Jesus Is Life

by Harold Hancock


Scripture: Jn 1:1 Oct 29, 2023

Jesus is the source of eternal life, and to receive this eternal life we must believe in Him, obey His commandments, be baptized, do good works, love one another, respect God's truth, withstand temptation, and live fully for Christ.


Join in expressing our appreciation for the presence of each of you, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to stand before you and share with you some thoughts from God's Word. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn to the book of John in the first chapter, John chapter 1. And you may recall that several times as of late when I've preached, we have taken a text out of John 1 and looked mainly at the first verse and then also at the 18th verse.

If you're looking at John 1 and verse 1, you'll notice that it talks about what he calls in the beginning was the Word. That word is Jesus, and we know that it's Jesus. If you look down to verse 14, he talks about that word, Became flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

That only fits Jesus Christ. And so when he talks about in the beginning, what's the word? We know that he's talking about Jesus. And we talked one time about why he's called the word there and made some application. If you continue to look, he says, And the Word was with God. And then he says, And the Word was God.

And we talked, one of the first times that we talked about John 1, about how that Jesus was God. There are some who don't think that He is God. They think He is a God with a little g. But this verse tells us that he was God. And then if you look down to verse 18, we, you'll notice that he says, no one has seen God at any time.

The only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him. And the last time I talked with you, Elder John, we talked about how that Jesus was the only begotten son of God. I want you to look at verse 4, if you would, at this time, when it says, And in him was life, and the life was the light of men.

It makes mention of two things there, that light and life. And we're going to focus on the idea that he was life. And we're going to talk about Jesus is life. I want to begin, though, by locating the PowerPoint.

Would have been better if I had started it even earlier, maybe. I want to start by just sharing with you the idea that this idea of Jesus being life is very prevalent throughout the book of John. In fact, I counted some 28 times, I think, that Jesus is somehow referenced and tied to like, or life.

Sometimes it's just a calling of his name and associating it with life. Other times, you'll see a pronoun that's representing Jesus, and he'll talk about it as being light. Or sometimes, it might be that he talks about himself as being the bread of life. and shows that this is talking about eternal life.

And so over and over this is connected to the idea, or Jesus is connected to this idea of life. Look with me just a couple of them so you can see that it's true. Look at John the third chapter in verse 15 and 16. This is a passage that most of us are familiar with. That whoever believes in him, talking about Jesus, should not perish but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that's Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Turn over to the book of John in the fifth chapter in verse 24. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my words, that's Jesus, or my word, and believes in him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

We're familiar with John 6 in verse 68. This was when Jesus had talked about himself as the bread of life. And you remember that a number of people became discouraged, even those that were his disciples, this idea that Jesus was the bread of life. And so when they left, he turned to his disciples and says, Will you also go away?

And verse 68 is Peter answering him, saying, Lord, to whom shall we go? You, that's Jesus, you have the words of eternal life, he said. And then as you continue on, look at John 11 and verse 25. Most of us are familiar with this. When Lazarus had died, and Jesus goes to where he was buried, and meets Martha first of all, and you remember he says, I am the resurrection and the life, on that occasion.

Here's Jesus saying, I am the resurrection and life. And most of us remember 14 and verse 6 Jesse, I'll call on him to ask, he knows that passage. He's getting us to, but he says, I am the, the way, the truth and the life. And so over and over, you keep seeing this, that Jesus is associated with life. Now, why spend this time and showing how many times in John, Jesus is connected with this idea of life?

Well, let me suggest to you, if If the scriptures talk about something just one time, it's important. But if it talks about it over and over and over again, then you have to be, or have to realize that this is something important. And if Jesus talked about being life, or the scriptures talk about him being life just once, that's enough.

But here it is at least 28 times. that Jesus is associated with this idea of life in the book of John itself. I think even more when you get out of the book of John that you have other references, but John himself connects Jesus in life about 35 times, I think, or, or 28 times, and the word is used about 35 times.

