“The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ And they said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?’ Jesus therefore answered and said to them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’”
In the Gospel of John chapter 6, the Lord says, “I am the bread of life.” People felt full having eaten food for the flesh from Jesus. On the following day, they went seeking Jesus again, but Jesus told them not to labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to everlasting life. And so, people asked, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28) Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29).
Then, people said, “If so, do you mean that You are the One sent by God and that You came down from Heaven? If so, do You have any evidence that You came down from Heaven? Please, show us the evidence. As it is written, Moses fed the people of Israel by having manna come down from heaven, but can You perform such a miracle?”
The Lord replied, “Your ancestors could not live eternally by eating such bread. But, because I am the bread that came down from Heaven, if you eat this bread, you will never die. I am the bread of life for the world.” Then, He said, “Whoever eats this bread will have everlasting life, and on the last day, I will raise him up.” The Lord said that He came in order to have everyone acquire life by He Himself becoming the bread of life for all the people of this earth.
In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord said that the Jews murmured among themselves regarding Jesus, just as He said that He is the bread which came down from Heaven (John 6:41). Jesus said that He was the bread that came down from Heaven. That is why the Jews complained and murmured among themselves. They were saying, “As far as we know, aren’t You the son of Joseph? We know your parents, yet how could You say that You came down from Heaven? Say things that make sense.”
The Lord was the bread that came down from Heaven, just as He said, referring to Himself, “I am the bread which came down from Heaven.” By eating this bread with faith, people are able to receive the remission of sin and acquire everlasting life with which we can never die. The Lord said that He came to this earth in order to have us receive salvation from sins, be delivered from death, acquire new life, and gain eternal life by giving all of us His own body. This is why Jesus said that He was the bread which came down from Heaven.
The Lord referring to Himself as the bread of life means that He has saved all humankind from sin by coming down to this earth in human flesh when we, the sinners, were about to die by getting drowned in sin. In order to save humankind from sin, the Lord took over the sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist with His body, was crucified, shed His blood unto death, and was resurrected from the dead on the third day. By receiving the judgment for our sins in this manner, the Lord has blotted out all our sins and permitted us to receive true salvation by believing in Him as the Savior. The Lord referred to Himself as the bread of life because He is spiritually the bread of life, which allows our spirits to live an everlasting life. These words refer to Him coming down to this earth and taking on all our sin with His body, as well as Him having died vicariously on the Cross and saving us by being resurrected from the dead. In short, they refer to the works that the Lord did by coming to this earth, that is, the completion of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus Is the Bread from Heaven
Just as people sustain life by eating food for their flesh, those who truly believe in the ministries carried out by Jesus are entitled to receive eternal life. This is why Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). But, people took these words from a carnal perspective, instead of understanding them from a spiritual perspective. The Lord said, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:43-44). Dear fellow believers, it is said that no one can come before Jesus unless the Father draws that person.
Then, who are the ones that the Father draws to Jesus? They are the ones who want to be cleansed of sins in their hearts and to receive salvation of the spirit, which would never perish, instead of things of the flesh that would rot away. God draws these people to His Son, Jesus, and has them know and believe in the fact that Jesus has become our savior by taking on our sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, dying through crucifixion, and being resurrected from the dead, that is, the fact that Jesus has become the bread of life for all mankind. For us to believe in this Truth in our heart is to eat the bread of life and to acquire the salvation of everlasting life.
God the Father knows people’s hearts well. It is said, “For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). This is why God the Father draws those who want to acquire everlasting life by receiving the remission of their sins to His Son, Jesus, and has them eat the bread of life by faith. And thus, He allows them to gain salvation. In contrast, this means that God does not draw those who seek only the things that perish.
Thus, when we believe in Jesus, we must truly pursue the things of the spirit by heart. In doing so, we will be able to receive the remission of sin and acquire everlasting life by having attained such goals. As we believe in Jesus, we mustn’t seek the things of being well off on earth, such as becoming rich, being famous, getting healed from sickness, and gaining power. It is the case that such people come to God in order to realize their greed, and it is the case that they believe in Him according to their lusts. That is why such people do not get to receive salvation. Truly, if we were to believe in Jesus as the Savior, we must believe in Jesus with the desire to receive the remission of sin in our own hearts. We must believe in Jesus with purposes such as receiving the remission of sin, becoming children of God, and living eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven prepared by God. Only when we go before God with such purposes, does God the Father help us, draw us, and as we listen to the Word of God, allow us to properly understand, believe, and follow it. Otherwise, it is said that we cannot come before the Father.
