Abundant Life in Christ
Abundant life is satisfaction in God for His grace and in knowing the Father and the Son by living in the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit leading to appropriation of material blessings also.

Abundant Life in Christ

       The Pharisees were self satisfied and did not seek the One who could provide them real satisfaction and they rejected every miraculous act of Lord Jesus. They were so completely overwhelmed with darkness that the ‘light of the world’ was not acceptable to them. The man born blind did not receive sight of the eyes but his spiritual eyes were also opened by the Savior to enable him to recognize the Son of God and worship Him. The abundant life promised by Lord Jesus is not only about material benefits but more about the spiritual gifts.

        What abundant life is promised by Lord Jesus? – The Savior Lord declared, ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10). This statement contains two elements; first, His coming is not about taking but giving. He calls out to all, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). The second, is about abundant life not life of abundance. Necessary to first understand life, is it about breathing and mental awareness only? God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the ‘breath of life, and man became a living being’ – and then man was warned not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ‘for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’ (Genesis 2:7 & 17).

       Life is given by God and death is reaped by us, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23). Sin is defined as disobedience of God and this death is separation from God for the day Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit, they hid from God, blamed each other and the serpent and were banished from the Garden or presence of God. John the Baptist reveals the true identity of Lord Jesus as Lamb of God’ the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, sin that causes death (John 1:36). And ‘in Him was life, and the life was the light of men’ for as Word of God He reveals God’s glory on the earth to make it suitable for life (John 1:40).

        Life is in Lord Jesus and ‘as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name’ (John 1:12). Lord Jesus declared, ‘I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved’ (John 10:9). Context of this statement is from John 9 where a man ‘blind from birth’ was healed by the Lord and though his physical condition was immediately changed, his spiritual growth was gradual. On being questioned he identified the Lord as ‘A man called Jesus’ and then he called Him ‘a prophet’ and finally he told the Pharisees, ‘if this man was not from God, He could do nothing’. Later he believed and worshipped Lord Jesus as the ‘Son of God’ and Lord Jesus informed the Pharisees that since they claimed to be able to see, ‘therefore your sin remains’ for seeing they could not see and recognize and believe in Him ((John 9:11;17;33 and 38). In faith when we accept Him as our Lord and Redeemer, we become part of God’s family and heirs to Godly inheritance, which is to be with Him always for He has promised the believers to be with them till the end of the age.

       On the day of crucifixion, from 12 noon till three in the afternoon there was darkness over the whole land for the darkness of our sins was poured out on the Lord on the cross and He took it into the grave with Him. To fill us with His light He rose again on the third day shining His bright light on all who believed in Him (Mark 15:33). With His light shining bright over the disciples, ‘He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22). The Holy Spirit descended fully on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost to be in and with them (Acts 2:1-4). Promise of abundant life was fulfilled with the permanent empowering and loving presence of God in all believers.  

         Is abundant life about material wealth and power? – The word abundant in Greek is ‘perisson’ which means ‘exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one could expect or anticipate’. Apostle Paul describes this life that ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). But is it about wealth, prestige, position and power in this world? Abundant life is eternal life and Lord Jesus defined eternal life as, ‘Now this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent’ (John 17:3). It does not mention long life or good health or prosperity or good job etc but talks about ‘knowledge of God’ which obviously is the key to life in the Lord.