Now, I want you to know also that there are several Greek words that are translated in English as life. Greek is a little more precise, more precise than English is sometimes. And where for instance, we have the word love, we, you know that they've got several words that talk about love. And they have several words that talk about life.

And let me just share with you three. There's psuche, which. We find it even in Matthew 6 and verse 25 when he says don't worry about your life. And most of the time, this is going to be a principle of life, a manner, a principle of life, I guess. A second one is Biles, and it kind of carries with it a manner of life.

Particularly like, for instance, 1 Peter 4 and verse 3. He talks about how that we have lived our lifetime and times past in sin. And then there's this Greek word zoe, and that's the one that actually appears in our text. Now, just like there's three words that appear here that talk about life in the Greek.

Let me suggest to you that in English we talk about three different kinds of life, and maybe even more, but at least three that I want to call your attention to now. We're aware of physical life, that's, that's this life that we have while we're here in this world, and we move and breathe and all of that, that's physical life.

But then there's also what we call spiritual life. I think you can best illustrate it maybe in Ephesians 2 and verse 1 where Paul says that we were made alive because we were dead in our sins. That contrast, you were made alive. You have life compared to being dead in sin. Well, you're you're in sin necessarily, but you are spiritually dead.

You're, you're out of fellowship with God is the idea. And so we use the idea of life sometimes as spiritual life. And that would just mean that we are in fellowship with God, not in sin and out of fellowship with Him. And then we talk about eternal life, and that's the passage or, or a phrase that carries with it the idea that we're going to one day be raised from the dead, or Christ will come again and we'll be changed, and we're not going to be subject to any death anymore after that.

And so that's eternal life. So if you wanted to find out which kind of life John is talking about, You can't just look at those three Greek words and say, well, one of them must be talking about physical life, one of them must be talking about spiritual life, and one of them must be talking about eternal life.

That's not the case. In fact, this word zoe is used of all three of them. Physical life in the book of Luke in the 16th chapter, when the rich man and Lazarus died and they go to Hades and Abraham is talking to the rich man. He said, you remember in your life? That's that word, Zoe. And he's talking about when you were in this physical life, you had comfort, but now you're Now that comfort has gone.

Spiritual life. Look over to the book of John in the 5th chapter.

John talks about and records about how we can have life. But he says, most assuredly, this is verse 24, most assuredly I say unto you, he who Here's my words, and believes in him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. He says, in verse 25, Most assuredly I say to you, the hour is coming, and notice, and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God.

And those who hear will live. Now, it'll go on down. In fact, you can go ahead and look at it, if you would, in verse 29. And verse 28, it says, Do not marvel at this, For the hour is coming which all are in the grave will hear his voice and come forth those who have done good to a resurrection of life.

That's talking about eternal life in verse 29. But 24 and 25, the fact that he says, and is now is, may be suggesting that this is spiritual life. And if this is not one, then there are certainly other occasions that you can find it on that case, that this there. I want to make one other point before we go on further.

You'll notice that John 1, and this is quoting from the scripture, says, He was life, and he uses that tense, was. Why do you suppose that John uses and says God or Jesus was life? Well, I think it's because Jesus has always been life,

and he's always been the source of life for us. But it wasn't made manifest in all ways until you get to the book of 2 Timothy in the second chapter in verse 10, when he says that it's now made manifest through the gospel. And so, remember that Was in the beginning, the Word, the Word was with God, and, and he points out, he was deity back then, and he was life then.

And so when we ask the question now, what kind of life is John talking about when he speaks of this? I want to suggest to you, I think he's talking about eternal life or spiritual life, mainly eternal life and spiritual life. And let me, let me just tell you why I think that. First of all, out of all the studies that I've done, and reading commentaries on this passage.

I think I found one that suggested that John 1, 4 is talking about physical life. Now that wouldn't really sway the thing other than it tells you that most people that's studying it. And studying it deeply come up with the idea that he's talking about eternal spiritual life. But more important than just the fact that most commentaries take that position is the fact that John is talking about the incarnation of Jesus.