Dear fellow believers, we are in the middle of this revival meeting. We wrote the title of the meeting, “Be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19), on placards and placed them in several places. And we circulated leaflets, and so on. But, not that many people come to this evangelical meeting. Why aren’t they coming? It is because their interest lies in something preposterous.
On a mountain, Jesus performed the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fish. With five barley loaves and two small fish at hand, Jesus blessed them, saying, “Let there be a blessing of God,” and it is written that there were twelve baskets left over even after five thousand people had eaten. But, the thing was that these people, after having eaten this bread to one’s content, sought after the bread for the flesh only, instead of recognizing the Lord who has performed such a miracle and trying to receive the remission of sin and to gain everlasting life by believing in the Word spoken by the Lord. Hence, just as Jesus started to speak about the spiritual Truth to those asking for bread, they all left, saying, “The words are difficult.”
Only When We Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit, We Come to Eat the Flesh of Jesus and Drink His Blood
It’s the same in this day and age. Instead of seeking for the things of the flesh, people should really come in order to have their spirits receive the remission of sin, become children of God, gain everlasting life before God, and receive the blessing of living for all eternity. But because their objectives are of the flesh, they are not coming to the church of God. Thus, it is the case that today’s Christians believe in Jesus unavailingly.
Because we received the remission of sin by believing in Jesus who has come by the water and the Spirit, it is the case that we became children of God and those who have acquired everlasting life, and it is also the case that we will be resurrected on the last day. The fact is that we were able to receive such blessings because God the Father, having seen the center of our hearts, guided us before Jesus and had us recognize and believe in Jesus who is the bread of life. We have received the remission of sin by believing in the fact that our Lord has saved us by taking on our sins once and for all by His baptism, dying vicariously by being nailed to the Cross, and being resurrected from the dead. Also, God has taken us in as His children and has given us everlasting life, and by also believing in these, we were able to acquire the everlasting life, become participants of the resurrection of Jesus, and gain such blessings.
Last week, I visited the resting place of the late deacon Myungchan Kim who had died a few years ago. Fortunately, rain had come the day before, and the grasses were fresh. The words carved on his gravestone, “A righteous man, Deacon Myungchan Kim, rests here waiting for the Lord’s second coming,” touched my heart once again. But one thing that’s peculiar is that we can see many new graves near by with a similar epitaph. Only, they could not use the title “A righteous man or woman,” as in “A righteous man, so and so.” Why? It is because they weren’t able to receive the remission of sin in their hearts, even though they may have led a life of faith as a deacon, an elder, a pastor, or a missionary throughout their entire life.
We the born-again saints, that is, the righteous, have clear hope. The fact is that God has prepared much more blessings for those who came before God yearning for things of the spirit, those who believe in the things given by God as is, and those who believe in divine and heavenly blessings that are eternal, instead of the things that will perish. And, we who believe in such things have received such blessings. Whatever the case, the focus of our hearts must seek the things of the spirit before God in order to receive salvation before God. If it is the case that we were to have no interest in the things of the spirit and in our hearts being cleansed of sins, but instead have interest in the things of the flesh, such as getting healed of physical infirmities and becoming rich, it would only be of no use for us to believe in Jesus. It is because God the Father does not let those who pursue the things of the flesh know the secret of Heaven, and does not lead them.
For what do we listen to the Word of God and believe in Jesus? You and I do believe in Jesus in order to receive complete cleansing of sins in our hearts, become children of God, acquire everlasting life, and be resurrected just as Jesus. In short, we believe in Jesus so that we may live in His Kingdom forever as kings along with Him, the King of kings. We believe in Jesus neither to be well off only on this earth nor to be well off in only the flesh. Rather, we believe in Him foremost for our spirits to be well off. Because we believe in Jesus with such purpose, it is the case that our Lord said, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
In the Gospel of John chapter 6 verse 45, it is said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” Who is the One that has shown this world the Father? It is the only begotten Son, Jesus. If so, whom did they, who are taught by Jesus, learn from eventually? The fact is that they have learned from God the Father.
