Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Many believe the abundant life in this life is achieving financial independence, living in a lavish mansion in a tropical climate, enjoying great health, and traveling the world in a plush private jet or luxurious yacht. Not that these things are inherently wrong, but is this what Jesus meant by the abundant life?
Jesus taught that His kingdom was not “of this world” (not a physical kingdom – Jn 18:36), it is not a kingdom perceived with the naked eye, but rather “the kingdom of God is within you” (it is a spiritual kingdom – Lk 17:20-21). When teaching about the abundant life, Jesus was clearly speaking of the spiritual realm and man’s inner eternal being.
We could generalize the benefits of the abundant life simply by citing Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” But let’s look at three specific areas of spiritual blessing which make up the abundant life.
1. Free of our sin burden. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:1). Those in Christ have had their sins washed away by the blood of Christ (Rev 1:5) when they were baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Because of forgiveness in Christ (1 Jn 1:9), we are no longer burdened by the condemnation and guilt of sin. As Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (Jn 8:32).
2. Christ lives in us. Not only have we been “baptized into Christ” (Gal 3:27), but Christ lives in us. Paul affirmed: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). As the redeemed, we now have the Spirit of Christ in us (Acts 2:38; Rom 8:9), as His word dwells in us richly in all wisdom (Col 3:16).
3. The hope of glory. Paul discusses the riches of the glory of God’s mystery among the Gentiles: “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). This hope is not wishful thinking (as the world defines hope), but is a confident expectation of a future reality (Heb 11:1 & 6). This hope was a great motivator to early Christians who endured much persecution and great suffering because of their faith in Christ (Heb 10:32-36). This is why we are to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth. “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col 3:2-4).
As Christians, our life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our life. And this rock-solid fact is what defines the abundant life in this life!