Life written by Peter Inns

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10
About 25 years ago, I was asking the Lord Jesus why the church seemed to be so weak and prone to deception. I received a totally unexpected answer – “They know me as the Way and they know me as the Truth. They do not know me as the Life.”
I had to confess that I was not sure that I knew Lord Jesus as my life. I knew what the Bible had to say, but that is not the same as knowing in the heart and having the experience of this tremendous truth. I began to seek the Lord to see what this meant.
First I saw that what the Lord Jesus meant by “life” in John 10:10 was not the same as my definition. I imagined that “abundant life” meant a better lifestyle, more peace, joy, and love that Christ could give me. I also discovered I was not alone in my lack of understanding. As if to underscore this revelation, I heard a message on John 14:6, a most famous verse indeed. The (Baptist) preacher spent 25 minutes on Jesus the Way, 5 minutes on Jesus the Truth, and a few seconds on Jesus the Life.
So what did the Lord Jesus mean? Unlike English, there are three words in Greek that are translated as “life”. We might say to ourselves that we are alive, we breathe, we eat, we choose, we love, we care, we get angry – surely this is proof that we live now? Yes and no. The life the Lord Jesus speaks of is “Zoe” in Greek. This is contrasted with “Psyche”, which refers to the realm of the soul. “Zoe” is a life that we can only receive from God once we are born again. It is the Life that the Lord Jesus has in Himself and that He gives to those who are born again (John 5:21).
What does this mean for Christians? It is one of the most important truths that we can receive. If we come to know the Lord Jesus as our Life, it will transform us. All our striving will cease. All our efforts to improve ourselves will come to an end. We will no longer need to prove ourselves to others. We will no longer be enslaved to rules and regulations that do nothing to make us more spiritual.
Some might wonder what the fuss is about. People are being saved, going to church, being blessed, and so on. Yet there are also problems that seem to be entrenched. These include:
• Division. There are something like 30,000 or more denominations.
• False doctrines. Wrong teachings abound and God’s people seem easy prey to deceivers
• Church structures. The church is the Body of Christ. The idea of a pastor heading up an assembly while most other members keep the seats warm is not Biblical.
• Dead works. Faith without works is indeed dead. But works without faith are just as bad. It’s not what we do for God that counts. It’s what He wants us to do that matters. Everything not done according to God’s will and by His power is to be burned (1 Corinthians 3:12)
• Moral decay. Too much of the Western church is increasingly much like the world. It is adopting worldly attitudes to marriage, sex, homosexuality, the Bible, and science.
There is a lot more that could be said, but hopefully, the reader will get the picture.
I am convinced that the Lord Jesus is returning for a spotless Bride, the church that is living and working in unity, humility, love, and power. It is inevitable because the Lord Jesus is building His church and the gates of hell will fall before her.
However, it is not automatic. God has chosen to work in and through man. History shows us that God is prepared to wait for the right man at the right time, culminating in the Lord Jesus. We know about Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, Gideon, and other true men of God. In recent years men like Ivor Marshall (unknown to all but a few), Watchman Nee, Hudson Taylor, George Muller, and Andrew Murray stand out as servants of God. What about us? We may never be famous. That’s not important. What does matter is our usefulness to the Master in His service as He brings about the Kingdom of God?
If all we have is our own feeble efforts to build our denomination, charity, orphanage, school, or other good works, we have nothing. It may even impress other people, but it will not impress God. Only what is of Christ will endure God’s examination. It would be a terrible shame if we live our lives according to our own plans and miss out on God’s best. We have one life to live. Let’s be sure that we fulfill our purpose. Let’s be sure that it is according to the Life of Christ who lives in everyone who is born again.

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