Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in [Grk. eis – into] me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: John 11:25 KJ2000)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 KJ2000)
Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that deceive you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1John 2:24-28 KJ2000)
What is Salvation? It is being translated from one temporal kingdom into the one which is eternal. It would be good if we take the time to think on this issue call “life.” On the earth there is much life. But because of the fall of Adam spiritual life, which is often not as tangible as animal and plant life, is much more rare and it is this life with which we are concerned in this writing.
Notice in the above verses that there is a progression from spiritual death into spiritual life. A person starts out in this world spiritually dead. The things of God are a mystery to him and he has no spiritual eyes or ears with which to perceive Him. God has to do a miracle in a person’s life for this to happen and that miracle is often called “salvation.” Salvation is not just a method of belief being saved from hell, but it is so much more. Like Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3-6 KJ2000). In the eyes of God we are born dead. We are so many walking automatons, zombies if you will.
So what must be done? God has sent His Son into the world so that we might become living spiritual beings. And how is that done? We must believe into Him. True God given faith allows us to leave this realm of death and pass into the very Son of God and acquire HIS spirit life as ours! It is then that we also become sons and daughters of God. What an all encompassing gift. We receive LIFE to its fullest extent possible. This is what Jesus was and is all about.
So now let’s read further in chapter three of John in the way it was originally written by the apostle…
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes into him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes into him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into [here eis is properly translated] the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes into him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:14-18 KJ2000)
The initial act of believing is a result of the Light of God being shown into our hearts. Jesus goes on to say, “…light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are worked in God” (John 3:19-21 KJ2000). John went on to explain this further in his letter saying, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1Jo 1:7 KJ2000). Our deeds might be evil, but the nature of light is that it purifies. Men use ultra-violet light to kill death causing bacteria. So what must we do to be saved? We must expose our darkness to the light of God that it might abolish sin caused death that dwells in us and come into His marvelous light, the Light of Life in Jesus Christ. The Light of God in Christ and His blood cleanses and free us from sin and death.
Once we have come to the Light that is in Christ and abide in the Light we now are made new creatures not after the first Adam, but after the Last Adam, the Son of God. “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit.” (1Cor 15:45 KJ2000). We become a new creation in the hands of God. Paul wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10 KJ2000). We first believe into Christ and then we are re-created in Him as His workmanship. It is only after this happens that we can do any works that are pleasing to God for the works HE has for us to do have been foreordained by Him for us to walk in them. They are not something that we can generate from our own creativity and intellect. Those kinds of works are called “dead works.” All we can do as we abide in Christ’s rest and let Him re-create us and then wait for the Father to do His works in and through us. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
So once we have received the life of Christ all we have to do is abide in Him for we have already believed into Him. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without [Grk. choris– separated from] me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 KJ2000 – emphasis added). Jesus is now our Life source. We can not survive any longer apart from Him. As a branch gets its life form the grapevine so it is with us in Christ. As a branch produces fruit by abiding in the life giving sap of the vine, so will we as we abide and rest in Him.
We who are His branches also have His words abiding in us. John wrote, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” The very words of the Word of God abide in us. He still speaks and we can hear His voice as we abide in the Father’s Spirit life. Yes, the Bible contains the recorded words of God, but how did we get them? They came through men who had the Word abiding in them and who spoke and wrote down what they heard. This was not a special class of people compared to those who abide in the Son. To the world, yes, but not to the sons and daughters of God for John went on to write, “But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.” All our Light and Life are wrapped up in our abiding in Christ. He is our sufficiency in all things pertaining to Spirit life.
Other verses to contemplate in the light of all we have written so far…
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4 KJ2000)
For as the Father raises up the dead, and gives them life; even so the Son gives life to whom he will. (John 5:21 KJ2000)
And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. (1John 5:11-12 KJ2000)