12. Taking the Way of Life in the Lord’s Recovery
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Hymns:
Scripture Reading: Ruth 1:16-17, 20-21;
2:10-16; 3:1, 7-13; 4:9-15; Matt. 7:13-14
Ruth 1:16      But Ruth said, Do not entreat me to leave you and turn away from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you dwell, I will dwell; and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Ruth 1:17      Where you die, I will die; and there will I be buried. Jehovah do so to me, and more as well, if anything but death parts me from you.
Ruth 1:20      And she said to them, Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara; for the All-sufficient One has dealt very bitterly with me.
Ruth 1:21      I went out full, but Jehovah has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, when Jehovah has afflicted me and the All-sufficient One has dealt harshly with me?
Ruth 2:10      And she fell upon her face and bowed herself to the ground, and she said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight that you regard me, though I am a foreigner?
Ruth 2:11      And Boaz answered and said to her, All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, as well as how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people whom you did not know before.
Ruth 2:12      May Jehovah recompense your work, and may you have a full reward from Jehovah the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Ruth 2:13      And she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me and have spoken kindly to your servant girl, though I am not like even one of your servant girls.
Ruth 2:14      And Boaz said to her at mealtime, Come here and eat some food; and dip your morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers, and he extended some parched grain to her. And she ate and was satisfied, and she had some left.
Ruth 2:15      And when she rose up to glean, Boaz charged his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.
Ruth 2:16      And also pull out some from the bundles for her, and leave it for her to glean; and do not rebuke her.
Ruth 3:1        And Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, My daughter, I must seek some resting place for you, that it may go well with you.
Ruth 3:7        And Boaz ate and drank, and his heart was merry. And he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. And she came in secretly and uncovered his feet and lay down.
Ruth 3:8        Then at midnight the man was startled; and he turned over, and a woman was there, lying at his feet.
Ruth 3:9        And he said, Who are you? And she said, I am Ruth, your female servant. Spread your cloak over your female servant, for you are a kinsman.
Ruth 3:10      And he said, Blessed be you of Jehovah, my daughter. You have shown your latter kindness to be better than your first by not going after the choice young men, whether poor or rich.
Ruth 3:11      And now, my daughter, do not fear. All that you say, I will do for you; for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman.
Ruth 3:12      And now it is true that I am a kinsman, yet there is a kinsman closer than I.
Ruth 3:13      Stay for the night; and in the morning if he will do the kinsman’s duty, fine; let him do it. But if he is not willing to do the kinsman’s duty for you, I will do it for you, as Jehovah lives. Lie down until morning.
Ruth 4:9        And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, You are witnesses today, that I buy from Naomi’s hand all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s.
Ruth 4:10      Furthermore Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I acquire as my own wife so that I may raise up the dead man’s name upon his inheritance and the dead man’s name may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses today.
Ruth 4:11      And all the people who were in the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May Jehovah make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, the two who built the house of Israel. And prosper in Ephrathah, and gain a name in Bethlehem.
Ruth 4:12      And may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the seed that Jehovah gives you by this young woman.
Ruth 4:13      So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and Jehovah made her conceive; and she bore a son.
Ruth 4:14      And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be Jehovah, who has not left you today without a kinsman; and may his name be famous in Israel.
Ruth 4:15      And he will be to you as a restorer of life and a sustainer in your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.
Matt. 7:13     Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it.
Matt. 7:14     Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
 
 
I.      The three books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth present a clear picture of the two aspects of God’s move: His move in His economical Spirit, the Spirit of power, and His move in His essential Spirit, the Spirit of life—Judg. 13:25; 14:6; John 20:22; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:2:
Judg. 13:25   And the Spirit of Jehovah began to move him at Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judg. 14:6     And the Spirit of Jehovah rushed upon him, and he tore it apart as one might tear a kid apart with his bare hands. And he did not tell his father and mother what he had done.
John 20:22    And when He had said this, He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8        But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Rom. 8:2       For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
A.   With Joshua, Caleb, and all the judges we see the move of God in power, illustrated by Samson as one who moved in the Spirit of power but not in the Spirit of life—Judg. 14:6.
Judg. 14:6     And the Spirit of Jehovah rushed upon him, and he tore it apart as one might tear a kid apart with his bare hands. And he did not tell his father and mother what he had done.
B.    In contrast, the book of Ruth is a book of life; the purpose of this book is not to tell us anything about power but to reveal the things of life to the uttermost, using Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz as examples—1:16-17, 20-21; 2:10-16; 3:1, 7-13; 4:9-15.
