- Tettei Shahday-Annang
"Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:12 NASV). Thank God we are born again! For many, that's all they know, but do we Christians really grasp what we have? When you read the New Testament, Jesus often talked about the kind of life He gives. His disciples also talked about it. If that life isn't important, why would they spend time talking about it?
For sure, some know they now have a ticket to heaven, but they don't realize that this new life should thoroughly change their lives here and now. They shut their doors awaiting heaven, because they think that's where we're going to live that life. Yes, heaven is part of it, but we're to take hold of this life and take advantage of it here and now! Many have struggled so much on earth and have been made to think that they can't make it here, so they're waiting to get to heaven where their mansion awaits them. That's not the life Jesus gave to us. Such Christians have been deceived by the lies of the devil!
Thank God, our mentality has changed because of God's Word. The Bible declares that we shall know the truth and the truth shall make us free. The Lord Himself said in Hosea 4:6 that His people, not the people of the world, not children of the devil, but His own people, are destroyed because of their lack of knowledge. What enslaves and destroys God's people is nothing other than their ignorance of God's Word and what liberates them is their knowledge of the same. By this I do not mean head knowledge of the Scriptures but heart knowledge, that is, revelation knowledge of God's Word. Eternal life starts here on earth, and that's what Jesus came to give. He came to teach us that we can have life and have it abundantly.
From the onset, God created man to enjoy His life (Zoe). After God had created the world, He created man by breathing His very own Zoe life into him. Adam and Eve were made to enjoy all that God had created before them. There was no lack and no shortage, as well as no consciousness of worry or fear. Every day, they walked in the Zoe life of God. But then what happened? They disobeyed God and, as a result, were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. They seized from enjoying the Zoe life because God had cursed them. That alone changed the course of the human race. Due to this, life was certainly man's great need, for mankind was without life because of sin.
All had sinned and through sin, death had come (Romans 5:2). We were all dead in our trespasses and sins and in the uncircumcision of our flesh (Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13). This death alienated us from the life of God because of the blindness of our hearts (Ephesians 4:18) and we were "without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). But God, through His unmerited favour and love for man, sent His Son Jesus into the world, to atone for our sins, to give back His Zoe life to man. The Greek Lexicon, Strong's number 2222 defines Zoe life as "the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate, every living soul." Here, Zoe is used of the state of existing and being animate which is common to all mankind, whether saved or unsaved.
We just discussed that Zoe is the life of God and since Adam lost it, all men lost it. How come this Greek definition tells us that it's a life for both the saved and unsaved? Let us not forget that Zoe also refers to an individual person's life while on earth (Luke 16:25, Philippians 1:20, James 4:14). For us living in the New Testament era, Zoe has a special meaning. From the second definition of this life, the same Strong's number says that the Zoe life is "of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God; life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever."
From the above definition we learn that we (believers) can flow in the Zoe life even in this world, despite the fact that our entire bodies shall be totally changed to live forever after the resurrection. Interestingly, God has called you and me to live this life of His. Zoe is the life that is given by God through Christ Jesus to those who believe in the gospel. I know several great men of God, who took advantage of this life and changed their lives forever. Jesus said, "It will be done just as you believe it would" (Matthew 8:13). The key to this life lies in our belief. Whichever action you take in your life depends on who you think you are and what you have in you.
Today, we can live in a greater measure of the Zoe life that Adam and Eve enjoyed when they lived in the Garden of Eden, simply because of Jesus' redemptive work in our lives. Jesus made us the sons of God, not because of what we did but by the Father's love for us. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God..." (1 John 3:1). Now, if we're the sons of God, then we carry His nature. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).
"...the word of God is living and active..." (Hebrews 4:12). Oh, so I was born again by the seed of the Word, which is living and active. The Bible confirms this by saying we are God's "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God" (John 1:13). My goodness! James 1:18 also tells us that, "He (God) chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created." God's Word is divine and has the same life as God. It is one with Him. Just as you cannot separate a man from his word, God cannot be separated from His Word. Words are thoughts clothed with vocabulary. It follows then that God's words, which are actually His thoughts expressed in vocabulary, represent and reveal His Person. They are one with Him and reflect His character.
The Word of God is the character of God; it is the nature of God; it is the very life of God. That same Word gave birth to you. You were born of the Word of God. That's so wonderful! The life you have in you is the life of the Word, which makes you a child of the Word; Hallelujah! "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Colossians 3:3-4). Do you know the significance of Christ being your life? This scripture is showing you that the life of God is travelling through your veins. Isn't that wonderful! You received a life superior to that of an ordinary man the moment you were born again. This is the incorruptible life of the new creation that 2 Corinthians 5:17 talked about. The Message translation renders 1 Peter 1:23: "Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God's living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself!"
The Word of God can't perish; it is ordained to abide forever. This is the same life running through your veins. I'm not making this up; it's right there in the Word of God! Scripture reveals that the source or fount of this Zoe life is God the Father and Jesus confirms this by calling Him "the living Father" (John 6:57), indicating that Zoe life is the very life that God has in Himself. Having life in Himself, the Father imparted this life to the Son; "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" (John 5:26). In turn, the Son manifested this life to the world. Consider John's words: "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (John 1:4-5).
