A Christian Being One Receiving Life in Christ’s Words (3)
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (67) Jesus therefore said to the twelve, Do you also want to go away? (68) Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
[Part 3 of 3]
These so-called disciples did not withdraw because of tribulations or trials. There was only one reason for their withdrawal: “This word is hard; who can hear it?” [v. 60] . They fell in the presence of the truth! Brothers and sisters, nothing outward works. An outward Christian will fall in the presence of the truth; there is no need for trials to come to him. Some people call themselves Christians, but they do not accept the Lord’s Word. They do not understand the truth of Christianity. They doubt, misunderstand, and even mock and oppose it. They only want the name of Christianity; they do not want the truth of Christianity. They are Christians according to their own “theology,” and not according to the Lord’s Word. When a man receives the Lord’s word, he receives the Lord’s life. One characteristic of the outward Christian is that he cannot understand and will not believe, receive, or treasure the Lord’s Word. All of God’s children have one fundamental feeling towards God’s Word, the Bible. They believe, honor, and treasure God’s Word. This feeling towards the Bible is the basic and fundamental attitude which a Christian ought to have. If a person calls himself a Christian, yet doubts, rather than believes the Bible; criticizes, rather than honors it; and tramples, rather than treasures it, he must not be a genuine Christian. Although the disciples who withdrew at the Lord’s word were called disciples outwardly, in reality they were unbelievers. The Bible says clearly, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones who did not believe and who was the one who would betray Him” (v. 64). When the many so-called disciples were withdrawing, the Lord asked the twelve disciples: “Do you also want to go away?” Simon Peter answered and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life, and we have believed…” (vv. 67-69). Peter had received the revelation. The heavenly Father had revealed to him that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of the living God. This is why he still followed the Lord when many withdrew. The Lord’s word was like a yardstick which differentiated those who genuinely believed in Him from those who did not believe in Him. It separated the outward ones from the inward ones.