What Is Life?
The Bible is clear that Christ is “The Life” (Gk., Zoë, life, Jn. 14:6). According to grammar, the word “the” in the “the life” is the “definite article,” meaning “the one and only life.” Since His resurrection from death and the grave, Jesus Christ is now being “the spirit of life” (Rom 8:2a).
Let’s begin by looking at how earthly human life first occurred. It came by God’s “breath of life.”
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the ‘breath of life’ (Hebrew, chay, breath of lives); and man became a living soul.
The “breath of life” here in the Greek transliteration is “neshamah,” meaning the “spirit” that is of God, but not “the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). Jesus had not yet incarnated, died or risen as “the Spirit.”
“Life” in the phrase “breath of life,” according to the Hebrew language, is transliterated as “chay” (pronounced “ky”). It’s better translated “breath of lives,” because it’s tense is masculine plural. But how can it be that God’s breath that was breathed into Adam can be the breath of multiple lives? It is plural because God’s “breath of life,” at once generated (3) three kinds of life within man; 1) spirit life (Grk, Zoë), 2) soul life (Grk, psuche), & 3) physical life (Grk, bios). These three appear here also.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 the very God of peace sanctify you wholly (as a whole); and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Adam became fully animated in his three parts as by the one breath of God, becoming “a living soul (being)”
- Every human has a human spirit by which he may relate to God who is a spirit being.
- Man has a soul with faculties of mind, emotion, and will. This is his psychological self.
- These make man a rational, self-conscious, sensing being, by which he may make choices.
- Man has a body by which he may relate to the physical realm of the world.
Thus, man became alive to three realms; the spirit realm, the psychological realm and the physical world.
The “breath” of God was dispensed into Adam’s clay form to be his life-source. All humanity is born of Adam with God’s breath, and thus quickened (made alive) with the spirit-life that is on-loan from God.
Zech. 12:1 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Job 32:8 there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding (perception).
Unlike the plants that have physical life with no conscious life, or the animals that have physical life and a lower level of consciousness than man, man uniquely possesses the physical life, and a self-life or soul-consciousness (conscience) that were quickened by the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8). The human spirit permits man to relate to the spirit realm of God “who is a Spirit” (John 4:24).
Only the life of God is real or genuine “life” since His life is the only uncreated and eternal life. All other life forms cannot be counted as genuine life since they are temporal and will cease. The “life” we speak of in this study is in Greek “Zoë,” which is God’s “spirit of life,” the real life. Thus, by having God’s “breath of life” on loan, man has the potential of becoming eternal at some point during his time on earth. He must at some point receive the resurrected “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to “regenerate” his “spirit of man.”
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
John wrote of this life to the believing Israelites to whom he had been sent by Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 10:5-6).
1 John 1:2 For the life was manifested (in Jesus), and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;
John 3:16 For God (the Father) so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (apollymi, be destroyed fully), but have (His Son’s) everlasting life
Christ’s resurrected “Spirit of life” is added to be the believer’s spirit and is the permanent “everlasting life.”
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life (Zoë), and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
God’s Life is both Divine & Eternal:
God’s ‘divine life’ is a life that has the inherent nature and quality of God. This is as a Gold cup inherently has the characteristic of incorruptibility… it never rusts simply due to being Gold.
God’s Life is transcendent and limitless in all aspects. His life is…
- Indestructible: “Who is made… after the power of an endless life.” (Hebrews 7:16)
- Omniscient – all-knowing, of all things including the thoughts of men (cf. Heb. 4:12b)
- Omnipresent – living in believers (Col 1:27) and present to all “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jer. 23:24) “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
- Omnipotent – all-powerful - Job 42:2: … you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.
- Eternal – meaning God’s life is the uncreated life, without beginning or ending.
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Hebrews 7:16 (Jesus) made… after the power (dunamis, miraculous) of an endless life (akatalutos, permanent).
God as the “I AM” is never the “I was” or “I will be.” We find God in the “but now”– not the past or future.
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
God’s Life is Self-existent – His is a life that is independent of circumstances & environment.
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Isaiah 53:2 For he (Messiah) shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Thus only God’s “Eternal life” is the real life, a life without limits, unlike earthly life that dies.
The life of God is the only life qualified to be called “Life.” That which is true life must be “eternal.” All other forms of life are temporal, subject to death and destruction.
Mortal human life cannot survive the killing blow. Mortal life has the potential of gaining Christ’s real life.
- Being limited to Mortal life …inherently enslaves men to… self-interest to preserve it.
- Having God’s Eternal life… sets men free from fear & concern for their human life. (2Cor 1:8-9)
For those who have received Christ’s eternal life, there’s no more fear of death!
Heb 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children (of Israel) are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Christ) likewise took part of the same (flesh); that through (Jesus’) death he might destroy (Gk. kartargeo, make of no effect) him that had the power of death (Gk, kratos, “dominion” over death), that is, the devil; 15to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The Flow of God’s Life: Experientially toward mankind, God’s Life flows outward from Him as a “giver.” God is the only source of genuine life, flowing out is as the “river of Life.”
