2009-07-25 - LIVE!!!
John 14:19, "Because I live, you shall live also."
There is a lot to consider in these seven words. The foundational principal that we must lay is that spiritual life is found, maintained and furthered in Christ. The spiritual life of the believer has a grounding source that is in Christ alone. In fact, the only reason why the Christian continues to live is because Christ lives. We find our all in Him. Can we have spiritual life without a prayer life? No, certainly we cannot, but prayer is still not the foundation of our spiritual lives. Can we have a spiritual life without works, or deeds of righteousness? Certainly not, but those works are not the foundation of our spiritual lives. It is all founded in Christ. We do not look to our prayers or our works for life; they are the fruit of our spiritual life. The core, or center, of our life from which such things flow is Jesus Christ and because He lives, we live.
We might understand that there are many who live in such a manner that they merely exist. This is not life. Life is more vibrant than existing. A plant in my garden exists but it does not have life in the sense that the Christian who is living because Christ lives in him/her does. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me," Galatians 2:20. This is the kind of life that is in mind in John 14:19. It is a spiritual life. It is a life that rises above the mundane of this world and seeks for better things. It is a life that gads not here and there about this world but is firmly grounded and rooted in the One who gives us life.
What is in mind here is life in total fullness. It is a life that flames with love for Christ and love one to another. We know this life by the name Union with Christ. The Christian experiences this Union with Christ as Romans 6:5 puts it, "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." Do you see the link here? Jesus tells us that we live because He lives, and we read here in Romans 6:5 that if we are united with Christ in His death for sin, then we will be united with Him in His resurrection. It is because Christ lives, because He was raised from the dead, that we also live. We are united with Christ. Death cannot separate that and death cannot separate us from Christ. Death actually brings us into even closer union with Him.
This verse gives us something that cannot be touched by death. Christ lives ever more and He reigns in Heaven this day. All those who have gone before us to Christ continue to live in Him. They are without sin, sorrow, pain or afflictions. We know these things now but we also know a small taste of what life in Christ is all about because as we grow in His grace, experiencing more and more life, we shed these remnants of struggle found in the world. We conform more and more to Christ in our lives and the greater our likeness to Christ becomes, the more we experience the life in view in our passage. We can begin to say with Paul, Philippians 1:21, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Soli Deo Gloria,