The Blood, The Water, The Spirit

March 5, 2016

Friends,
Jesus has told us that the only way to possess eternal life is to eat His flesh and drink His blood. (John 6:53,54) We do this by nourishing ourselves on His words –which are Spirit and Life (v. 63)– and by believing in Him (in who He is and what He says) to the point of eagerly putting His words (teaching / Truth) into practice. (v. 27-29 & 8:31,32 // Mt. 7:21-27)

Most of us understand that Jesus is the Word of God. (John 1:1,14 // Rev. 19:13) But He is also the Spirit of God. (John 10:30 & 14:16-26 // Gal. 4:6) As Rom. 8:9 teaches, those who belong to Christ are controlled by the Spirit (rather than by the sinful nature) and it uses “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ” interchangeably. In Acts 16:7 we read, “the Spirit of Jesus” while 2 Cor. 3:17 teaches, “Now the Lord is the Spirit”, verse 18 ending with, “…from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Moreover, the Lord is Christ (v. 14), who is Jesus (1 Cor. 1:1-10), who is YHWH. (John 12:41 w/ Isa. 6:1-5 & 9:6) They are all the same Person –the One True God– and for all of us who have submitted to Him in trust, “God [has] sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Gal. 4:6)

Now we know Jesus’ teaching in John 3:3-8 that everyone, in order to enter the Kingdom of God, must be born of the Spirit and that it is only the Spirit who can birth this spiritual birth in a person. But in verse 5 we hear Jesus saying that “unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” Does this mean anyone born of the Spirit must also be born of physical water from the mother and that this therefore excludes physically unborn babies? I have heard that teaching.

Instead, we need to understand that the Water is the Spirit, specifically the cleansing, purifying, healing, justifying, flowing and living, new-creation work and life of the Spirit, and that this Water is also the cleaning, birthing Word. (Eph. 5:26 // Heb. 10:22 // Ja. 1:18 // 1 Pe. 1:22,23) As Jesus says regarding the one who “comes to Him to drink” (see John 7:37), “streams of living water will flow from within him.” (v. 38) And verse 39 tells us, “By this He meant the Spirit.” This is the Water Jesus gives us that will become in us “a spiring of water welling up to eternal life.” (4:14) Yes, Jesus is the “Living Water” (v. 10) and the “Bread of Life” (6:48) and those who continually draw from the Vine (15:1-10) will never go spiritually hungry or thirsty. (6:35)

So, when we nourish ourselves on Him who “is the true God and Eternal Life” (1 John 5:20), we also drink His blood, for Jesus “did not come by water only, but by water and blood.” (v. 6) “For there are three that are bearing testimony [are expressing, revealing, conveying, articulating, manifesting]: The Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in one.” (v. 7,8) Just as the Son and Father are in each other (John 10:38) and “are one” (v. 30), and the Spirit is one with them (14:6-11,17,23 // 1 John 1:3 & 2:22-24) so the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood are in each other and are one. (1 John 5:8) This is why we who are in Christ talk about being “justified by His blood” (Rom. 5:9), “[redeemed / ransomed] through faith in His blood” (3:25 // 1 Pe. 1:18,19), set free from our sins by His blood (Rev. 1:5), and purified from every sin by His blood. (1 John 1:7)

It is also why we talk not only about being saved by Christ Jesus, but about being saved by baptism into the Water (1 Pe. 3:21) / into Christ (Gal. 3:27) / and into the Spirit (Mt. 3:11), and about being born again and purified by the Word, the Truth, and the Spirit (John 3:3-8 // 1 Pe. 1:22,23), and about being “saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit” (2 Thes. 2:13) “for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood.” (1 Pe. 1:2) This is the Blood of the Covenant that sanctifies us (Heb. 10:29 & 12:24) –yes, the Spirit of God who washes and purifies us (10:22 // 1 Cor. 6:11) –Jesus Himself, who has taught us, “Unless I wash you, and continue washing you, you have no part with Me.” (See John 13:8,10 & 15:1-6)

May we all submit to being washed pure in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14) and continue to drink the “Living Water” (John 4:10), the Spirit, who becomes in us “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (v. 14)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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