Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The one major defining difference between Christianity and any other religion you may want to think of, is that if you have acknowledged Jesus as Lord and confessed Him as your savior then you now have Godís life within you. People who have never made Jesus their Lord can not understand this miracle. They may think of Christians as crazy or weak or fanatical or many other negative things you can think of. They however can not understand the miracle of the new birth and what that truly means.
As vs. 5. states, And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
That is why they must be told the good news. They have to be told that redemption has already been purchased for everyone. This life has been freely given to the world. They just donít know it yet. They have to be told that Godís life has been made available to them. This is the most incredible thing any of us can ever imagine. The very life of God has been freely given to us all. We have to turn from the world and turn to God through Jesus Christ and receive this incredible gift of life.
1 Peter 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
23. having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
24. because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,
25. but the word of the Lord endures forever.'' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to come? He had to come for a reason. He told us Himself in the Gospel of JohnÖ.
John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
If Jesus had not come we could not have life. He had to come in order for us to live, not only to live but to live more abundantly. Religion can give a moral code of conduct but it can not give life. He came to give it and through Him is the only way we can get it.
The Greek word translated life is Zoë. Literally the life of God or eternal life.
Vines Greek concordance says to make alive, cause to live, quicken" (from zoe, "life," and poieo, "to make"), is used as follows: "(a) of God as the bestower of every kind of life in the universe.
We have to understand that all life comes from God.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
The life we have both physical and spiritual comes from God. We are eternal spiritual beings who temporarily live in human flesh. Those who are in Christ someday will put on incorruptible, and we will be restored to what God originally intended for us to become.
Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 52. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory.''
Without this life we could still live morally descent lives but that does not mean we have life. Living right and doing right things is commendable and good but these things do not nor can they give us Godís life. Without Godís life we are separated from God. Sin is what separated us from God. Sin causes spiritual death. This is what spiritual death is separation from the life of God. There is only one remedy for this, we must be born again.
1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
We can't patch the problem of spiritual death by doing good works or going to church. That can only try to mask the stench of spiritual death. Our righteousness is as filthy rags in the sight of God. Religion will teach us to walk a certain way or to do certain things. Many people think if you reach a certain level of goodness you will get to go to Heaven.
People do this to try and ease their conscious but it will not. Many religions would make us do all kinds of penance to get to a certain level of rightness. Truthfully the only rightness we can ever achieve is the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ Jesus.
Godís Word teaches us to do good deeds however it does not teach us to do good deeds in order to get to Heaven.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
We must deal with the root core of the problem, which is spiritual death.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
I have come that they may have life
The only way to the Father is through Jesus. The only way to restore relationship with God is by destroying the thing that does the separating, which is sin. Sin is the cause of spiritual death. We can only do this by accepting the Zoë life of God.
When you acknowledge Godís free redemption you receive Zoë. We literally pass from death unto life.
John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Religion teaches us to control human nature, or the way we live, but it does not address eternal life. When you receive Godís life the way you live will change. You will be changed from the inside out. The inner man will be changed which will affect the outer man. It is God imparting His very nature and being to us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We literally become a new creation. What was is no longer, we become something brand new. The transformation starts instantly the moment you accept Jesus as your lord and savior. It is not something that happens when you have done 100 good works. You donít have to try and earn it. You couldnít even if you wanted to, so stop.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
The Zoë life of God will continue to renew us day by day. It starts instantly but continues on forever. It is a great experience
Ezekiel 36:26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel was prophesying about the new birth. The heart of man he was talking about was really the inner man or the real you. The real you is your spirit. Your born again recreated human spirit will affect everything you do if you will but let it.
This life is a most precious gift. It is the most precious thing we could ever have.
Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
I would like to invite you to partake of Godís Zoë, and see for yourself that God is good.
The first step is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ and receive the Zoë of God?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God
Glory to God!!!! Amen.