Ruth 1:16      But Ruth said, Do not entreat me to leave you and turn away from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you dwell, I will dwell; and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Ruth 1:17      Where you die, I will die; and there will I be buried. Jehovah do so to me, and more as well, if anything but death parts me from you.
Ruth 1:20      And she said to them, Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara; for the All-sufficient One has dealt very bitterly with me.
Ruth 1:21      I went out full, but Jehovah has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, when Jehovah has afflicted me and the All-sufficient One has dealt harshly with me?
Ruth 2:10      And she fell upon her face and bowed herself to the ground, and she said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight that you regard me, though I am a foreigner?
Ruth 2:11      And Boaz answered and said to her, All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, as well as how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people whom you did not know before.
Ruth 2:12      May Jehovah recompense your work, and may you have a full reward from Jehovah the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Ruth 2:13      And she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me and have spoken kindly to your servant girl, though I am not like even one of your servant girls.
Ruth 2:14      And Boaz said to her at mealtime, Come here and eat some food; and dip your morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers, and he extended some parched grain to her. And she ate and was satisfied, and she had some left.
Ruth 2:15      And when she rose up to glean, Boaz charged his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the standing grain, and do not reproach her.
Ruth 2:16      And also pull out some from the bundles for her, and leave it for her to glean; and do not rebuke her.
Ruth 3:1        And Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, My daughter, I must seek some resting place for you, that it may go well with you.
Ruth 3:7        And Boaz ate and drank, and his heart was merry. And he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. And she came in secretly and uncovered his feet and lay down.
Ruth 3:8        Then at midnight the man was startled; and he turned over, and a woman was there, lying at his feet.
Ruth 3:9        And he said, Who are you? And she said, I am Ruth, your female servant. Spread your cloak over your female servant, for you are a kinsman.
Ruth 3:10      And he said, Blessed be you of Jehovah, my daughter. You have shown your latter kindness to be better than your first by not going after the choice young men, whether poor or rich.
Ruth 3:11      And now, my daughter, do not fear. All that you say, I will do for you; for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman.
Ruth 3:12      And now it is true that I am a kinsman, yet there is a kinsman closer than I.
Ruth 3:13      Stay for the night; and in the morning if he will do the kinsman’s duty, fine; let him do it. But if he is not willing to do the kinsman’s duty for you, I will do it for you, as Jehovah lives. Lie down until morning.
Ruth 4:9        And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, You are witnesses today, that I buy from Naomi’s hand all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s.
Ruth 4:10      Furthermore Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I acquire as my own wife so that I may raise up the dead man’s name upon his inheritance and the dead man’s name may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses today.
Ruth 4:11      And all the people who were in the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May Jehovah make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, the two who built the house of Israel. And prosper in Ephrathah, and gain a name in Bethlehem.
Ruth 4:12      And may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the seed that Jehovah gives you by this young woman.
Ruth 4:13      So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and Jehovah made her conceive; and she bore a son.
Ruth 4:14      And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be Jehovah, who has not left you today without a kinsman; and may his name be famous in Israel.
Ruth 4:15      And he will be to you as a restorer of life and a sustainer in your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.
C.    In the Lord’s recovery we should not take the way of the judges to be powerful and to do a great work; if we take the way of power instead of the way of life, whatever we accomplish will mean nothing.
D.   It is crucial for us to see that only life can bring forth Christ—Luke 1:35:
Luke 1:35     And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the holy thing which is born will be called the Son of God.
1. Only life can bring God into humanity, produce Christ, minister Christ, and supply the entire human race with Christ—Matt. 1:18, 20-21.
Matt. 1:18     Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.
Matt. 1:20     But while he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Matt. 1:21     And she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.
2. This was accomplished by Ruth and Boaz, persons of life, who took the way of life.
II.    According to the divine and eternal nature of the life of God, God’s life is the unique life; only the life of God can be counted as life—John 1:4; 10:10b; 11:25; 14:6:
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 10:10    The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
A.   Life is mysterious, for life is God Himself—1:1, 14; 5:26; Eph. 4:18:
John 1:1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
John 5:26      For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself;
Eph. 4:18      Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
1. The divine life may be considered the first and the basic attribute of God—v. 18; John 5:26; 1 John 5:11-12; Rom. 8:2.
Eph. 4:18      Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
John 5:26      For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself;
1 John 5:11   And this is the testimony, that God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:12   He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
Rom. 8:2       For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
2. Life is the content of God and the flowing out of God; God’s content is God’s being, and God’s flowing out is the impartation of Himself as life to us—Eph. 4:18; Rev. 22:1.
