuine-life! This isn’t to be confused with logos messages from scripture we can read, memorize, or study. Jesus made it clear to the students and teachers of Old Testament scripture that neither the scriptures nor the diligent study of them would give them genuine-life, even if they “supposed” they would – this misplaced faith will not give them genuine-life! Only the person of Jesus that the scriptures point toward – only He can give genuine-life, but only if you come to Him! Paul said “we are ministers of a completely different-in-kind New Covenant, not of the letter or a ministry of death of gramma letters carved in stone (a reference to the 10 commandments but also the writings about them) . . . but of the Spirit. For the gramma letter kills, but the Spirit gives genuine-life” (a). We have to be careful that we don’t place our faith in “letters” on paper to follow them, but in the One they talk about! After going to 5 bible colleges (see Bible-Info), it seems that most learned Christians care to talk more about the bible and hold that up high as “the only thing you need for life” – I actually heard a preacher say that as he waived his bible in the air – than to talk about Jesus and hold Him up high as “the only person you need for life.” Jesus said: “My sheep actually hear My phone Voice, and I experientially, relationally ginosko know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal zoe genuine-life” (b). Phone, where we get “telephone,” is something you hear just as with freshly-spoken rhema words, never something you simply read like logos messages of scripture are. <Notes> a) Colossians 3:5-7, b) John 10:27-29.