        Abundant life in Christ is firstly, about spiritual life of abundance that we receive through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul expresses his contentment in whatever circumstances God puts him in ‘abased or abounding; full or to be hungry; abundance or in need’ and then he claims that God shall supply all ‘your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:11-12 & 19). Second, abundant life is in Lord Jesus and we draw this from Him through a close relationship with Him. Apostle John clarifies this further, ‘God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’ (1 John 5:11-12). We have life through faith in the Son of God, though not in its fullness now and this life is not measured by the number of years that we live here on the earth. Thirdly, a believer’s life is about growing ‘in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 3:18). We keep growing into abundant life through the continuous and daily process of learning and maturing; falling down and recovering; enduring and overcoming. Apostle Paul preached, ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known’ – as I am known by the Savior Lord, I will also know Him fully and that will be the ultimate abundant life in and with God for us (1 Corinthians 13:12). Fourthly, it is about authority and power. Lord Jesus blessed the believers that they will do the works that He did and even greater works than these (John 14:12). The works He did included His death on the cross and all disciples suffered greatly for the Gospel. Lord Jesus had compassion and healed the sick who were brought to Him(Matthew 14:14).

        Lord Jesus has restored us to the state of being in the Garden of Eden where there was no sickness, death and abundance of every good thing but since we are surrounded by evil all around, we continue to fight with lack, sickness and disease. We become new creations in Lord Jesus and being ‘born again’ our perspective on life also must change to abundance of fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Apostle Paul preached, practiced and lived thus, ‘Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:2-3) and our abundant life is in Him.

        Should we not pray for material wealth? – Why not, for ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things’. Though Apostle Paul’s words are used to ask for financial abundance only, he has clarified about calling, justification and glorification and about accusations of the devil against us (Romans 8:30-32). He further clarifies this that  ‘you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9). Again the richness is first of spiritual matters and only then about material things.

        But then should we not attempt to be rich? – Lord Jesus’ words that ‘It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven’ are misinterpreted to mean that being poor is a blessing. But the Savior Lord giving the example of a good parent assured us that ‘your Father who is in heaven (will) give good things to those who ask Him!’ (Matthew 7:11). He blessed the disciples with a great catch of fish that became difficult for them to haul into the boat (Luke 5:4-6 & John 21:6-7). We must ask Him all that we want to live a good life but He knows what is good for us and will give accordingly but the only thing is that we must not get disappointed at delay or denial of answers to our prayers for riches.

      Abundant life in Lord Jesus is about contentment in Him and we do this in following ways – first, by living in the present. In Lord Jesus we are new creation and old has gone while the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17) and God revealed Himself as ‘I AM’ not as ‘I was or I will be’. We must give up what is gone and look ahead towards the unseen which is potentially wonderful though unknown. Leaving the ‘good old days’ behind we must step out in faith to ‘create better days ahead in the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Living in the past makes us dissatisfied with the present; instead of being thankful we grumble like the Israelites in the wilderness resulting in wandering around for forty years; we live in the past forgetting to see the goodness around us. Naomi on return cried out, ‘I went away full. But the Lord has brought me back empty’, forgetting Ruth, the loyal and loving daughter-in-law who chose to look to the future with her (Ruth 1:21).

       Second, God follows His timetable – King David says, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4). God’s thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8) and King Solomon realized that there is a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The Son of God spent thirty years learning what He was to do for the last three and a half years; Abraham waited for Isaac and David had to struggle to remain alive after being anointed as king. We must delight that God does not forget what we ask and will give us what is best for us at the right time.

       Third, do not let fear rule over your life – Fear of the unknown will take us away from faith in God and make the work of the Holy Spirit redundant. The Holy Spirit is not of fear but of love, of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). In times of distress, we need not look at the storm or deep waters but remain focused on the Lord, for He alone can and will reach out to save (Jude 1:24). God is able not only to keep me from stumbling but also to present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. But He will never give us more than we can bear.

        When we live one day at a time, believing that God is in control always and we let His peace rule in our hearts, abundant life is ours irrespective of our age, circumstances or failures.

       Abundant life in Lord Jesus is about faith, not about having all the answers but having the courage to ask the questions and not let go of God for He in any case will not let go of me. Abundance then, is not about gathering but about giving for God gives us more than we need, for us to give liberally and abundant living is not what you have but what you have let go and not held on to. Abundant life is in Lord Jesus and the closer we get to the Shepherd, the better becomes that relationship and His promises start getting fulfilled in our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.