Eph. 4:18      Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
Rev. 22:1      And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.
3. Life is Christ, and life is Christ living in us and lived out from us—John 14:6; Col. 3:4; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:21a.
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
Gal. 2:20       I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Phil. 1:21      For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
4. Life is the Holy Spirit—John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:45b; Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:6.
John 14:16    And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever,
John 14:17    Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.
1 Cor. 15:45  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
Rom. 8:2       For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
2 Cor. 3:6      Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
5. Life is the processed and consummated Triune God dispensed into us and living in us—John 1:14; 7:37-39; 20:22; Rom. 8:10, 6, 11.
John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
John 7:37      Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
John 7:38      He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39      But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
John 20:22    And when He had said this, He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 8:10     But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
Rom. 8:11     And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
B.    God’s purpose in the creation of man in His image and according to His likeness was that man would receive Him as life so that man might become a man of life, a God-man, expressing God in His attributes—Gen. 1:26; 2:9.
Gen. 1:26      And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
III.   We need to know the significance of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and turn absolutely from this tree to the tree of life—vv. 9, 16-17:
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. 2:16      And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely,
Gen. 2:17      But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
A.   The tree of life signifies the Triune God in Christ to dispense Himself into His chosen people as life in the form of food—v. 9.
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
B.    The New Testament reveals that Christ is the fulfillment of the figure of the tree of life—John 1:1, 4, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5:
John 1:1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 15:1      I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
John 15:5      I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
1. Speaking of Christ, John 1:4 says, “In Him was life”; this refers to the life signified by the tree of life.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
2. The life portrayed in Genesis 2 is the life incarnated in Christ—1 John 5:11-12; John 1:1, 4, 14.
Gen. 2:1        Thus the heavens and the earth and all their host were finished.
Gen. 2:2        And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Gen. 2:3        And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Gen. 2:4        These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created. When Jehovah God made earth and heaven,
Gen. 2:5        And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up-for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the ground,
Gen. 2:6        But a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground—
Gen. 2:7        Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Gen. 2:8        And Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed.
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. 2:10      And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four branches.
Gen. 2:11      The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that goes around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
Gen. 2:12      And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.
Gen. 2:13      And the name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that goes around the whole land of Cush.
Gen. 2:14      And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one that goes east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Gen. 2:15      And Jehovah God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it.
Gen. 2:16      And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely,
Gen. 2:17      But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
Gen. 2:18      And Jehovah God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper as his counterpart.
Gen. 2:19      Now Jehovah God had formed from the ground every animal of the field and every bird of heaven. And He brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called any living animal, that was its name.
Gen. 2:20      And the man gave names to all cattle and to the birds of heaven and to every animal of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper as his counterpart.
Gen. 2:21      And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place.
Gen. 2:22      And Jehovah God built the rib, which He had taken from the man, into a woman and brought her to the man.
Gen. 2:23      And the man said, This time this is bone of my bones / And flesh of my flesh; / This one shall be called Woman / Because out of Man this one was taken.
Gen. 2:24      Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Gen. 2:25      And both the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed before each other.
1 John 5:11   And this is the testimony, that God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:12   He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
John 1:1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:14      And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
3. If we put together John 1:4 and 15:5, we will realize that Christ, who Himself is life and also a vine tree, is the tree of life.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 15:5      I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
C.    The tree of the knowledge of good and evil signifies Satan as the source of death to man—Heb. 2:14:
Heb. 2:14      Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil,
1. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil also signifies all things apart from God.
2. Anything that is not God Himself, including good things and even scriptural and religious things, can be utilized by Satan, the subtle one, to bring death into the church—Matt. 16:18; Prov. 16:25; 18:21.
Matt. 16:18   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Prov. 16:25   There is a way which seems right to a man, / But the end of it is the ways of death.
Prov. 18:21   Death and life are in the power of the tongue, / And those who love it will eat its fruit.
D.   In John 4, 8, 9, and 11 are four cases that illustrate the principle of life versus good and evil:
John 4:1        When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John
John 4:2        (Although Jesus Himself did not baptize, but rather His disciples),
John 4:3        He left Judea and went away again into Galilee.
John 4:4        And He had to pass through Samaria.
John 4:5        So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land that Jacob gave to Joseph his son;
John 4:6        And Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from the journey, sat thus by the well; it was about the sixth hour.
John 4:7        There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me something to drink.
John 4:8        For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
John 4:9        The Samaritan woman then said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, who am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
John 4:10      Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
John 4:11      The woman said to Him, Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water?
John 4:12      Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank of it himself, as well as his sons and his cattle?
