What’s So “Abundant” About the Christian Life?

Abundance One of my favorite promises of Jesus is found in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." What exactly does "abundantly" mean? Christians really should reach a consensus on this…and perhaps have in some quarters. However, I've heard the abundance Jesus speaks of explained as:

  • Wealth. Jesus came that we might be rich.
  • Happiness. Jesus came that we might be happy.
  • Plenty. Jesus came that we might never go hungry.

One commentator writes: "Jesus calls his followers, not to a dour, lifeless, miserable existence that squashes human potential, but to a rich, full, joyful life, one overflowing with meaningful activities under the personal favor and blessing of God and in continual fellowship with his people." That's certainly getting closer to what Jesus means by abundance. However, if in fact Jesus brings abundant life we need to gain clarity as to what that means and proclaim it from the mountaintops. Jesus is Lord and bringer of abundant life!

I have my view of what he means, but I would like to hear yours…in a sentence or two. What "abundance" does Jesus bring to life? This is an important part of the gospel. My short definition might be… Jesus came to make life better as God defines it in order that we might experience the "betterness" of life in Him. The question then becomes… how does God define "Better." This is the subject of the new message series we're beginning this Sunday at New Vintage Church, Better: Everyday Gospel

What's your one or two sentence description of the abundant life Jesus brings?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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3 thoughts on “What’s So “Abundant” About the Christian Life?

  1. I’ve been thinking about this very thing for some time and I’ll try to briefly share my thoughts. It seems like Christians, at least in my experience in the COC, have been very “end game” focused. Someday we’ll “Fly Away,” and in the event “We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven,” then at least we can have some joy knowing we’ll be together when “The Roll is Called Up Yonder.” Our salvation, and with it our happiness, will all come when we are finally justified, the Christ calls us home, when we get our reward. While I’m not here to argue these things aren’t true, what we’ve missed is living out our salvation in this life. I’ve been looking at some psychology for a graduate course I’m teaching, and what I’ve learned is that, when it comes to making choices, today matters a lot more than someday. If it feels great to eat a big mac today, then I do that because the terrible health affects won’t happen until someday. How does this tie in? If all we focus on and all we talk to others about is a saved life when we die, well we are missing the power of Christ’s salvation today. As a consequence, we do a poor job of leading others to Christ. Didn’t Christ say that “today, salvation has come to this house” when talking about Zacchaeus. Perhaps the abundant life comes from recognizing that we live in salvation, today.

  2. It seems to me that the richness of the abundant life of which Jesus spoke arises from the cross and included his own [and our] pain and suffering conjoined with a higher service and deeper meaning. Further the life of which he spoke was not in a future/distant time and place but starts with being born again. Say on..