Psalm 36:9a … with thee is the fountain of life
The eternal “river of Life” with “the water of life” will one day be “in the Kingdom” on the “new earth.”
Rev. 22:1-2a he shewed me a pure river of water of life (Zoë, spirit), clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb… (with the) Tree of life… for the healing (restoring) of the nations (Gk. ethnos, Gentles, in human bodies).
The flow of the River of God’s life…is pictured as yielding Gold, Pearl, & Precious Stones.
Genesis 2:10-14 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium (pearl) and the onyx stone (precious stone).
Rev. 21:18 the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. (Divinity) 19a the foundations were garnished with all manner of precious stones.
Rev. 21:21a And the twelve gates (of the city) were twelve pearls;
The believers today are God’s “Spiritual Stones,” making up God’s Spiritual Temple as God’s Abode.
1 Cor. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Cor. 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation (Christ) gold (divinity), silver (fruit of Redemption), precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13“… it will be “revealed by fire.” Fire will reveal our true state!
God is made known to us by His One Spirit and the Word.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son (the only unique Son), which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (revealed Him, brought Him out to be seen, made Him known).
1 Cor. 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 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. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Christ as “the Word” is the expression of God the Father (cf. Isaiah 9:6).
John 1:1-3 In the beginning (the beginning without a beginning, before Genesis) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The “Son” Has Always Existed in Union with the Father Jn 10:30 I and my Father are one. The Father and the Son are of One Self-existent life. God the Father Flowed the person of His One Son into the human body of a man called Jesus of Nazareth…into the body of His “humiliation” (Acts 8:33).
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9).
John 1:4a In him (Jesus) was life (Zoë, God’s “Spirit-life”); …
John 1:14 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.
1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, …
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made (came into being by) of a woman, made under the law (subject to the law),
ALL those who are regenerated, “born of God,” are partakers of the One Life of … the One Son of God.
As to Life, we are one life with God the Father “in Christ.”
As to Our Expression – We together are Christ’s “body,” “many sons” (Heb. 2:10) expressing His Life.
Christ’s Life flowed to Man… via His Cross. Blood & Water flowed from His pierced side - Blood for Redemption & the His “water of life” flows to us to be His eternal life in us.
John 19:34 … the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (< We are result of the flow of the life in One Grain)
Old Testament - Flow the Water of Life from a “Rock” is allegorical of Christ’s as “the water of life.”
Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou (Moses) shalt smite the ‘rock,’ and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink…
1 Corinthians 10:4 And (Israel) did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The Riches of the Water of Christ’s Life… flows to man.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be IN him a well of water springing up into everlasting (eternal) life.
John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet ‘given’; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
NOTE: The word “given” is italicized, being added by the translators; “given” does not belong since “the Spirit” as He is today “was not yet” completed to include Jesus’ humanity until His resurrection and glorification.
Real Life for man is simply in receiving…Christ as Savior and as “the Life.”
John 1:4 In him was (the) life; and the life was the light of men.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath (the) everlasting life…
1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
John 10:10 … I (Jesus) am come that they might have (the) life, and that they might have it (life) more abundantly.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: …
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: …
Col. 3:4 …Christ, who is our life…
Life is Christ… as the “Fullness of the Godhead”
Col. 2:9 For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Ephes. 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Christ’s Life is … the very Life of God the Father
John 14:10-11 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me…
Isaiah prophetically wrote: in Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
When Jesus Christ speaks it’s the Father speaking. When Jesus says “I AM…The Life,” it’s the Father saying … Jesus is The I AM and The Life.”
The LIFE is Jesus Christ… who became “the life-giving Spirit”
1 Cor. 15:45 …The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (Jesus) was made (became) a quickening (life-giving) spirit.
2 Cor. 3:17 NOW the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The “He” and “Him,” as “the Comforter” of v16-17 is “I” in v18-20. The One “Spirit of Jesus” is the Comforter.
John 14:16-20 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth (Christ is the Truth); whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Col. 3:4 … Christ, who is your life… 2Cor. 13:5 …Know ye not your own selves…that Jesus Christ is IN You…
We do Not receive the life of God as though it were some “thing” that God can give us, as being separate and apart from Himself.
- No, rather, we receive God the Father’s life, which is “in Christ” … as “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” into our human spirit. “… Christ be (is) with thy spirit…” (2Tim 5:23)
- Real “life” for man is… the One Life of God the Father … In the Person of the Son (Christ) …now as “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” … flowing to, within, and through “as many as received Him” (Jn. 1:12)
God’s life is organic, reproducing His life in us by His Christ-Seed (Greek, sperma).
Receiving “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” as the “Seed” of God the Father into our spirit (cf. 2Tim 4:22) makes us the literal birthed children of God the Father.
1Pet 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed (Gk. sperma), but of incorruptible, by the word (Christ) of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Gal 3:16 …thy seed, which is Christ.