What Is Life?
By Eric Darsie
While on a walk this past summer, summer of 2009, I often stopped and wondered many different questions. One question that hit me hard and a question that I asked a lot of my friends is this: what is life? I got answers from them, but one friend challenged me to sit down and write out my thoughts on the question. When I did think more on this question, I couldn’t give it justice on an answer. So I had to break down the question into two new questions, after which I was able to give it justice and answer the new two. I answered the question what is life? with the answer what is a life with Christ? and what is life without Christ? I will break this article down into two parts, each part answering each question.
(1) What is life without Christ?
To be dead honest, absolutely nothing. I’ll clear this more in the second part of the article. But to backup what my answer, let’s look at Deuteronomy 30:20:
“…20loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (ESV)”
What the heck is “…for he is your life and length of days…,” one may ask? If you make God your focus of your life, then He’s going to be the center of everything you do, say, etc. But what if someone doesn’t want to choose God as their center in their life, proverbially sent Him in a box and up on a shelf? One could do that then, but wouldn’t be truly following God if they do that. If that doesn’t make sense, let’s evaluate what’s center of your life. For me before I came to Christ, I was (and still am) a huge professional wrestling fan and one can say I was worshiping that day-in and day-out. I did go to church every week and even went to youth group every Wednesday night during my tenth grade year and part of my eleventh grade year. I wasn’t following Christ. I didn’t know that to follow Christ I had to pick up my cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24[i] and Luke 9:23[ii])and not doing so, I wasn’t truly a Christian. How can we be a Christian? I’ll answer that in the next paragraph.
In John 1:4, it states:
“4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (NIV)”
Okay, what does that mean? What John means by this verse is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, our God, is life, and anything out of Him is absolutely not a life worth living, heck, really nothing when it comes to the end of days. Honestly, I am surprised that I have given this much time to this question, but hey, it needs to be answered right the first time around and it’s a great question, so it deserves a great answer, which I hope I’m giving. If you have more questions about this, feel free on asking me or any Christian that you know to help answer any question(s) that you man have, we’re here to help you out.
(2) What is a life with Christ?
A life with Christ is a life glorifying God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I believe a Christian has resources that God provides every day of their life to help glorify Him, if they notice it or not, and if they do notice it, it’s their choice how to use it for His glory. For instance, using myself as an example again, I am a Christian, and I currently work at a copy shop at campus and have my own blog site on the internet. After finishing this article up, editing it, and making sure all sources are correct, I have those two sources to bring glory to God through this article that I am writing. If I put it up online at my blog site (http://www.jericholoic 2009.blogspot.com/), I didn’t bring full glory to God that I could by printing it off at work. And vice versa. My intent is to do both, print it off and put it online for people have different ways to get to this article.
There have been debates if Christians are elected by God or Christians have free will to come to Him for salvation. That’s another topic for quiet possibly another article from this philosopher, but either way, through Jesus is where we find life. John 5:21 states:
21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. (NIV)
21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (ESV)
What does this verse state? And yes, before you ask more, I did put this verse twice in two different versions, I like how these two versions differ on the verse. It’s up to Jesus to give us life (eternal life, quite possible another article for another day from this philosopher) and we have to come to believe what He did here on Earth and what He did upon that cross for us 2000 years ago. Here’s another source to that. John 11:25 states:
25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…” (NIV)
What does Jesus mean that “…He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…?” Good question deserves a good answer, and this quote is great. What Jesus means by this, I do believe, personally and philosophically, that we will live with Him up in heaven after this life. Our bodies originally came from dust and He breathed life into us through Adam (Genesis 2:7[iii]) and made Eve from Adam’s rib (Genesis 2:22[iv]).
You may ask, what about the people who lived before Jesus’ time or after His time and never got a chance to make the decision to live for Him or not? Let’s jump into John 5:25-26. John 5:25-25 states as follows:
“25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. (NIV)”
Okay. What does this passage mean? Another great question and here’s another great answer. Meaning that when Jesus was here on Earth, everyone dead before hand had the chance to hear Him speak and were able to make a decision to either follow or not. What a huge claim that doesn’t make sense. I cannot reason that. I really can’t. I cannot think of use any logic that would make that statement make sense. That’s what great about the God I love and the God I follow, we cannot fully understand. And if we fully understand, then we become God, and that’s impossible, even though we’re filled with Him (the Holy Spirit—Yeah!).
But to conclude this article, I hope that I was able to come through for the challenge that my friend challenged me to, on writing out what I believe is right for the question I posed several weeks ago at the college group meeting that we had. I am up to hear other people’s opinions about such a topic. I hope this also helps answer people’s question on “What is life?” or “What is the meaning of life?” or whatever comes out of the main question. I gave a lot of thought into this topic and enjoyed being able to spend a Saturday night during my summer break of college in trying to answer this question. I do hope I get more time to answer more questions that may arise while fellowshipping with one another. But thank you for your time on reading this, have a great day. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, jamming out to Randy Travis’ Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise, goodbye!
[i] “ 24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” Matthew 16:24 (ESV).
[ii] 23And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (ESV).
[iii] …7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Genesis 2:7 (ESV).
[iv] 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:22 (ESV).