Dear fellow believers, proper faith is something handed down from above. It means that there is a conduit for spiritual learning. From whom did you learn the Truth of salvation? Did you not learn the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the born-again servants of God, or brothers and sisters before you? You have learned from the predecessors of faith in the church of God. If so, it is the case that you have learned from God the Father. The reason is that they had heard and learned from Jesus, through these written Word. This Word itself is exactly what God the Father had said, and henceforth, if it is the case that servants of God should convey this Word to you after having heard and learned it from above, then you must realize that what you have learned from the servants of God is the same as having heard and learned from God the Father. The principles are the same. That is why Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’”
Jesus is our Savior, but He is also the true Prophet. Thus, He teaches us all things. The passage, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God,’” means that all the Scriptures of the Bible, which are spoken by the Lord, are the Word of the Prophet as well as the Word of the Truth. Jesus is really the First and the Last (Revelation 1:17); He is the truly the One who is in complete charge of the beginning and the end of human history. And, He is the One who teaches us the ultimate purpose of life precisely. He is the Creator who has made us, the Savior who has saved us from sins, and the Lord of the everlasting life who has given us the eternal life. Also, He is the resurrection for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He, who has saved us from death, given us new life, has provided for our eternity, and had us receive blessings forever, is everything for us. This is what He was saying.
In the Gospel of John chapter 6 verse 46, it is said, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.” Who saw the Father? Only Jesus saw Him. That is why our Lord said the following in the Gospel of John chapter 6 verses 47 and 48. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.” It means that a person who eats Jesus, the bread of life, by faith into his or her heart has an undying life.
The Lord said, “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die,” (John 6:49-50). It means that Jesus is the bread which comes down from Heaven. It tells us that this bread is something that one may eat of it and not die. Jesus is the bread of life, which has given you and me true life. Jesus is the bread that gives the remission of sin and everlasting life. Dear fellow believers, do you believe in Jesus wholeheartedly? Do you truly believe in your heart that Jesus has saved you and me by taking on your sins as well as mine by receiving His baptism, dying vicariously on the Cross shedding His blood, and being resurrected from the dead? You and I who believe in this are the ones who have gained the everlasting life.
Everlasting Life Means That We Live Forever
The Lord has promised that, at the last day, He will raise those who have everlasting life. When the people of Israel were in the desert, Moses prayed to God, and God sent down the manna. And, these people ate that manna and maintained their carnal lives. But, they all died eventually. Some died of old age, some because of sickness, and some died in the midst of a war. Whatever the reason, they all died. But, what about the bread, which comes down from Heaven? People who have eaten it believing with their hearts never die. People who believe in the righteous works done by Jesus with their hearts do not die. People who believe in the fact that Jesus has saved us from sins, that He has given us everlasting life, and that He will raise us in the end will not die for all eternity. It was possible for the Apostles of the Early Church to be courageous in martyrdom because they believed in everlasting life. I hope for you to know the fact that there is everlasting life inside you and me.
The Lord said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). Could we receive the cleansing of all the sins in our hearts by doing some virtuous deed and sanctifying ourselves? Never. We are able to receive the remission of sin, become children of God, and acquire the everlasting life only by believing in and accepting wholeheartedly the fact that Jesus, the One sent down by God the Father, came down to this earth and cleansed our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Truth is that one can neither receive the remission of sin nor acquire everlasting life without going through the One set forth by God, His Son Jesus. This is why one must believe in the One sent down by God the Father, Jesus, who is the bread which came down from Heaven.
Thus, We Eat Bread and Drink Wine Whenever We Hold Holy Communion
The Lord told us to remember the bread and the wine. He said, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). The Lord said, “I am the bread of life,” because He has taken on our sins by coming to this earth in human flesh. It is because He has cleansed our sins by taking on our sins with His flesh and vicariously received the judgment. The Lord is the bread of life. Only when we know and believe in Him with our hearts, we get saved from sins and acquire everlasting life. So then, we are truly born again anew and able to lead a worthwhile life.
In the Gospel of John chapter 6 verse 51, Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Lord refers to Himself as the living bread, but what is that bread? It is His flesh. It means that the flesh of Jesus is the bread of life. In the flesh of Jesus, there is the prefect faith. Jesus has saved us perfectly from all our sins by taking on our sins on His flesh through His baptism, going to the Cross with those sins, getting nailed, shedding blood, and receiving the judgment for our sins on our behalf. The fact that Jesus is the bread of life to us tells us the Truth that Jesus has taken on all our sins by receiving the baptism on His own flesh. Having faith in the salvific works done by Jesus is eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood. This is precisely the way to gain salvation. This is precisely the way to acquire everlasting life.
