The content of the Gospel of John can be considered as an amplified explanation of Genesis 2:8-10. In these verses God put man in the garden of Eden. In the middle of the garden there were the tree of life and the river of water of life for man to enjoy. The tree of life denotes Christ, and the river denotes the Spirit. The Gospel of John also speaks of God as a tree and as a river in order to be man's life and enjoyment. The Lord is a vine tree (15:1), and the Spirit is a river (7:38-39). Therefore, the Gospel of John is concerning God in Christ as the Spirit to be our life and life supply. The chorus of Hymns, #509 says, "God is in Christ to be my supply, / God as the Spirit nourisheth me; / If upon Christ in spirit I feed, / Filled with His life I'll be."
Share this song
I hope that we can distinguish between behavior and the Christian life. Religion tells people to improve and cultivate their character. Christianity tells people that Jesus can change them. The proper Christian faith teaches people that Jesus Christ is their life, their food, and their living water. Hence, they need to receive Him by eating, drinking, and enjoying Him so that He will fill them, and they will live out His divine life. The chorus of Hymns, #509 says, "God is in Christ to be my supply, / God as the Spirit nourisheth me; / If upon Christ in spirit I feed, / Filled with His life I'll be." When God lives in us, fills us, and occupies us, He will be expressed through us. This is glorious. The proper Christian faith involves eating and drinking Christ. This is the Christian life. It is a life of enjoying Christ.
The Bible repeatedly speaks of the wonderful tree of life and the river of water of life. The tree signifies the Lord Jesus, and the river signifies the Spirit. Everything related to our experiencing and enjoying God is included in this tree and this river. There is a hymn that says, "The tree the glorious Christ does show... / The river does the Spirit show" (Hymns, #509). The tree supplies man with food, and the river quenches man's thirst so that he may fully enjoy God. This is the story of God being enjoyed by man.
Whatever we eat, digest, and assimilate is mingled with us and even becomes us. This is why dieticians say that we are what we eat. A little boy becomes big and strong by being mingled with what he eats. What we eat is assimilated into us and eventually becomes our very fiber and tissue. In John 6:57 the Lord said that he who eats Him would live because of Him. God in Christ is good for food. His being food is for the dispensing of Himself into our being.
The dispensing of the Son is also seen in Ephesians 3:8, which reveals that the unsearchable riches of Christ [the Son] are for the New Testament ministry in the divine dispensing. Many people claim that they have a ministry, which is a service, but what is the content of their service? Do we minister Christ as the food supply to His believers? If we do not, we do not have a real, genuine, adequate ministry. The real, genuine, adequate ministry in the New Testament is the divine stewardship which ministers the Triune God in Christ to people as their life and life supply. In all the messages I have given throughout the years, my unique burden has been to minister Christ to God's people as their life and life supply. This truth is expressed in Hymns, #509, the chorus of which says:
Stanza 3 of Hymns, #509 says, "The river does the Spirit show, / Coming man's spirit to supply, / That with God's riches he be filled, / Holy to be thereby." The enjoyment of God's riches makes us holy. After we eat food, we assimilate it, and whatever we assimilate saturates us and changes us. Likewise, when we take God as food into us, we assimilate Him as our nourishment, and His substance and element become our "ingredients." It is in this way that we are made holy, that is, sanctified by God and with God as holiness. The way to be sanctified is by taking the Lord as our nourishment. When we feed on Him and drink of Him, we assimilate Him and are sanctified.