John 4:13      Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again,
John 4:14      But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.
John 4:15      The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water so that I will not thirst nor come here to draw.
John 4:16      He said to her, Go, call your husband and come here.
John 4:17      The woman answered and said, I do not have a husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I do not have a husband,
John 4:18      For you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.
John 4:19      The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
John 4:20      Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, yet you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men must worship.
John 4:21      Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:22      You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is of the Jews.
John 4:23      But an hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him.
John 4:24      God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
John 4:25      The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when He comes, He will declare all things to us.
John 4:26      Jesus said to her, I, who speak to you, am He.
John 4:27      And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, What are You seeking? or, Why are You speaking with her?
John 4:28      Then the woman left her waterpot and went away into the city, and said to the people,
John 4:29      Come, see a man who told me all that I have done. Is this not the Christ?
John 4:30      They went out of the city and came to Him.
John 4:31      In the meantime, the disciples urged Him, saying, Rabbi, eat.
John 4:32      But He said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about.
John 4:33      The disciples therefore said to one another, Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?
John 4:34      Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.
John 4:35      Do you not say that there are yet four months and then the harvest comes? Behold, I tell you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are already white for harvest.
John 4:36      He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit unto eternal life, in order that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
John 4:37      For in this the saying is true, One sows and another reaps.
John 4:38      I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.
John 4:39      And many of the Samaritans from that city believed into Him because of the word of the woman who testified, He told me all that I have done.
John 4:40      So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to remain with them, and He remained there two days.
John 4:41      And many more believed because of His word.
John 4:42      And they said to the woman, It is no longer because of your speaking that we believe, for we ourselves have heard and know that this One is truly the Savior of the world.
John 4:43      And after the two days He went forth from there into Galilee,
John 4:44      For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
John 4:45      Then when He came into Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all that He did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went to the feast.
John 4:46      He then came again to Cana of Galilee, where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain royal official, whose son was sick in Capernaum.
John 4:47      When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and asked Him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die.
John 4:48      Jesus therefore said to him, Unless you see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.
John 4:49      The royal official said to Him, Sir, come down before my little child dies.
John 4:50      Jesus said to him, Go, your son lives. The man believed the word which Jesus said to him and went his way.
John 4:51      And as he was now going down, his slaves met him and said that his child was living.
John 4:52      So he asked them the hour in which he got better. They said then to him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
John 4:53      Then the father knew that it was in that hour in which Jesus said to him, Your son lives; and he believed, he and his whole house.
John 4:54      Again, this second sign Jesus performed when He came out of Judea into Galilee.
John 8:1        But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
John 8:2        And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them.
John 8:3        And the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst,
John 8:4        They said to Him, Teacher, this woman has been caught committing adultery, in the very act.
John 8:5        Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do You say?
John 8:6        But they said this to tempt Him, so that they might have reason to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground.
John 8:7        But when they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
John 8:8        And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
John 8:9        And when they heard that, they went out one by one, beginning with the older ones. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman stood where she was, in the midst.
John 8:10      And Jesus stood up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?
John 8:11      And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.
John 8:12      Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8:13      The Pharisees then said to Him, You are testifying concerning Yourself; Your testimony is not true.
John 8:14      Jesus answered and said to them, Even if I testify concerning Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
John 8:15      You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
John 8:16      But even if I do judge, My judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me.
John 8:17      And in your law also it has been written that the testimony of two men is true:
John 8:18      I am One who testifies concerning Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies concerning Me.
John 8:19      They said then to Him, Where is Your Father? Jesus answered, You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.
John 8:20      These words He spoke in the treasury as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 8:21      He said therefore again to them, I am going away, and you will seek Me and will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.
John 8:22      The Jews then said, He is not going to kill Himself, is He, for He says, Where I am going, you cannot come?
John 8:23      And He said to them, You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
John 8:24      Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.
John 8:25      They said then to Him, Who are You? Jesus said to them, Altogether that which I also tell you.
John 8:26      I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him, these things I speak to the world.
John 8:27      They did not understand that He was speaking to them of the Father.
John 8:28      Jesus therefore said to them, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and that I do nothing from Myself, but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things.
John 8:29      And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.
John 8:30      As He spoke these things, many believed into Him.
John 8:31      Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples;
John 8:32      And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
John 8:33      They answered Him, We are Abraham’s seed and have never yet been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, You shall become free?
John 8:34      Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
John 8:35      And the slave does not abide in the house forever; the son does abide forever.
John 8:36      If therefore the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8:37      I know that you are Abraham’s seed; but you seek to kill Me because My word has no place in you.
