In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
What kind of life is God talking about? Does everyone have it? Is eternal life merely living forever?
Two Greek words that the New Testament uses for the English word "life" are bios and zoe.
Bios basically means our natural, human life. Sometimes a short blurb used to describe a person is called a bio, a short form of biography. The bio may list one's date and place of birth, education and accomplishments. In the case of an entertainer, it would usually list of some of the songs, plays, TV shows, movies, etc. which made that person famous.
So bios is our biological life and the particulars of our lives. Our physical appearance, where we live, what we do and the fact that we are physically alive would all be a part of our bios.
When the Bible declares that THE LIFE WAS IN JESUS, it uses a different word, ZOE!
There is no doubt that God breathed biological life into man when He created him. But there is another kind of life that is in man - his spiritual life!
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.
Wait a minute! God said that IN THE DAY you eat from the forbidden tree, YOU WILL SURELY DIE. Yet Adam lived for 930 years! Is this the Bible discrepancy the world wants so desperately to find? No! Adam did not die physically on the day he ate from the tree - he died spiritually! His physical life remained in him for centuries, but his spiritual life left him that very day!
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
What does Paul mean when he writes that the Ephesians were "made alive" by Jesus Christ?
He meant that all those outside of Christ are dead - spiritually dead - until the moment when they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit! Not sick! Not dying but DEAD! 100% DEAD!
In that moment when a man or woman places his or her faith in Christ for salvation, the LIFE of God - the ZOE of God is imparted to them. For the first time THEY ARE MADE ALIVE!
I have come that they may have LIFE, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Read it like this:
I have come that they may have ZOE, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The LIFE Jesus spoke of is ZOE LIFE! Rather than a change of circumstances, lifestyle or accomplishments, it is an supernatural impartation of the life of God - the life that man lost when he sinned in Adam and the life which is implants in us when we become children of God!
We mistakenly think that God merely takes charge of the circumstances or our natural lives when He comes to live in us. This is absolutely true but it is of much greater importance that in that moment He imparts His spiritual life in us - ZOE LIFE!
We rarely grasp the full import of this fact and do not tap into it's full potential!
ZOE LIFE is available to all who will come to receive it as a free gift. It is available to every child of God regardless of circumstances! It can never be taken from us by trials, persecutors or tormentors. No man, governments, armies or demons can ever take it from us!
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We so often live out our Christian lives unaware that ZOE LIFE even exists!
Instead, we live out our lives focused on our BIOS lives. We pray for God to act. We ask Him to forgive our sins. We try to live right and are sincere but we miss experiencing the abundant life Jesus spoke of - THE ZOE LIFE!
It is so easy to fall into that trap of looking at our lives through the lens of our BIOS instead of seeking the wonderful experiences of the abundant ZOE LIFE! Zoe transcends any circumstances or documented failures of our past. It transcends accomplishments, trophies, resumes and the opinions of others, even our own self opinion - because it is transcends our natural lives.
ZOE is the supernatural life within us and if we diligently seek to develop this life, it will result, not only in wonderful personal experiences with God but it will overflow to the world!