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THEOLOGY > Bible > Spiritual Life > Need of Man    


The need of man is life, a spiritual life that acquaints one with his Creator and Redeemer, with the result being that the one with life now calls the God of the Bible his Father. To have life is to know God and to no longer be separated from Him but to be accepted by Him.

The source of this life is Jesus. To say that man is in need of spiritual life is to say that man is in need of Jesus, for spiritual life is, in reality, Jesus. “In him was life” (Jo. 1:4), and He is “the life” (Jo. 14:6). Jesus Himself proclaims: “I have come that they may have life” (Jo. 10:10), and “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (Jo. 10:28). In Acts 3:15 Peter speaks of Jesus as “the Prince of life.” Paul affirmed that it was “Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10). Spiritual life cannot be spoken of apart from Jesus; life and Jesus are synonymous.

Modern man remains in death because of his rejection of Jesus, whose ancient statement applies today: “You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (Jo. 5:40). To know Jesus is to know what life is, to know Who life is.

To receive Jesus is to receive life, a spiritual life that is eternal. To be given life in the present is to be assured of life in the future. Jesus proclaims: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (Jo. 3:16); “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die” (Jo. 11:25-26); and “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jo. 4:14). The believer will live in eternity because of Jesus and will live for all eternity because of Jesus. The life of eternity, eternal life, is assured. Because He lives, we will live; because He ever lives, we will live forever.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed over from death to life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live (Jo. 5:24-25).

Spiritual life, which is Jesus and which is eternal, begins with the event of faith; but one who is dead in sin does not have faith and cannot generate faith. Faith is a gift, the gift of God (Eph. 2:8). But how does faith come to be in the life?

It is engendered in the life through the work of the Word of God. God has chosen to use His Word to introduce the individual to Jesus and to draw that person to Christ. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). At some point the message (the gospel, the Truth) is heard, and the seed is deposited in the life by the Holy Spirit. Slowly but surely the seed of the Word germinates, and the individual who was devoid of faith now comes to be a believer.

Jesus says: “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life” (Jo. 6:63); even Jesus Himself is spoken of as the “Word of life” (I Jo. 1:1). Paul speaks of the message as “the word of life” (Phil. 2:16). It is the Word of God that is the medium by which the “gift of God” (Rom. 6:23), eternal life, comes to the individual (see: Function of Authority).

This is the supernatural act of grace. “The word of God is living and powerful” (Heb. 4:12); and this living, active Word creates life, spiritual life in the hearer. It cannot be explained; it cannot be understood; it cannot be fathomed; it is incomprehensible. “The wind blows wherever it wishes” (Jo. 3:8); and when it blows, life from above is experienced by the one who feels the wind. Praise God for the blowing of the wind!  The precise nature of this creation of faith and this impartation of life is the mystery of grace. But where there is faith, there is life (see: Because of Grace).

When conversion takes place, the perspective is changed. The Jesus once scorned is now viewed as Savior; the Scriptures that were questioned are now highly valued and accepted. The Word brings about the transformation from death to life.

Life is not only created by the “living and powerful” Word, life is also sustained by the same Word. Initial life is anchored in the work of the Word in the mind of a man; and continual, developing life is nurtured and refined through the work of the Word in the believer’s life following conversion (see: Function of Authority). As the Scriptures are studied and applied the believer grows and matures; Peter states: “You have purified your souls in obeying the truth” (I Pet. 1:22). Purity, spiritual maturity, increases as the Truth is learned and lived.

To the nation of Israel on the east side of the Jordan, Moses said: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life” (Deut. 32:46-47).

The Scriptures are the channel of life because they are life; they sustain life because they are living. And the Scriptures testify of Christ, a claim Jesus made (Jo. 5:39); they not only testify of Christ they communicate the life of Christ.

The words that I speak to you are spirit,
and they are life.
Jo. 6:63

See: Gen. 5:1-32 and Death

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