John 8:38      I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; so then, you also do the things which you have heard from your father.
John 8:39      They answered and said to Him, Our father is Abraham. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.
John 8:40      But now you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; Abraham did not do this.
John 8:41      You do the works of your father. They then said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, God.
John 8:42      Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I came forth out from God and have come from Him; for I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me.
John 8:43      Why do you not understand My speaking? It is because you cannot hear My word.
John 8:44      You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks it out of his own possessions; for he is a liar and the father of it.
John 8:45      But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
John 8:46      Which of you convicts Me of sin? Since I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?
John 8:47      He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.
John 8:48      The Jews answered and said to Him, Have we not spoken well in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?
John 8:49      Jesus answered, I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
John 8:50      But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks glory for Me and judges.
John 8:51      Truly, truly, I say to you, If anyone keeps My word, he shall by no means see death forever.
John 8:52      The Jews therefore said to Him, Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets too; yet You say, If anyone keeps My word, he shall by no means taste death forever.
John 8:53      Are You greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too. Who are You making Yourself?
John 8:54      Jesus answered, If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say that He is your God.
John 8:55      Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I will be like you, a liar; but I do know Him and I keep His word.
John 8:56      Your father Abraham exulted that he would see My day, and he saw it and rejoiced.
John 8:57      The Jews then said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
John 8:58      Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I am.
John 8:59      So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple.
John 9:1        And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
John 9:2        And His disciples asked Him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?
John 9:3        Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but he was born so, that the works of God might be manifested in him.
John 9:4        We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
John 9:5        While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 9:6        When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed his eyes with the clay,
John 9:7        And He said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is interpreted, Sent). He went therefore and washed and came away seeing.
John 9:8        The neighbors then and those who previously saw him as a beggar said, Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?
John 9:9        Some said, This is he. Others said, No, but he is like him. He said, I am the one.
John 9:10      They said then to him, How then were your eyes opened?
John 9:11      He answered, The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash. I went therefore and washed, and I received my sight.
John 9:12      And they said to him, Where is He? He said, I do not know.
John 9:13      They brought him who was once blind to the Pharisees.
John 9:14      Now it was the Sabbath, on which day Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
John 9:15      Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. And he said to them, He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.
John 9:16      Then some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath. But others said, How can a man who is a sinner do such signs? And there was a division among them.
John 9:17      Then they said to the blind man again, What do you say about Him, in that He opened your eyes? And he said, He is a prophet.
John 9:18      The Jews then did not believe concerning him that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight
John 9:19      And asked them, saying, Is this your son, of whom you say that he was born blind? How then does he now see?
John 9:20      Then his parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
John 9:21      But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age; he will speak for himself.
John 9:22      His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be the Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
John 9:23      Because of this his parents said, He is of age; question him.
John 9:24      Therefore a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.
John 9:25      Then he answered, Whether or not He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.
John 9:26      They said then to him, What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?
John 9:27      He answered them, I told you already and you did not hear. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?
John 9:28      And they reviled him and said, You are His disciple; but we are disciples of Moses.
John 9:29      We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.
John 9:30      The man answered and said to them, Why here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes!
John 9:31      We know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
John 9:32      Since time began it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one born blind.
John 9:33      If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.
John 9:34      They answered and said to him, You were wholly born in sins, and you are teaching us? And they cast him out.
John 9:35      Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and He found him and said, Do you believe into the Son of God?
John 9:36      He answered and said, And who is He, Lord, that I may believe into Him?
John 9:37      Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him, and He is the One speaking with you.
John 9:38      And he said, Lord, I believe; and he worshipped Him.
John 9:39      And Jesus said, For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.
John 9:40      Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, We are not blind also, are we?
John 9:41      Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would not have sin; but now that you say, We see; your sin remains.
John 11:1      Now there was a certain man who was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:2      It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
John 11:3      The sisters therefore sent to Him saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.
John 11:4      But when Jesus heard it, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, in order that the Son of God may be glorified through it.
John 11:5      Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
John 11:6      When therefore He heard that he was sick, He remained at that time in the place where He was for two days.
John 11:7      Then after this He said to the disciples, Let us go into Judea again.
John 11:8      The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and You are going there again?
John 11:9      Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
John 11:10    But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
John 11:11    He said these things, and after this He said to them, Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going that I may wake him out of sleep.
John 11:12    The disciples then said to Him, Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.
John 11:13    But Jesus had spoken about his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
John 11:14    So Jesus then told them plainly, Lazarus has died.
John 11:15    And I rejoice for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.
John 11:16    Then Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.
