(Article for publication week of 7-3- AD 2014)
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:51).
For several weeks we have been writing to you concerning the principle acts of faith. The reason we are doing this series is to show from the scriptures what true saving faith is, for there is a faith which is not saving (James 2:19, Acts 8:13-23). Dear reader, is your professed faith true saving faith? I will ask each of you to examine yourselves and ask yourselves, "is my faith any different from the faith of devils and unregenerate men?"
We have shown so far three principle acts of faith- receiving Christ (John 1:12) ,coming to Christ (John 6:35), and resting in Christ (Matthew 11:28). These are principle acts of faith, if not exactly synonymous with faith. Next to be considered is feeding on Christ. In our text Christ describes Himself as "the bread of life." Now, we know and understand that Christ was not saying that He is literally a piece of bread. Christ is not literally a "door" as he described Himself in John 10:9. These and other such expressions are illustrative of the wonders of Christ's Person and Work. When Christ describes Himself as the bread of life, He is telling us that He is food for the soul. As natural bread is the "staff" of natural life (that is real bread made from old timey wheat that is nor hybrid or genetically altered), so Christ is the staff of spiritual life to His people. Christ likens Himself to bread because He nourishes and sustains the souls of His people.
We also know and understand that Christ was not saying that we are to literally eat Him, as the papists vainly imagine and teach by the superstitious lie of transubstantiation. When Christ says that believers are to eat Him as the bread of life, He is simply saying that we are to spiritually ingest Him for spiritual life ( see again John 6:35 and compare).
It is Christ the living bread that sustains the souls of believers. Those who feed upon Him shall live forever. They can never be lost nor fall finally away and lose their salvation, for they live by their faith in Christ. "The just shall live by faith." Without the living bread, we would shrivel and die and perish forever. The Lord Jesus Christ satisfies our souls, as bread satisfies the hungry body.
Now, Christ says, "if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever." Poor sinner, that is an invitation wide enough to include you if you are spiritually hungry. Sadly, most people prefer to stay in the hog pen like the Prodigal son and live off swine's food. But in the Father's house there is plenty of bread and more than plenty. Why don't you quit eating the husks this world offers and believe on Christ by feeding upon Him as living bread?