Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Men of God, Living on God’s Instant, Spoken, Applied Words in the Gospels

In my last post I presented some Old Testament examples illustrating the proper attitude of contacting God’s word—an attitude of coming to receive the life supply—as seen in Moses living on everything that proceeds out from the mouth of God (Deut. 8:3), the Psalmist tasting God’s words and being enlivened by them (Psa. 119:103, 93), and the prophet Jeremiah, finding God’s words and eating them (Jer. 15:16). Now I would like to continue along this line by considering how men of God, received God’s word as their food in the Gospels.

The Lord Jesus—Taking God’s Every Word as His BreadMatt. 4:4

In Matthew 4:4, the Lord Jesus, standing in His position as man, defeated Satan’s temptation to turn stones into loaves of bread by speaking forth God’s written word from Deuteronomy 8:3. He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” Footnote 3 on this verse in the Recovery Version points out that, “This word indicates that the Lord Jesus took the word of God in the Scriptures as His bread and lived on it.” It is interesting to note that the Greek word for “word” here is not the word “logos” but the word “rhema.” Hence, it not merely the constant, written word of the Scriptures (logos) that we live on, but the Scriptures that have been converted to instant, spoken words applied to our situation (rhema). It was with such a digested and applied word that the Lord Jesus defeated Satan. We also need to read, pray and muse upon God’s written words just as Jesus did (Deut. 8:3) so that these words may become our daily bread and our authority to defeat the enemy also. One practical point to note from this example was the Lord’s pattern of audibly proclaiming God’s words. Such a practice of speaking out, praying over and singing God’s word, helps us assimilate and digest God’s word.

The Disciples—Eating the Lord by Receiving His Words—John 6:57, 63, 68

In John 6, the Lord revealed Himself as the believers’ bread of life (v. 35), the true bread out of heaven (v. 32). But how could the Lord’s disciples eat this heavenly bread? Jesus revealed in this chapter the process through which He was passing in order to become their bread including: 1) being incarnated (vv. 32-51a), 2) being slain (vv. 51b-55), 3) being resurrected to indwell (vv. 56-59), 4) ascending (vv. 60-62), 5) becoming the life-giving Spirit (vv. 63-65) and 5) being embodied and realized in the word of life (vv. 66-71).

The practical application to our eating Christ (v. 57) as the bread of life is by coming to Him and believing into Him (v. 35). We should never separate our coming to Bible from coming to the Lord Jesus Himself (see John 5:39-40 and footnote). But how can we come to Him today? Verse 63, points out that it is the Spirit that gives life, referring to His becoming the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17). To eat the flesh of His physical body was not what Jesus meant. Rather He can give us life only because He is now the Spirit and His Spirit is embodied in His living words. Note 3 on verse 63 points out that “First, the Lord indicated that for giving life He would become the Spirit. Then He said that words He speaks are spirit and life. This shows that His spoken words are the embodiment of the Spirit of life…When we receive His words by exercising our spirit, we get the Spirit, who gives life.”

From these two illustrations we can see how consistent the Bible is in revealing the attitude we should have in coming to read God’s word. May we be more deeply impressed that God’s words are intended to be our food and that His words can never be separated from God Himself. May we ever come to the Word, by coming to the Lord, exercising from deep within, and prayerfully speaking forth God’s words with a spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13) that the word would always profit us (2 Tim. 3:16; cf. Heb. 4:2).

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

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