And physical life doesn't start with the incarnation of Jesus. or doesn't become in focus just because of the incarnation of Jesus. But spiritual life and eternal life, they come into focus because of the incarnation of Jesus and his mission on earth. And so I think that's one thing that suggests we're talking about eternal life or spiritual life.

And the second thing is that as you continue to read the book of John, the things that he talks about are spiritual life and eternal life. Again, let me just quickly show you. We read already John 3 15 but he says there, That we believe in Jesus, you know, whosoever believes in Him, talking about Jesus should not perish, but have eternal life.

And then we mentioned, I think, 524, where, again, He, He talks about eternal life. More surely, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life. So, he turns his focus to this idea of eternal life most of the time. And I just make reference to the fact that maybe some of them talk about spiritual life, but You can't have eternal life unless you are spiritually alive first.

And spiritual life will turn into eternal life or we'll receive eternal life because we've been spiritually alive. So, those things. Now, I want you to remember two important things, though, about Jesus is life. And I switch back to make it more time for us. Not just was life, but he is life for us. And two important things is, one, that Jesus died in the flesh to give the spiritual and eternal life to us.

I think you see it in lots of places. We'll come back and talk a little more about Romans 3, 22, but he talks about that he justifies us by grace. And then he tells us how, he says, through redemption. And then he says, through Jesus, because he's a perpetuation, that is, he died and shed his blood. So that we could have this life, or this just, through this justification.

I think all of us realize that if Jesus gives us life, or the only way that we have this eternal life, is that Jesus died for us. That wouldn't work for physical life. All of us have physical life, but that didn't require Jesus dying for us. But to have spiritual life required that Jesus come to this world and die on the cross.

The second thing I want you to notice is that When we're dead, it's, and spiritually dead, it's, we're dead because of sin. We mentioned Ephesians 1, or Ephesians 2, 1. You're dead in your 1. But even in the book of Romans, again, in the 6th chapter, he says that that sin brings death. That's what happens.

And he's not talking about physical death. Maybe sometimes sin will be the cause of physical death. But lots of people are sinning, and they're still alive. They continue to live physically. But he's talking about spiritually alive. And spiritually dead. And he says that sin causes us to be dead. And from that, I want to suggest to you, the only way life can come is through the forgiveness that is through the blood of Christ.

Go back again to Romans the third chapter, verse 24 again. He says that I will justify you by grace, that is, I will make you right, get rid of your sins, in essence. And then he tells you how. He says in that through redemption, and that's forgiveness of sins, Ephesians 1, 7. So we're going to be justified or made right in God's sight, made alive, if you would, in God's sight.

And the only way we can do it is that He redeems us, or, or we have the forgiveness of our sins, and we can have that based upon Jesus death, because His blood was a propitiation for us, and we have faith in Him. And so, we're not going to have life, or wouldn't have life, if Jesus didn't come and die, and we wouldn't have the life that Jesus is talking about.

If he had not died for us and been willing and able through his death to forgive us of our sins, but I want to suggest to you also that there are some things that we have to do in order to actually receive this life that we're talking about. We have to believe in Christ and we have to believe in God.

Look back, if you would, in John for a moment, in the book of John in the third chapter and verse 15, he says, Who's ever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting or eternal life. So, it tells me I've got to believe. Look over again to John 5 and 24. He says, Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my words and believes in Him who sent me,

So there we learn, not only do we have to believe in Jesus, but we have to believe in God as well. And you remember what John tells us in the book of John in the 20th chapter in verse 31? He, he again tells us we're going to have to believe. But he tells us also how it is we can believe. He says, on the occasion, he said, verse 30, Truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, but these, these things that we've got in the book of John, particularly the signs and miracles are written there.

