Commentary on "Life"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, April 18, 2009
The student is reminded of the quality of our physical life. The goal is to know that life comes from God alone and for each person to experience the transformation that occurs when Christ enters their life. We are reminded that his presence should shape our daily choices. It is stated that we are obligated to take care of our lives, both physically and spiritually, and that as believers, we have become part of a family both in heaven and on earth.
The memory verse for this week is:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 KJV)
The first issue that should have been addressed before launching into this topic is; What does the Bible mean when it talks about "life". The memory verse mentions having life "to the full" or "more abundantly". If we read on down to verses 28 and 29, we see that this is life that is "eternal" and that those who have this life "shall never perish". Clearly, Jesus is talking about something much more than our physical life because our physical bodies are subject to death and those who possess this abundant life shall never perish.
Now, let's back up to the beginning of the chapter. The first eight verses tells the parable of the sheepfold, the door and the sheep. Jesus then explains the application of this parable:
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9 KJV).
Jesus is the door of our salvation. When we enter into his sheepfold we shall be saved. So, when we read verse ten, we are to understand that this abundant life we now have is exceedingly more than the physical life we already have. The "eternal" and "shall never perish" found in verses 28 and 29 gives it a fuller meaning. When we are in God's sheepfold we have nothing to fear from physical death. See Romans Chapter Eight. Can anything or anyone separate us from the love of God?
The next thing in this lesson that should be noted is that the Bible speaks of the human race as being in the image of God, with a physical body, a soul and a spirit. Yet, this lesson covers such secondary topics as physical education and our social life without stressing the importance of our soul. To say the soul includes our minds misses the point because even animals have a brain. As such, this lesson fails to set us apart from the animal kingdom.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen. 1:26,27 KJV).
In addition to his physical body, Adam received a soul and a spirit. That is what set him apart from the animal kingdom. Put another way, our minds function differently from animals because of our soul and covering this topic would have been important to do in this lesson.
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? (Ps. 42:1,2 ESV)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8:14-16 KJV).
The third issue has to do with the priorities of our physical life. While it is important to take care of our physical needs along with the rest of our being why place it on an equal footing with our spiritual needs when the Bible clearly does not do so? Mark Chapter Seven, especially verse 15, teaches us that what goes into the mouth does not defile. What comes out of the mouth from our hearts is what we are to be concerned with because that is what defiles the body. We should place our focus on what the Bible teaches.
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