GOD, CHRIST, THE SPIRIT, AND THE WORD BEING LIFE
In the entire New Testament, the term the life of God is only mentioned once, in Ephesians 4:18. The term the life of God indicates that God is life just as the phrases the love of God (1 John 4:9; 2 Cor. 13:14) and the light of the Lord (Isa. 2:5) indicate that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and God is light (1 John 1:5), respectively. These phrases are synonyms. All are in the form of appositions. In the phrase the life of God, life and God are also in apposition. God is life, God is love, and God is light.
The eternal life, the divine life, is the very God of whom is life, and who is the Spirit. Life is God Himself, God is Spirit (John 4:24), and the Spirit is life (Rom. 8:2). The eternal life, the divine life, is also the Spirit of life. God the Spirit, has embodied Himself in Christ (John 4:24; 1:1, 14). The life of God, God Himself, is also the life of Christ, Christ Himself. Actually in the New Testament, there is no such term as the life of Christ. It simply states that Christ is life (John 14:6; 11:25).
Life is eternal. Life is divine. Life is Christ. Christ is God, and Christ is the Spirit. The eternal, divine life which is God, the Spirit, and Christ is embodied in the word. The New Testament says that the word is life (John 6:63; 1 John 1:1). This life is embodied not only in the words spoken by God but also in His word spoken by us. Acts 5:20 reveals that the word spoken out of Peter’s mouth was the word of this life. Peter’s speaking was not only the word of God, but the word of his testimony. Peter’s life and work made the divine life so real and present in his situation; hence, it was the word of his testimony.
The entire content of the Bible, especially the New Testament, is life. Life is its center. Life is the substance, element, and factor of the entire New Testament. The New Testament is a book of “this life” (Acts 5:20), the eternal life.
MAN WITH GOD’S IMAGE, LIKENESS, AND BREATH
Life being the content of the Bible is fully signified by the tree of life (Gen. 2:9). In order to know the significance of the tree of life, we must consider the background of chapters one and two of the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis portrays the tree of life with a certain kind of background. According to Genesis 1 and 2, God created man as the center of His creatures, the center of His creation. Man was created in God’s image, according to God’s likeness. Outwardly, in appearance, man bears God’s image and has God’s likeness (Gen. 1:26-27), and inwardly, God’s breath has entered into man (Gen. 2:7). The Hebrew word for breath in Genesis 2:7 is neshamah. This word neshamah is also used in Proverbs 20:27 and is translated spirit. This is a crucial verse, and I encourage you to learn it. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah” (Heb.). By looking at the usage of the word neshamah in these two verses, we can see that when the breath was with God it was a breath (Gen. 2:7). But when this breath entered into man it became man’s spirit (Prov. 20:27). By this we can see that the spirit of man is very much linked with God.
Genesis 1 and 2 show us that man is outwardly made in God’s image, according to God’s likeness, and that inwardly he is filled with God’s breath. The breath of God became man’s spirit for man to contact God, to receive God, and to contain God. These two portions of Genesis, 1:26-27 and 2:7, show us that man is a vessel. His outward appearance is like God, and his inward parts are linked with God. Although at the time of his creation man had all of these things, he still did not have God within him. Man did not have the life of God within him. Man only had the breath of God, but that breath was neither God Himself nor was it God’s life. This breath linked man with God by forming man’s spirit.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)