The Greek word for life in the above verses is Zoe, and is pronounced Zoa. It means life in the absolute sense; life as God has it; the life of God. It’s an astounding thought that in the new birth God actually places into our spirit His own life and nature! A number of references in the New Testament (particularly in the book of John) translate this word Zoe as everlasting life or eternal life. It refers to a quality of life, not a quantity. As a boy I thought that the eternal life my pastor preached about was living forever. But no, it’s a nature that comes to indwell the child of God!
Notice in the above verse that in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Light stands for development, illumination, help, and progress. The light was the development of man. This life opens man’s dark spirit and mind to endless possibilities in life regarding natural and spiritual things! In this Zoe life that we receive in the new birth is the wisdom of God and the mind of Christ that will direct us in all the affairs of life.
You may note historically that after Martin Luther received the revelation that the just shall live by faith in the 1500’s that the world came out of the dark ages and the industrial age began. No country has needed a patent law until eternal life was found there. This light shining inside of man through the new birth has (I believe) been the catalyst for the industrial age. I believe that the progress that we’ve had as a relatively young nation in the US is due to the enlightenment that comes in the new birth to the spirit of man. Our founders craved religious freedom and some had been born again. An impetus to create, to explore, to improve, to aid, to help, to solace, and to better mankind is placed deep within the spirit of man by this Zoe God life within!
In personal life, when received and allowed to grow, this Zoe will transform behavior, taking the mediocre, and pushing it into excellence. This life breaks habits and forms new ones. It presses its bearers to mold to their convictions to honor God and the Word, and pushes rebellion and sin away and in its place creates freedom, joy, liberty, and purity.
This Zoe must be allowed to develop and grow or it will not produce change. It thrives when the person who possesses it feeds on the Word of God and becomes prayerful. It is stymied and hindered when a person ignores it, pushing it aside for the lusts of the flesh and the attitudes of the current age.
If you’ve received Zoe through the new birth, take time each day to feed it with the Word. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2). Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Given nourishment through God’s Word and prayer, this Zoe life will grow like a seed, eventually crowding out the “weeds” of the works of the flesh in a human and will little by little begin to produce Christlikeness in a person’s life.
Zoe is awesome. Don’t ignore it in you! Allow it to thrive, and it will take you places you never thought you’d go in life! We’ll continue this tomorrow!