Eating Christ’s Flesh and Drinking His Blood

In John 6:53b, 54a, Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” In verse 63 of the same chapter, he explains, “It is the spirit that quickeneth [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

These scriptures teach us that (instead of just “one drop” of Christ’s blood applied to the heart providing us eternal life and eternal security) there must be a continual “drinking” of it through the Spirit and the Word; otherwise “YE HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU!” It is not just a one-time, one-touch, done deal; but, rather a continual partaking of the blood through the “spirit” and “life” of the Word, through faith in, and obedience to, the Word, and “praying in the Holy Ghost,” as commanded in Jude 20- 21. The songwriter, A. B. Simpson, expresses this truth very well in the first two stanzas of his wonderful song, “Abiding and Confiding”:

“I have learned the wondrous secret Of abiding in the Lord;

I have found the strength and sweetness Of confiding in His Word;

I have tasted life’s pure fountain, I am drinking of His Blood,

I have lost myself in Jesus, I am sinking into God.

“I am crucified with Jesus, And He lives and dwells in me,

I have ceased from all my struggling, ‘Tis no longer I, but He;

All my will is yielded to Him, And His Spirit reigns within,

And His precious blood each moment, Keeps me cleansed and free from sin.”

Continuing In Christ’s Word

The importance of continuing in Christ’s Word relative to salvation cannot be overstressed! This is how the blood keeps us cleansed from sin each moment as we drink it in through the Holy Spirit. This is also how we lose ourselves in Jesus and sink into God. It is how we become “hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3), and abide in Him and He in us. In the same 6th chapter of John, from which I quoted above, it is recorded how that many of Christ’s followers were offended at his saying regarding having to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life, and they went away and walked no more with Him. “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” John 6:67-68.

Think about the phrase, “WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE!” John 1:1-4 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him [Christ, the Word made flesh – verse 14] was life; and the life was the light of men.” So we see that ETERNAL LIFE IS IN THE WORD!

Jesus declares, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” John 8:51. It remains, therefore, that whoever departs from keeping, following, and obeying Christ’s sayings (the Word) will forfeit eternal life.

Consider also Jesus’ parable of the sower, recorded in Matt. 13:3-9; 18-23; Mark 4:2-8; 13-20, and Luke 8:4-15. In this parable Jesus places humanity in four different categories: (1) Those who hear the Word but allow the devil to take it away out of their hearts and never believe even to an introduction to salvation. (2) Those who hear and receive the Word with joy, and being introduced to salvation, they believe for a while, but being shallow-hearted, do not continue obeying the Word, “and in time of temptation fall away.” (3) Those who hear and receive the Word for a while, but allow cares of this life, pleasures, riches, and “the lusts of other things” to enter in and choke the Word, and thus become “unfruitful” or “bring no fruit to perfection.” [Notice how this corresponds also with Jesus’ words in John 15:2: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Here Jesus acknowledges that the unfruitful ones were initially IN HIM before they got taken away.] (4) Those who “in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” “Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” 1 John 2:5.

These are they who continue to eat His flesh and drink His blood and thus maintain and inherit eternal life. The ones who stop eating and drinking soon wither away and die.

Those who continue to eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood through the spirit and life of His Word are the ones of whom Jesus says, “He that shall endure [persevere] unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt. 24:13. It is thus that they “dwell” in Christ, “remain” in Christ, and Christ remains in them! Salvation and eternal life is maintained within the soul by this continual eating and drinking of Christ’s flesh and blood. “For,” says Jesus, “my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” John 6:55-57.

The believers who received the Word in shallow hearts, as well as those who allowed the thorns to grow up later and choke it, were also saved as long as they kept and obeyed the Word. But when they discontinued feeding on the Word, assimilating it into their souls, believing it, following it, obeying it, and drinking of the Spirit that initially baptized them into Christ’s body, the church (1 Cor. 12:13), they stopped eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood. Thus they became disconnected from spirit and life and lost their salvation. The redeemed soul is preserved in divine life and kept pure “in obeying the truth through the Spirit.” To stop drinking into God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), or discontinue receiving the perpetual washing of water by His Word (Eph. 5:25- 27), is to depart from eternal life and salvation as well as membership in Christ’s one and only holy body, the church, whose membership roll is “the Lamb’s Book of Life” in Heaven. Only the names of the living are recorded there! As we have already observed in scriptures previously sited, Christ blots out the names of all who sin and die. To remain in Christ’s body we must remain a partaker of Christ’s life through His Spirit and His Word.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, … Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water [the pure living water of the Word that cleanses from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit – 2 Cor. 7:1]. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Heb. 10:19, 22-25. A verse of an old song, written by D. S. Warner in the 1800’s, says:

“Do you love to read the Bible? Feel the Spirit’s holy fire?

Do you measure to its standard? Does each duty you inspire?

Remember, God is our salvation, and “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. Therefore, naturally, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ [the Word], hath not God [hath not salvation].” 2 John 9a. How obvious! How clear! Therefore, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. … But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Col. 3:16, 25. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” 1 Pet. 1:13-17.

This should be the spirit of Christian living – a godly fear of, reverence for, and obedience to God’s holy Word, with carefulness, prayerfulness and watchfulness; never a presumptuous supposing that we are now eternally secure from the possibility of missing the mark and losing our soul. The following quotation is attributed to Adam Clarke, and is so true: “He that is self-confident is already half fallen. He who professes to believe that God will absolutely keep him from falling finally, and neglects watching unto prayer, is not in a safe state. [But] He who lives by the moment, walks in the light, and maintains his communion with God, is in no danger of apostasy.” Walking in the light and maintaining communion with God is what keeps us in the security zone.