Is there anyone more blessed than a person born in this world who has received the remission of sin and everlasting life from God? As we live in this world, we can die from a fire, a traffic accident, or from some undeserved events. It is such a great blessing that we have acquired everlasting life while living in a fate of not knowing when we will die.
We sometimes get tired and irritated while we are heavily burdened by work, whether it is the work of God or the work of the world. As for those of you who believe in Jesus, if your hearts are weary and not joyous, you must think once more about the work that the Lord has done for you. We were those who had no choice but to go to hell. Yet, the Lord, by becoming the propitiation for us, has saved us perfectly. If we truly believe in our hearts the love of Jesus, we cannot but be thankful. We have received the remission of sin and became children of God. He has given us eternal life, and when our flesh dies, He will raise us at the last day. And, we will be given true rest.
Jesus is the living bread from Heaven. Jesus came to this earth to give you and me His flesh as the living bread. The Lord told you and me to eat this bread, and said that we will live eternally if we eat this bread. It is the case that we eat the bread of life by believing with our hearts and gain everlasting life.
In order for us to eat this bread of life, we must know about the flesh and blood of Jesus. Also, we must realize our own sinful nature, and furthermore, we must realize that, before God, we are those headed for hell if we were to be judged according to the Law of God. “After being born on this earth, I wasn’t able to accomplish anything, but I must at least receive the remission of sin. I want to receive the remission of sin, become a child of God and then go to Heaven.” There has to be this fervent thirst in our spirits. By having faith with a sincere heart in the fact that ‘Jesus has blotted out your sins as well as mine by the gospel of the water and the Spirit,’ we are able to acquire everlasting life, be thankful, and truly share this bread also by faith.
We do not lead a life of faith with the things of the flesh. Whether or not a certain work is going well, life of faith would be carried out well only if we were to lead a life of faith by believing in the salvific ministries of the Lord and having faith in God. We are able to receive salvation, gain everlasting life, and receive all the blessings by believing in our hearts the things that He has given us.
Dear fellow believers, do you believe in the fact that Jesus gave this world His flesh of life? Do you believe in the Truth that He has saved us by coming down to this earth in human flesh, receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, dying crucified, and being resurrected from the dead in order to save you and me? We must be thankful before God. We must believe in our hearts the things that He has done for us. Those who believe have received the remission of sin and have gained the everlasting life. I am truly thankful for that.
People who believe in “transubstantiation” believe that when the celebrant of that rite blesses the wafer of Holy Communion, it actually turns into the body of Jesus. Thus, they think that they are eating the bread of life, the flesh of Jesus, by eating this wafer. For this reason, they mystify Holy Communion, and think that the act of receiving and eating the wafer itself is receiving a tremendous grace. But, that is clearly wrong.
Jesus said that His flesh was to give life to this world. He has saved us from sins and given us everlasting life by being born on this earth in human flesh, taking on our sins upon His flesh by receiving the baptism, dying vicariously on the Cross, and resurrecting from the dead. And, having faith in this Truth with our hearts is precisely to eat the bread of Jesus. One can receive the remission of sin and the everlasting life by eating the bread given by Jesus.
Jesus, who has said that I am the living bread from Heaven, is referring to the baptism He had received on His flesh. The Lord came down to this earth and gave Himself to us in order to have us acquire everlasting life and to remit us of our sins by having us eat Him with faith. It is the case that Jesus gave Himself to us by receiving the baptism, shedding His blood, and resurrecting from the dead. We have gained salvation and everlasting life by believing with our hearts the remission of sin and the new life God has given us.
Did you become children of God by faith? If you have now received the remission of sin, you must no longer be bound by the things of the flesh and be dragged around by them. What reason is there for the righteous to be tied down by fleshly works and to continue to get stressed? We the righteous must think of everything from a spiritual perspective. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that (1 Timothy 6:8); we must live spiritually, doing the most worthwhile work on this earth. It is more than enough to have something to eat and a warm place to lie down with a roof and a wall to block out rain despite being made of vinyl. Yet, must we live lavishly? No, we don’t. All these things disappear completely after a short while. These things will disappear when you and I die, and some of them will disappear even before we die.
