There are two main Greek words used in the Bible for life. One is the word “baios” from which we get biography. It refers to life as man lives it. The other word is “zoe” which refers to life as God lives it! The dynamic of what the Bible teaches is that we have the potential to experience both of those at the same time, which is something the unbeliever cannot do.
An unbeliever has “baios” life bestowed upon him by God, and he lives his life in this world. When we place our faith in Jesus, and He takes up residence within us, we now have the opportunity to experience and express the “zoe life” – life as God lives it, at the same time we experience “baios” life, as we ourselves as man live it. Amazing!
I want to illustrate it this way. “Zoe” life is like having cake. Cake is a wonderful thing to have. It is sweet and wonderful. Cake can often come with icing, and cake and icing are really what I want to have most in this life. Icing is when “baios” life, is going very well. Icing is when the kids are happy and obedient, and my spouse is happy and content, and there is money in the bank, and I am feeling really good. That is cake and icing, and I really love icing with my cake.
The problem, is that “baios” life, life in this fallen world, is all too often not a very good thing. Very often my kids are in trouble, and I am at odds with my spouse, and there are bills piling up, and there is no icing for me. BUT HERE IS THE KEY! I still have my cake, and will always have my cake. No one and no circumstance can ever take away my cake. I may prefer to have icing, and it may hurt to not have the icing, but I HAVE MY CAKE! I have my “Zoe” life to enjoy even in the darkest days that I experience in a fallen world.
Let me put it another way. There may be tears of sorrow and grief cascading down my cheeks (no icing, fallen world baios life), but at the very same time because God lives in me, I experience peace, joy, and rest (cake; Zoe life). Praise God for this wonderful mystery, now revealed, Christ in us, our hope of glory! (Col. 1)