John 11:17    Then when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
John 11:18    Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.
John 11:19    And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
John 11:20    Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary sat in the house.
John 11:21    Then Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:22    But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.
John 11:23    Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again.
John 11:24    Martha said to Him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
John 11:26    And everyone who lives and believes into Me shall by no means die forever. Do you believe this?
John 11:27    She said to Him, Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who comes into the world.
John 11:28    And when she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Teacher is here and is calling you.
John 11:29    And she, when she heard this, rose quickly and came to Him.
John 11:30    Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
John 11:31    The Jews then who were with her in the house and were consoling her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
John 11:32    Then Mary, when she came to where Jesus was, saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:33    Then Jesus, when He saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her weeping, was moved with indignation in His spirit and was troubled,
John 11:34    And He said, Where have you put him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.
John 11:35    Jesus wept.
John 11:36    The Jews then said, Behold how He loved him!
John 11:37    But some of them said, Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man also have caused that this man would not die?
John 11:38    Jesus therefore, moved with indignation again in Himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
John 11:39    Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him who was deceased, said to Him, Lord, by now he smells, for it is the fourth day that he is there.
John 11:40    Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?
John 11:41    Then they took the stone away. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
John 11:42    And I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the crowd standing around, I said it, that they may believe that You have sent Me.
John 11:43    And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out!
John 11:44    And he who had died came out, bound hand and foot with cloths, and his face was bound about with a handkerchief. Jesus said to them, Loose him and let him go.
John 11:45    Many of the Jews therefore who had come to Mary and beheld the things that He did believed into Him.
John 11:46    But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things that Jesus did.
John 11:47    Then the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled a council and said, What do we do? For this man is doing many signs.
John 11:48    If we let Him do so, all will believe into Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.
John 11:49    But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, You know nothing at all,
John 11:50    Nor do you take account of the fact that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people and that not the whole nation perish.
John 11:51    But this he did not say from himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation,
John 11:52    And not for the nation only, but that He might also gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
John 11:53    From that day therefore they took counsel to kill Him.
John 11:54    Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went away from there to the region near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there He remained with the disciples.
John 11:55    Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover in order to purify themselves.
John 11:56    They then sought Jesus, and said to one another as they stood in the temple, What do you think? That He will not, by any means, come to the feast?
John 11:57    Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should disclose it, so that they might arrest Him.
1. We should care not for good and evil but for life—4:10-14, 20-21, 23-24; 8:3-9; 9:1-3; 11:20-27.
John 4:10      Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
John 4:11      The woman said to Him, Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water?
John 4:12      Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank of it himself, as well as his sons and his cattle?
John 4:13      Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again,
John 4:14      But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.
John 4:20      Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, yet you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men must worship.
John 4:21      Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:23      But an hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him.
John 4:24      God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
John 8:3        And the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst,
John 8:4        They said to Him, Teacher, this woman has been caught committing adultery, in the very act.
John 8:5        Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do You say?
John 8:6        But they said this to tempt Him, so that they might have reason to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground.
John 8:7        But when they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
John 8:8        And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
John 8:9        And when they heard that, they went out one by one, beginning with the older ones. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman stood where she was, in the midst.
John 9:1        And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
John 9:2        And His disciples asked Him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?
John 9:3        Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but he was born so, that the works of God might be manifested in him.
John 11:20    Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary sat in the house.
John 11:21    Then Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:22    But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.
John 11:23    Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again.
John 11:24    Martha said to Him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
John 11:26    And everyone who lives and believes into Me shall by no means die forever. Do you believe this?
John 11:27    She said to Him, Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who comes into the world.
2. The best way to discern a matter is to discern according to life or death, not according to right and wrong, good and evil—Rom. 8:6; 2 Cor. 11:3.
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
2 Cor. 11:3    But I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.
IV.   Christ is our life—Col. 3:4:
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
A.   The life of God is the life of Christ, and the life of Christ has become our life—v. 4; John 5:26:
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
John 5:26      For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself;
1. For Christ to be our life means that He is subjective to us to the uttermost—1:4; 14:6a; 10:10b; 1 Cor. 15:45b; Rom. 8:10, 6, 11.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 10:10    The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.
1 Cor. 15:45  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
Rom. 8:10     But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
Rom. 8:11     And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
2. It is impossible to separate a person from the life of that person, for a person’s life is the person himself; thus, to say that Christ is our life means that Christ has become us and that we have one life and living with Him—John 14:6a; Phil. 1:21a.
