For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4).
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 spirits His own life and nature! In the New Testament, it’s called 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 above that in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Light stands for development. The light was the development of man. In this life that we receive in the new birth is the wisdom of God and the mind of Christ that will direct us in 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. The Bible had previously been translated into the languages of common people and made available to all. This life of God brings into human life tremendous creativity.
I believe that the progress that we’ve had as a relatively young nation in the United States is due to the enlightenment that comes in the new birth to the spirit of man. Our founders longed for 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! And with Judeo-Christian ideology as the backdrop of thought in America at its inception as a nation, ingenuity abounded here.
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 its convictions, 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 those who receive it feed or meditate on the Word of God and become prayerful. It is stymied 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 of God. 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 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.
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!