Sunday, August 23, 2015

Victory Series Bible Study Week 13: New Life in Christ

Greetings Gents!

Last week we discussed the Christ's sacrifice in terms of the forgiveness of our sins. This week we turn away from sin towards new life through Christ. The focus of this week is John 6: 25-59, which takes place after Jesus' feeding of the people with fish and loaves of bread:

"25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 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.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum."

Jesus not only is the son of God and living sacrifice intended to purge humanity of Sin, but also is the bread of life which sustains man throughout eternity. What Adam and Eve lost through their transgression was life, and what Jesus restored was life. 
Jesus calls attention to the bread of life at after he was sought out on the other side of the sea of Galilee. He calls attention to the "bread of heaven" that Moses supplied the Israelites during their long exile in the desert (see Exodus 16: 4). He also contrasts the physical bread (or manna) that feeds the physical body with the bread of life, which is for the spirit. 
While manna can indeed nourish the physical body, all those who eat solely that will eventually die. Therein lies the difference between physical manna and the bread of life: the bread of life, being for the spirit, will sustain your spirit and thus maintains your life after death through connection with God. The only way to attain the bread of life is through faith in Jesus, which allows you to be born again. This means we who eat of the bread of life (faith in Jesus) are born again (able to live a righteous life through connection with God).

Questions for consideration over the coming week:
- What did the people ask of Jesus to provide them so that they may believe in his divinity? What did he actually provide?
- What did Jesus mean when he stated he is the bread of life?
- What did Jesus tell Nicodemus that he must do to receive eternal life? How do we receive that life?
- What are the practical ramifications in knowing that your soul is in union with God? 
- What confidence can you draw from "Christ in you, the hope of glory"? 

Consider these questions over the coming week and how they effect your relationship with God and the people around you. Stay strong, gents!

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