John 14:6      Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Phil. 1:21      For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
B.    The truth that Christ is our life is a strong indication that we are to take Him as life and live Him in our daily life—Col. 3:4; John 6:57:
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
John 6:57      As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
1. Christ must be our life in a practical and experiential way; day by day we need to be saved in His life—Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:45b; Rom. 5:10.
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
1 Cor. 15:45  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
Rom. 5:10     For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled,
2. The new man is the spontaneous issue of our taking Christ as our life and living Him—Col. 3:3-4, 10-11.
Col. 3:3         For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Col. 3:4         When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.
Col. 3:10       And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Col. 3:11       Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.
V.     There are two possible ways of our life and work before God—the way that leads to life and the way that leads to destruction—Matt. 7:13-14:
Matt. 7:13     Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it.
Matt. 7:14     Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
A.   In order to take the way that leads to life, we need to enter in through the narrow gate and then walk on the constricted way—vv. 13-14:
Matt. 7:13     Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it.
Matt. 7:14     Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
1. The narrow gate deals not only with outward conduct but also with inward motive.
2. The old man, the self, the flesh, the human concept, and the world with its glory are all excluded; only that which corresponds with God’s will can enter in—v. 21; 12:50.
Matt. 7:21     Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who does the will of My Father who is in the heavens.
Matt. 12:50   For whoever does the will of My Father who is in the heavens, he is My brother and sister and mother.
3. First, we need to enter in through the narrow gate and then walk on the constricted way, a way that is lifelong and leads to life—7:14.
Matt. 7:14     Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
4. The word life in Matthew 7:14 refers to the ever-blessed condition of the kingdom, which is filled with the eternal life of God; this life is in the reality of the kingdom today and will be in the manifestation of the kingdom in the coming age—19:29; Luke 18:30.
Matt. 7:14     Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Matt. 19:29   And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My name’s sake shall receive a hundred times as much and shall inherit eternal life.
Luke 18:30    Who shall not by all means receive back many times as much in this time, and in the coming age, eternal life.
B.    The broad way is according to the worldly systems, satisfying the natural tastes, to get the crowd, to maintain a career of man, and to achieve man’s enterprise; the destruction to which the broad way leads refers not to the perishing of a person but to the destruction of a person’s deeds and works—1 Cor. 3:15; Matt. 13:31-33; Rev. 2:13, 20; 17:4-5.
1 Cor. 3:15    If anyone’s work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Matt. 13:31   Another parable He set before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
Matt. 13:32   And which is smaller than all the seeds; but when it has grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches.
Matt. 13:33   Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.
Rev. 2:13      I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name and have not denied My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Rev. 2:20      But I have something against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, she who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and leads My slaves astray to commit fornication and to eat idol sacrifices.
Rev. 17:4      And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the unclean things of her fornication.
Rev. 17:5      And on her forehead there was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
C.    The way of the Lord’s recovery is the way of life that leads to a living reward in life in the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens in the coming age—Psa. 16:11; Jer. 21:8; Matt. 19:29; Luke 18:30; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; 15:58.
Psa. 16:11     You will make known to me the path of life; / In Your presence is fullness of joy; / At Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Jer. 21:8        And to this people you shall say, Thus says Jehovah, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.
Matt. 19:29   And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My name’s sake shall receive a hundred times as much and shall inherit eternal life.
Luke 18:30    Who shall not by all means receive back many times as much in this time, and in the coming age, eternal life.
1 Cor. 3:13    The work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will prove each one’s work, of what sort it is.
1 Cor. 3:14    If anyone’s work which he has built upon the foundation remains, he will receive a reward;
1 Cor. 3:15    If anyone’s work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Cor. 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
VI.   We need to live by the sense of life—the feeling, the consciousness, of the divine life within us—Rom. 8:6; Eph. 4:18-19:
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
Eph. 4:18      Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
Eph. 4:19      Who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness in greediness.
A.   The source of the sense of life is the divine life, the law of life, the Holy Spirit, Christ abiding in us, and God operating in us—Rom. 8:2, 10-11; Phil. 2:13.
Rom. 8:2       For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
Rom. 8:10     But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:11     And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
Phil. 2:13      For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure.
B.    The divine life is the highest life, with the richest, strongest, and keenest feeling; this feeling is the sense of life—Eph. 4:18.
Eph. 4:18      Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
C.    The sense of life guides us, governs us, controls us, and directs us, causing us to know whether we are living in the divine life or in the natural life and whether we are living in the flesh or in the spirit—Rom. 8:6.
