Do you want to have the eternal life that is on offer from the Lord? Do you want to live a life where you find peace, joy, security and the knowledge that God will protect and help you through all things? Well that is the offer of Christianity, and yes there will be difficulties and hardships along the path too. But the end game is eternal life without fear, pain, sickness or death. A little suffering now will be greatly outweighed by the benefits offered in the future.
But how do we receive this offer? What must we do to receive the life that Jesus has promised. That is the question that the people asked Jesus in this section of scripture when they said, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Verse 28)
The Works of God
Doing the works of God is quite different to the way we normally think of works. In this world when we think of work, we think of labouring to earn a living, working 9 to 5 and so on. But doing the works of God is quite different.
Jesus showed in verse 29 what doing the works of God is all about. He said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
So the works of God is not about “doing” but about “believing.” The works of God is about faith and without faith nothing will be achieved in the works of God. It is faith that underpins all the promises of God and all that is promised to us. Paul shows this when talking about righteousness by faith versus works of law in Galatians 3:21-22.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.
22 But the scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
So we see that the law consigns all things of this world and the works of man to sin, for it shows sin up for what it is. But faith in Jesus Christ allows those who believe to receive the pormises of God.
The power of faith in the works of God is greater than anything we could possibly “do.” As the writer of Hebrews shows us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval.” (Hebrews 11:1-2)
As Christians we hope that we will be saved, and faith working with our hope assures us that what God promised he will do. Faith in Jesus Christ tells us that we have been set free from our sins and are born again to a new life in Him, not bound by law, not enslaved to sin, but set free to live our life in obedience to the word of God.
We see how important it is to have faith as the writer in Hebrews 11 goes on to say in verse 6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
So if we are to receive the good things that God has promised we must believe and approach him in faith, fully convicted that what he says is what He will do.
The Bread of Life
The people asked Jesus what sign he did that they may believe and they quoted that Moses gave them bread in the wildernes, that is the manna from heaven. Jesus corrected them showing it was god who gave the manna, but more importantly God now gives the bread of life, which Jesus called the “true bread.”
The True Bread is not for the nourishment of the physical body to sustain this worldly life, but was to nourish and give life to the spirit of a man. And the True Bread is Jesus. When we consume Jesus, that is, to consume His teachings and to take on His death and resurrection in baptism and to receive the Holy Spirit as guide, teacher, counselor and comforter; then we receive the True Bread. The True Bread gives us life by showing us a better way to live here and now and through faith in Jesus Christ providing the pathway to eternal life.
And the people said to him which we could echo today, “Lord, give us this bread always.” (Verse 34) There is a severe shortage of the True Bread that leads to life in this world. Faith is lacking, knowledge of the truth of the New Covenant and the work of God is lacking and many are needlessly suffering without Christ. Indeed there are many who call themselves Christians but also are suffereing under forms of religion that claim to be Christian but are not.
My word today to all who read this is to seek the Lord through faith and pass this message on to all. The truth CAN be found by those who seek it. The problem is not enough people are seeking it. They are sitting and hoping they have done enough and that when the time comes they can rely on someone else. This reminds me of the five foolish maidens who did not have enough oil to keep their lamps burning and hoped to get some from the five wise maidens…but missed out. Don’t you miss out too! Seek the truth, look for it in faith and then you will be doing the works of God.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by akaak19)