He said, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And that believing you may have life in his name. And so this life that Jesus is to us, he says it's going to take us having faith in him. It's not going to be life for people that have no faith in Jesus. But if you have faith in Jesus, then you can have this life that he's talking about in this passage.

Secondly, we must hear the words of Jesus and keep his commandments in order to have this life. Look, if you would, this time to the book of John in the sixth chapter, again, in verse 68. This is to the words that we read a moment ago by Peter. He says, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

No one else is going to have these words. If anybody else makes a claim to have them, they've got to be relying upon the words of Jesus. His words are the... The words of eternal life, not mine, not yours, but the words of Jesus are the words of eternal life, he says. Look at the book of Acts and the 13th chapter for a minute.

This is Paul preaching on this occasion. But listen to verse 46. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and judge yourself unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentile. They rejected the Word.

And he said because of that, they couldn't have this life. And they went on to preach to the Gentile. Matthew 7, verse 21, you remember Jesus on that occasion said, Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, Would enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that do it, the will of the father. So we've got to know his word and we've got to be doing his commandments.

In Matthew, the 19th chapter in verse 17, this is the the rich man that came to Jesus and was wanting to know about salvation. And he said, you have to keep my commandments. If you keep my commandments, then you have life eternal. And the sad thing was that he walked away and went away sad, but. We have to have it in order to have eternal life.

Thirdly, we need to be baptized in order to have eternal life. I was over at the Luke the other day and Shane Carrington was preaching and he talked about how the crucifixion is so closely tied to to baptism. Well, we see that it's tied to eternal life. Look at Romans the 6th chapter and verse 4 to begin with.

He says, Therefore we are buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in, he calls it, newness of life. There's that spiritual life that we are, we're talking about. And then just drop down a little further, if you would, to verse 22 of Romans 6.

But now having been set free from sin and having become slaves of God, you have the fruit to holiness and the end everlasting life. This is still in the context of baptism and how that these people that are baptized Put to death the old man of sin, and now they have a new life, and they're living, and they're holy.

And he says, the fruit of that, that death that we experienced when we were baptized, he said, that brings us to eternal life, he says.

I want to suggest to you, we must do good also. We referenced earlier, John the 5th chapter, and I told you that's the passage talking about eternal life. It's, it's really looking to the time that Christ comes again, but look back to John 5 for a moment.

We'll begin in verse 28 that you can see the context. He says, Do not marvel at this, for the hours come in which they who are in the grave will hear his voice. The fact that he's talking about those that are in the grave will show you he's talking on at the coming of Christ. And when this world is over, he says, They will hear His voice and come forth, those, listen, who have done good to the resurrection of life.

He says those that are going to be raised unto life, they're the ones that are doing good. And that would certainly include keeping the commandments of God, but that carries with it also, just the idea of doing good. Look at Romans 2 and verse 7. Let me begin in verse six. He says, God will render to each one according to his deeds.

Eternal life, there's our subject, eternal life to those who by patience, continuance, in doing good, seek for glory, honor, and immortality. The ones that are going to receive this life that Jesus has. are going to be those who continue on in good. And I would suggest to you that you're not doing good if you're doing bad, and you're not doing good if you're not doing anything.

Sitting idle is not good. You have to be doing something. And he says we need to be doing good if we want this eternal life. Well, we have to also learn to love the brethren. Look at the book of John, or 1 John this time. And the third chapter, and look at 14 and 15. We know that we have passed from death to life.

There's that going from death to life. And we'll make that transition even now, talking about spiritual death to spiritual life. And eventually to eternal life. But he says, we know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love the brethren abides in death.

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. See, that idea that here we are, we're alive, we have this spiritual life which is coming forth and will become eternal life for us when we do that. And so, it's imperative that we learn to love the brethren, he says.

Well, let me suggest to you, we must respect the truth and not add to it or take away from it. Look over this time to the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation in the 22nd chapter, and look at verse 19. This is after the book is... Then made known to us and, and then he says, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of the prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, from the holy city and from the things which are written in the book.

