Life More Abundantly

Why did Jesus come? There are several scriptures that speak directly to the purpose of Jesus’ life. They tell us specifically why He came.

  • Matt 5:17 – 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
  • Matt 20:28 – 8 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
  • Luke 19:10 –  “10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
  • John 6:388 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
  • John 18:37For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Each of these passages speaks to the enormous value of Christ and His work in our behalf.

Tonight I want to focus our attention on a similar passage:  In John 10:10 Jesus said… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. In the context of Jesus’ discussion of the good shepherd, He tells the disciples that He came that they might have abundant life.  The word abundant (more abundantly) is “perissos”. It means, more than is needed or required, excessive in quantity or quality, superior.

I.  Abundance in Christ: If we are asked to count our blessings, what will we most often catalogue?  We often think of the many physical blessings that we enjoy: our homes, cars, jobs, family, etc.  It is difficult for us to think of blessings without thinking of something physical.

  • In fact, Satan has created a whole false theology that teaches that God’s intended blessings for us are first and foremost physical. The “prosperity gospel” even interprets Jesus’ words here to mean that God wants to give you an abundant life by increasing your possessions, and fulfilling your physical wants.  This gospel has been ascribed many names, such as the “name it and claim it” gospel, the “blab it and grab it” gospel, the “health and wealth” gospel, the “word of faith” movement, the “gospel of success,” the “prosperity gospel,” and “positive confession theology.” In a future lesson we will examine the unscriptural elements of this false gospel.  But what is this abundance that we are promised in Christ?
  • We often lose sight of our spiritual blessings. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). It is here that God has blessed us abundantly – with an abundant spiritual life.

A.  Abundant Mercy & Grace:  1 Peter 1:3 – 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1.  God has not skimped on mercy. He has been abundantly merciful.  Mercy is by definition, not getting what we deserve. If one is guilty and the judge shows mercy, the guilty one is not punished as he deserves.

a.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that all of us were dead in our sins. We deserve to remain in that condition: dead in our sins and separated from God. God has every right to kill us immediately as He did with Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira, and Nadab and Abihu.

b.  God mercifully pardons us.  Isaiah 55:77 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. It is amazing that God would provide forgiveness. This willingness toforgive instead of punish  is what separates God from all else.  The next verse tells us why God would do this:  Isaiah 55:8– 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

2.  But God goes beyond mercy. He also abundantly provides grace.  Grace in its simplest form is receiving something we do not deserve, like the pardon Isaiah has just described. Grace implies receiving a gift. We do not deserve what we receive, but it is given out of the compassion and goodness of the other person’s heart.  Romans 5:1717 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

a.  God has extended grace to us, though we did not deserve it, in the form of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:4-94 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. There is no shortage of God’s grace. The sacrifice of Christ is absolutely sufficient.  Heb 7:25Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

B.  Abundant Goodness:  Ps 31:19 – O how abundant is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for those who fear thee, and wrought for those who take refuge in thee, in the sight of the sons of men! The idea of goodness is a very broad concept which seems to simply indicate that the Lord is always desirous  to do good things toward His people.

1.  God has given us everything that we need.   “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).  Every good and perfect gift comes from God  (Ja. 1:17).

2.  God’s goodness has no limits.  Ironically Jonah became distraught when confronted with the abundant goodness of God.  Jonah said, “He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity” (Jonah 4:2). Jonah knew that if He preached to Ninevah that God would not punish them because of these characteristics. God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.  God will do good, even when we refuse.

3.  The psalms declare, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5). Many times we fai to recognize the goodness of God in His providential care.  Too often we attribute to luck, fortune, and destiny that which ought to be attributed to the hand of God.

a.  Four times in Psalm 107, the Psalmist calls on the worshippers to  “give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

C.  Abundant Power: Ps 147:5 – Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.  God has exhibited enormous power for our benefit. Certainly we can recognize the creative power visible in the world around us. But the power of God goes further.  The spiritual power displayed in the cross is the center of our blessings.

1.  God’s spiritual power was unleashed against Satan through the cross and resurrection of Christ.

  • 2 Cor 13:4For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
  • Eph 1:18-20the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power  20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

2.  The abundant power of God is accessible to us.  Paul called on the Ephesian Christians to put on the armor of God and   “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:10-11) This strength comes through the word of God and our association with it.

  • Eph 3:16-18 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —

D.  Abundant Joy – Are you joyful? Do you have abundant joy?   The joy is to be abundant within us. Peter said, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Paul commanded joy to be in our lives. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Our joy is derived from the abundant life we have in Christ. Jesus often spoke to His disciples about having a full joy” in their lives. That joy did not come through physical blessings or prosperity. They would suffer and even be killed for following Jesus. The joy that Jesus spoke of was the joy of serving God and others. It is never found in serving ourselves.

  • Instead of joy, many who claim to be Christians are complainers, grumblers, and never can find any good or hope in any situation. To these people the outlook is always negative, and they are murmurers.

What this attitude shows is that we have not put on the new self in Christ. We are still living to ourselves.

What we need is the renewing of our minds, as Paul commanded us to undertake. Life is not about self, it is about God.

Brent Kercheville wrote:  The greatest joys in life are found in serving God. I have never experienced greater joy than helping those who were in need. I have never rejoiced more greatly than I have with someone who comes to obey Jesus. I cannot think of any greater joy when I do not have to worry or feel anxious because I know God will take care of me, even though my financial ends are not meeting. The joy must be found in God and goes far beyond what we see in this physical world. If we are grumblers, complainers, and live life seeking the negative, then we have lost our focus and we are not living the abundant life in Christ.

Conclusion:    Eph 3:20-21Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  • What does this verse mean to you?  God is sufficient to meet all my needs.  He provides for an abundant life through the spiritual blessings that He has gives.
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