"And the Life an aspect of His being was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw as eyewitnesses and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life in Him Who already existed with the Father and Who actually was made visible (was revealed) to us His followers" (1 John 1:2 Amplified Bible). Paul confirms John's testimony when he revealed God's purpose: "For it is He Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness; He did it not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began eternal ages ago. It is that purpose and grace which He now has made known and has fully disclosed and made real to us through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who annulled death and made it of no effect and brought life and immortality (immunity from eternal death) to light through the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:9-10, AMP).
Christ brought us Zoe, not because of what we did, but because of grace. Jesus' foremost purpose in coming was to give Zoe life to men, that is, to cause men to enter into and partake of the very life of God. Jesus said, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (John 10:10, AMP). "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). Again, "...Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life" (John 17:2 NASV). If you're now a son or daughter of God, you're already a partaker of the divine nature; you're a partaker of that life which God has. This is the answer to your health problem. The doctor may have carried out his tests on you and declared, "I'm sorry, you've got cancer."
Remember that the Word that gave you Zoe says, "You're the healed of God." The question is, "Whose report do you believe?" I'm not against medications, and never will I. I just want you to understand that no matter how worse your condition, God can turn it around for His glory! If you believe that Christ is your life, you wouldn't succumb to any report that's contrary to God's Word. The Lord Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31). That cancer, typhoid, or HIV/AIDS will pass away, but your divine health shall not pass away. Hallelujah! Don't be quiet about this; let everyone around you know that Christ is your life.
If someone tells you, "You've caught the flu," look them straight in the eye and say, "I don't catch the flu; Christ is my life!" When the import of this scripture dawns on you, you'll never be sick or yield your body to any kind of ailment again. "...he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:17). You are God's dwelling place; nothing can separate you from His love. When you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour, you got plugged into the Zoe life. In other words, you received the Zoe life of God. Divine life is now at work in you. You're disconnected from the law of sin and death. Sin no longer has dominion over you. You're in charge now, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power.
The Word of life disconnects you from the wrong company. Fear would have no place in your heart, and sickness will be frustrated by your Word proclamation, because you're living in the light and knowledge of your salvation. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Stay connected to Him. It's just so sad that many allow themselves to be robbed of their rights in Christ Jesus. They find themselves in a continual fight with unbelief as they try to grasp this new life. They always want to feel something in their bodies whether this life is true or not. They just keep working so hard, even though everything is made available to them.
There's a gift they've received, but their unbelieving hearts persuade them that they must earn it through their good deeds. Falling into periods of despair and confusion, they are tormented by the evil one, who darkens their understanding and robs them of their inheritance. Know your rights in Christ. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). The Christian life is not an ordinary life. It is a supernatural life for supernatural men. That's why we must live with the consciousness of who we are in Christ. You need to leave the realm of the ordinary and walk in the realm of the supernatural where you take control of the situations of life.
We're citizens of Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God (Hebrews 12:22). As a citizen of this heavenly city, you have undeniable rights; the right to live, the right to choose and the right to receive God's blessings in Christ. It's also important that I remind you that we have an adversary (the devil) in this world whose mandate is to stop you from enjoying and exercising your God-given rights in Christ Jesus. If you don't know your rights in Christ, you're at his mercy and that would be a dangerous way for you to live as a Christian. If you want to see the result the Bible talks about, then you must know your rights and boldly take possession of all that belongs to you in Christ.
You can start today by digging into God's Word; search the scriptures. Discover your rights and privileges in Christ - what He has said you can do and have - then begin to appropriate them in your life. "The thief's purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." (1 John 4:17, NLT). You don't need to suffer what you are suffering any more because God has handled that situation in His Word. You cannot be in God's Kingdom and remain sick or poor because that is not consistent with the Zoe life He has come to give you. In Christ, we have received Zoe life in all its fullness! It is life free of death, disease, debt or any distortions of the devil. Receive revelation knowledge from the Word that will bring you out of any negative situation and cause you to enjoy life in all its fullness today.
Many do not recognize the life they've been called into, and so they go on living much like they did before they came to Christ, thus missing His fellowship and blessings. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). When you got born again, the former life which originated from your earthly parents died in Christ and was made a reality the moment you confessed His Lordship over your life. Now you've received the Zoe kind of life - indestructible, imperishable, indomitable, divine. You're a member of the family of God; you belong to His realm of life. "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
You may wonder, "But I don't look or feel any different." Well, you don't have to feel anything, for you're not supposed to live by your senses but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Zoe life in your spirit makes you glow from the inside. Sickness, poverty, frustration and defeat have all become a thing of the past; they don't belong to that realm of life. Sickness is incipient death. The Bible, however, says, "...We have passed from death to life..." (1 John 3:14). This makes you insusceptible to any kind of disease and absolutely indestructible. If you act on this truth, proclaim it and endorse it for yourself, the glory of God will overshadow you and destroy every form of darkness from your life.
You belong in the realm of life where there's only success, victory and prosperity. As you meditate on these truths, you will live life to the full. "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." (1 Corinthians 15:48). The moment you received the Lord Jesus into your heart, you were given a new kind of life. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). This is the very life of the Father.
Man, in all his goodness and kindness, is nothing before the Lord until he receives this glorious life (Isaiah 64:6).