John 6:35-36 ESV
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.’”
Jesus is The Word (John 1). He is The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6). And he is the bread of life. So, the bread is The Word, The Way, The Truth and The Life. So, to eat the bread is to partake (to take part in) all that all of that entails.
It is to receive Jesus Christ into our lives, by faith in him, but to receive him is to accept into our lives the very character of God, including his divine purpose for our lives. It is not just to make a public confession of faith in him, but it is to humble ourselves, repent of sin, obey his commands, and submit to his Lordship over our lives.
Before we believe in Jesus, we don’t have a relationship with God. We are all sinners, and we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness (Rom 3:23). So, we have a “God-void” in our lives which only he can fill. For he made himself known to all of us that we might surrender our lives to him (Rom 1:18-32).
So, when we do surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, by faith in him, and we take part in his righteousness, holiness, godliness, and faithfulness, etc., then that God-void is filled so we no longer have that empty feeling inside of us that says that something is missing that we, as unbelievers, try to fill.
Now we have Jesus living within us in the person of his Holy Spirit. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, for Jesus bought us back for God with his blood that we might now be God’s possession and that we might now glorify God with our lives (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
Not only is Jesus now living within us, but now he is our life! Our flesh and our sin have been put to death with him, we have been reborn of the Spirit of God, and now our lives are being lived to the glory of God, in submission to his will, in accordance with his Spirit and in obedience to his word.
For, Jesus said to come to him we must deny self, die daily to sin, and follow him in obedience to his will for our lives (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 8:1-17). If we don’t, then we don’t know him, and we don’t have eternal life in him.
John 6:44-48 ESV
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.”
We can’t come to faith in Jesus Christ of our own accord. So, faith in Jesus Christ comes from God and it is divine persuasion. We have to be drawn to Jesus by the Father. We have to be persuaded by God to believe in him. Thus, the faith that it takes to believe in Jesus is going to be in accord with God’s divine character and will for our lives.
Thus, those who say they “believe” in Jesus, but they are convinced they do not have to repent of their sins or obey the Lord or submit to Christ as Lord, they do not have divinely persuaded faith, but human faith, of the flesh of man. For, if faith comes from God it will submit to God and to his will for our lives. The believer will repent, obey, and submit to the Lord.
If the Father draws us to Jesus, and we are taught by God the Father, the Father is going to teach us that we must humble ourselves before him, forsake our sins and our idols, walk in obedience to his commands, and submit to him as master (owner) of our lives. We will come to Jesus in truth, not in some humanistic teaching that denies him as Lord of their lives.
John 6:52-58 ESV
“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.’”
When Jesus refers to his body (his flesh) and his blood, he is speaking of him giving his life up for us on the cross that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin and that we might walk in his righteousness and holiness.
He is speaking about how, when he died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. When he died he put sin to death so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
So, when he says that we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood if we want to have his life in us, which is eternal life with God, he is speaking of us being crucified with him in death to sin and of us being raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
But this is not a one-time event that takes place in our lives and then we are good to go until we die and go to heaven. This is daily dying to sin and self and daily walking in obedience to our Lord. This is daily feeding on his word and fellowshipping with him in the Spirit. And this is daily surrendering our lives to him for his service to do what he has called us to do, too.
Broken and Contrite
An Original Work / May 13, 2012
I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.
Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.
Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.