At one point, before we were saved, we only had “natural” life. Jesus’ sacrificial death obtained our “spiritual” life.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
The basic necessities of life are water and food. We can live without other things, but not without those. Jesus used that in relation to our spiritual life. Unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life within us.
In the next four devotionals we’ll look at the passage in John 6:53-56. We’ll see what it means to have “no life in you” (v. 53), to have eternal life (v. 54), to eat His flesh and drink His blood (v. 55), and to abide in Him (v. 56).
There’s natural and spiritual life. Everyone has natural life at birth. That doesn’t end—we’re never annihilated. We continue to exist, even when we lay down our physical body. There’s also spiritual life, which is a life in relation to God. We can only have that when we’re born again—born from above.
Jesus stated that as follows: “That which is born of the flesh [through our parents] is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit [through God] is spirit.” He then continued, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:6-7).
Paul defined our natural life as hostile to God: “For the mind that is set on the flesh [the fleshly mind, referring to our natural life] is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh [having only natural life] cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).
In Ephesians we read: “They [those who only have natural life] are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God [spiritual life] because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph. 4:18).
It’s no surprise then that those who only have natural life reject God and His truth. There’s an innate enmity toward Him. That’s defined as spiritual deadness. That’s why Jesus’ sacrificial death—giving His flesh and blood—is vital in order to have spiritual life.
Speaking to believers, Paul wrote: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2:1-3). It is only through Jesus’ flesh and blood that we can have spiritual life.