We must often revert back to our spiritual hearts by thinking about God-given salvation and by having faith in it. We would still be lacking even if we were to place all our hearts in spiritual things. I hope for you to guard your spiritual heart by having faith in the Lord, not being bound by fleshly concerns and not being frustrated by things that do not go according to your wish. True faith manifests itself when we are faced with some hardship. True faith never changes.
We believe in the fact that Jesus came to this earth for us, received the baptism, died vicariously on the Cross, and was resurrected from the dead. That is why we received the remission of sin, gained the everlasting life, and became children of God. Also, that is why we are doing the work of God.
Dear fellow believers, I am joyful. Because the Lord has given you and me the everlasting life, you and I are both joyful. We are not joyful because there is something other than this. What else in this world should give us joy? We are thankful just to have a place of worship, where, inside this building, we can find shelter from rain, offer worship services, and share the gospel with each other.
Of course, there are times when we get irritated because things are not working out according to our own desires. But, it is a good thing to think about the work that God has done for us, and it is also good to think about the life in eternal Kingdom of Heaven where we would be together with the Lord forever. Life is like living as a student boarder, staying on this earth just for a while and then going back. Therefore, we must long for the home place where we will be residing for all eternity.
But, there also are many difficulties while living on this earth. Our hearts get tied up in situations and circumstances again and again, and they fall into the visible world. We get arrogant, lose our drive, and become laidback. It is possible for us to lose faith and just float along downward following the demands of the flesh. But, this is neither the proper life of faith, nor the way of living by faith. When you are faced with such spiritual hardships, think about the work that the Lord has done for you. Then, even if there is no fruit on the fig tree and even if there is no herd in the stable, you would be able to thank God just for the work of saving you from eternal hell.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center predicted that this year would be the hottest year in history. On this earth, there will be numerous disasters such as great earthquakes, large floods, typhoons, and tidal waves. If so, shouldn’t every nation anticipate and prepare for these natural disasters? We shouldn’t prepare only physically, but also in our hearts. That is why people who haven’t yet received the remission of sin must eat the bread that came down from Heaven. Those who still have sins in their hearts must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their hearts before anything else, and receive the remission of sin.
People who haven’t received the remission of sin are miserable. It is because if there is a sin in one’s heart, he or she will be going to eternal hell. If there’s a sin, one would have nothing to do with God, but only after having received the remission of sin does one get to live all the while receiving the blessings of God from that moment on. Dear fellow believers, it is the case that we have received the remission of sin, gained the everlasting life and become children of God by believing with our hearts the work God has done for us. We must be thankful that we are doing the worthwhile work by having become workers of God. And, we must go on living all the while being always thankful for that fact.
We have eaten the bread which came down from Heaven, received the remission of sin, and acquired the everlasting life. So now, for what must we go on living in this world? From now on, we must go on living by serving the gospel of the righteousness. Do you know it is no small blessing for us to go on living while serving God and having become the ones without sin, that is, the righteous? It’s an immense blessing. Where is a blessing that is greater than this?
We the righteous must spread the gospel to many others, and should we not be able to do so, our hearts become ill at ease. After having received the remission of sin by wholeheartedly believing in the bread which came down from Heaven, if we are not doing God’s work, then we should be doing the works of this world. When we are doing the works of this world, do you think there won’t be difficulties such as these? Do you know how many miserable people there are in this world? While on this earth, we should be content with having food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8). Being able to eat three meals a day and to serve God should be more than enough. Yet, is serving the Lord something miserable? It is something blissful.
Jesus is truly the bread from Heaven. God gave you and me the bread of life. Dear fellow believers, do you believe in this fact with your heart? Did you eat that bread with your heart? That bread is something that you eat by having faith in your heart.
Is preaching the sermon the only way for us to serve the gospel of God? Providing support for the spreading of the gospel by earning material things is also a way of serving the gospel. If preaching the sermon three or four times a week is everything that a person does just because he is a pastor, then he is not a true servant of the gospel of the Lord. We are thankful everyday because we are eating the God-given food of life and because we are doing the precious works that God has entrusted us. Dear fellow believers, are you weary? If so, remind yourself of the flesh and blood of Jesus who has given us hope.
Jesus told us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We must truly realize what we must believe, how to live by faith, and what we must do before God. First, we should gain salvation by knowing and having faith in the flesh and blood of Jesus, and then we should go on living spreading this Truth.
I give thanks before God.