THE GREAT I AM

THE LORD IS YOUR LIFE

Deuteronomy 30:20 states: ‘The LORD is your life’. This follows Moses’ urgent plea to the Israelites ‘… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life …’ In a similar plea centuries later God, in calling the people away from idolatry and back to himself, said through the prophet Ezekiel ‘Why will you die, O house of Israel? … Repent and live!’ [Ezekiel 18:31,32]. And Amos, in similar circumstances, conveyed the word of the LORD ‘Seek me and live’ [Amos 5:4] and added his own urgent challenge ‘Seek the LORD and live’ [verse 6].

This connection between the LORD and life takes us right back to the beginning of all things in Genesis. There God warned Adam against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, saying: ‘when you eat of it you will surely die’ [Genesis 2:17]. In Genesis 3 death came. At the very moment that Adam turned away from God something within Adam died. The life-giving, life-sustaining connection with God was severed by Adam’s choice. Death entered [Romans 5:12], and from that time to the present death has reigned [Romans 5:14,17]; from that time to the present all are cut off from God, the source of spiritual life, and are therefore ‘dead in transgressions and sins’ [Ephesians 2:1,5].

Spiritual life exists only when we are in right relationship with God. Spiritual death is the unavoidable default human condition. There is no other condition. Severed from God our spirit is dead. According to the Bible there is only one thing that can make our spirit live: reconnection with God. When the Spirit of God reconnects us with God through faith in the Son of God our spirit is regenerated, or, ‘born again’ [John 3].

Throughout the three years of his ministry Jesus Christ repeatedly promised ‘life’ to those who believed in him: he claimed to be ‘the bread of life’ [John 6:35], ‘the resurrection and the life’ [John 11:25,26], ‘the way, the truth and the life’ [John 14:6]. He taught that those who believe in him ‘have eternal life’ [John 3:16; 5:24], and have already ‘crossed over from death to life’ [John 5:24]. He said that he had come so that we could ‘have life … to the full’ [John 10:10].

This Christ/life connection is affirmed by the apostles who teach that we ‘reign in life through … Jesus Christ’ [Romans 5:17]; that grace brings ‘eternal life through Jesus Christ’ [Romans 5:21]; that the gift if God ‘is eternal life in Jesus Christ’ [Romans 6:23]; that ‘if Christ is in you … your spirit is alive’ [Romans 8:10]; that ‘Christ … is our life’ [Colossians 3:4]; that Jesus Christ is ‘the Word of life’ and ‘the eternal life’  [1John 1:1,2]; that ‘God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son’ [1John 5:11]; and that ‘he who has the Son, has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’ [1John 5:12].

John, in his closing statement, impresses upon us that it is not just any ‘god’, or any ‘Lord’, who has the ability to regenerate our spirits. It is only the true God who can do that, and this true God is Jesus Christ. Any other concept of God is, by Jesus the Son of God, exposed as an idol. Listen to what John wrote:

‘We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.’ [1John 5:20,21]

The LORD, Jesus Christ, the great I AM, is our life. Let us hear again the challenge from the Old Testament:

‘I have set before you life and death … choose life. … the LORD is your life.’ [Deuteronomy 30:19,20].

‘Why will you die … repent and live!’ [Ezekiel 18:31,32]

‘Seek the LORD and live’ [Amos 5:6].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2013