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
VII. We need to be victorious over the attack of death upon the church and build up the Body of Christ in the resurrection life of Christ—Matt. 16:18; John 11:25; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:16:
Matt. 16:18   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
Eph. 1:22      And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph. 1:23      Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph. 4:16      Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
A.   By the resurrection life of Christ in our spirit, we can be victorious over the attack of death upon the church—Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:24; 2 Tim. 1:10:
Matt. 16:18   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Acts 2:24      Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pangs of death, since it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
2 Tim. 1:10   But now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who nullified death and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel,
1. From Eden onward, God’s controversy with Satan has been on the issue of death and life—Rom. 8:6, 10-11; Heb. 2:15.
Rom. 8:6       For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.
Rom. 8:10     But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom. 8:11     And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
Heb. 2:15      And might release those who because of the fear of death through all their life were held in slavery.
2. Matthew 16:18 shows us from what source the attack upon the church will come—“the gates of Hades,” that is, death; Satan’s special object is to spread death within the church, and his greatest fear with regard to the church is her resistance to his power of death—Rev. 2:8, 10-11.
Matt. 16:18   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Rev. 2:8        And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again:
Rev. 2:10      Do not fear the things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tried, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Rev. 2:11      He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall by no means be hurt of the second death.
B.    We should be exercised in spirit to build up the Body of Christ in the resurrection life of Christ—Eph. 2:6, 21-22; 4:16; Rev. 1:18; 2:8; Phil. 3:10:
Eph. 2:6        And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:21      In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph. 2:22      In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
Eph. 4:16      Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Rev. 1:18      And the living One; and I became dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever; and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Rev. 2:8        And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again:
Phil. 3:10      To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
1. The nature of the church as the Body of Christ is resurrection, and the reality of resurrection is Christ as the life-giving Spirit—John 11:25; Acts 2:24; Eph. 1:19-23; 1 Cor. 15:45b.
John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;
Acts 2:24      Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pangs of death, since it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
Eph. 1:19      And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph. 1:20      Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph. 1:21      Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph. 1:22      And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph. 1:23      Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
1 Cor. 15:45  So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.
2. When we live by the divine life within us, we are living a life in resurrection for the building up of the Body of Christ—Phil. 3:10-11; Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 2:19; 3:15.
Phil. 3:10      To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Phil. 3:11      If perhaps I may attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.
Eph. 4:15      But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,
Eph. 4:16      Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Col. 2:19       And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Col. 3:15       And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
VIII.    “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers”—1 John 3:14a:
1 John 3:14   We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death.
A.   Death is of the devil, God’s enemy, Satan, signified by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which brings death—Gen. 2:9, 17.
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. 2:17      But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
B.    Life is of God, the source of life, signified by the tree of life, which issues in life—vv. 9, 16-17.
Gen. 2:9        And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. 2:16      And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely,
Gen. 2:17      But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
C.    Death and life are not only of two sources, Satan and God; they are also two essences, two elements, and two spheres—John 5:24.
John 5:24      Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment but has passed out of death into life.
D.   To pass out of death into life is to pass out of the source, the essence, the element, and the sphere of death into the source, the essence, the element, and the sphere of life; this took place at the time of our regeneration—1 John 3:14a; John 3:3, 5, 15.
1 John 3:14   We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death.
John 3:3        Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:5        Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:15      That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
E.    We know—have the inner consciousness—that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers; love (the love of God) toward the brothers is strong evidence of this—1 John 3:14a:
1 John 3:14   We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death.
1. Faith in the Lord is the way for us to pass out of death into life; love toward the brothers is the evidence that we have passed out of death into life—John 5:24; 1 John 3:14a.
John 5:24      Truly, truly, I say to you, He who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment but has passed out of death into life.
1 John 3:14   We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death.
2. To have faith is to receive the eternal life; to love is to live by the eternal life and express it—John 3:15, 36; 1 John 3:11, 14-18; 4:7-12, 16, 19-21.
John 3:15      That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 3:36      He who believes into the Son has eternal life; but he who disobeys the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.
1 John 3:11   For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
1 John 3:14   We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death.
1 John 3:15   Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:16   In this we know love, that He laid down His life on our behalf, and we ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brothers.
1 John 3:17   But whoever has the livelihood of the world and sees that his brother has need and shuts up his affections from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
1 John 3:18   Little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue but in deed and truthfulness.
1 John 4:7     Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and everyone who loves has been begotten of God and knows God.
1 John 4:8     He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.
1 John 4:9     In this the love of God was manifested among us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might have life and live through Him.
1 John 4:10   Herein is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:11   Beloved, if God has loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12   No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:16   And we know and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.
1 John 4:19   We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:20   If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:21   And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God love his brother also.
 
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