So he's telling us that if we don't pay attention to the scriptures and if we begin to take away from them, then he's going to take our part or our name out of the book of life. That book that tells who's going to get and receive that life. He says, you change the Word of God and take away from it. And they'll go on to talk about it.

And if you add to it, then the, the purses that are talked about will be added to you. And so if we want that eternal life, we're going to have to respect the truth and make sure we follow the truth. And then furthermore, we're going to have to withstand temptation. James writes, and he's writing, of course, to Christians in James, the first chapter.

And particularly, look, if you would, at verse 12. He says, Blessed is the man who endures temptations. So, temptations are going to come. We can't just yield to them. He says we need to endure them, stand against them. He says, For when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those that love him.

And so he expects us to withstand the temptations, not to yield to them or give in to them. And then let me just sum it up by saying we must live our life for Jesus Christ. Look first to the book of Colossians and the fourth chapter,

chapter 3 and verse 4. It says, When Christ, who is our life, appears, Then you will appear with Him in glory. And he's talking about that eternal life, eternal glory that we will have when we have eternal life. But he says, in order to do that, we have to be living in Christ. The writer, Paul, in Galatians, the second chapter in verse 20, I think, explains what he means here when he says, It's no longer I that liveth, but Christ liveth in me.

The life that I now live, I live in Christ and for Christ, he says. He just is trying to do everything he can. Like God wants him to. And that's his hope of eternal life. And I want to suggest to you that's our hope of eternal life also. That we live and do what Christ wants us to do. Now, I want to go back for just a moment and remind you.

We tried to show you the importance of this idea of life and how often it's connected with Jesus and said, if it's mentioned that many times, it must be that is really important. Can you think of anything that is more important than eternal life, especially given the alternative or alterna or the alternative of damnation.

And that's the choices in, in John five. You have either eternal life or you're suffering damnation. And eternal life is not just a quantity that doesn't end, it's that. But you look at John 5 again, and you remember he says that Christ, or those that have done good, shall have eternal life, and those that don't...

Shall suffer damnation, they're going to exist eternally, those that receive damnation. And so eternal life is not just an existence, it's a quality of life. It's the kind that he was talking about when he mentioned In Revelation, no tears, no pain. It's, it's all good. It's, it's, that's eternal life. We're going to spend it forever with God and Jesus and before the throne.

And so you, hopefully you can see this is important. And why John would keep on writing and writing and talking about this eternal life and, and keep pointing it to us and telling us this is about Christ, that you get eternal life. In and through Jesus Christ. And so I hope that it weighs with you and you see how important it is.

And I hope that you will listen to the Lord's invitation when he says, come and I'll give you rest. He's talking about that eternal life. I hope that you will lay hold on eternal life as Paul wrote to Timothy and we'll hold that and we'll hold tight to that eternal life and we'll not let go of it so that we can have.

eternal life, have spiritual life now, and eternal life when Christ comes again. There's a, a song in our large songs and books. I remember when I first heard the song, I think it was in the old Sacred Selections also, written by Thomas Laney, I think it was, yes, and it was called, I Live On. Some of the words is, I live on and on.

Yes, I live on and on. And how sweet that is to us. You really think you can sing that? I live on and on. Yes, I live on. The only way we can sing it is if we're connected to Christ in the way that He says we need to be connected. By doing His will, by living Him. And that's what we want to encourage you to do.

If you're here this evening and you've not yet obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, then why not put Him on this evening in baptism? Remember, this is something you're going to have to do for eternal life. This is where the old man dies and the new man arises. And this is how we have the fruit unto eternal life.

Do that. And remember, you've got to withstand temptation. If you've given in to temptation and just gone back into a life of the world, then... Come and repent and ask God to forgive you. He'll do that. But don't be caught in sin so that you will lose your eternal life. If you're a subject in any way and we can assist you and invite you to come, that's together we stand the same.