Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Understanding Abundant Life

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Peter Conlan

“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

Much confusion has come at times as a result of this verse. What does Jesus mean here? What is abundant life? 

At first glance, what might initially come to your mind is the promise of eternal life. And that is certainly part of what Jesus is referring to here – we do certainly have eternal life through Christ our Savior!

But that cannot be all Jesus is referring to, as His words seem to point to a more current reality – He has come so that we might have abundant life now But what does that mean? What does abundant life look like in the midst of such a fallen world?

Well, here are several different things I think Jesus has in mind when He says He came to bring us abundant life:

  • The fruits of the Spirit

We know the fruits of the Spirit as being  “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). I would definitely call a life filled with love, joy, and peace an abundant, full life, wouldn’t you? 

And how do we find peace, love, and joy? Well, that is all found in Christ. The fruits of the Spirit are made manifest in our lives when we walk by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus tells us that in Him we find peace (John 16:33). God Himself is love (1 John 4:8). Jesus speaks truth to us so that our joy may be full (John 15:11).

So, when Jesus says He came to give us abundant life, He is saying He came so that we might have lives full of the Holy Spirit and His fruits of love, joy, peace, etc. 


  • Living a Fruitful Life

Along those same lines of abundant life meaning a life filled with the fruits of the Spirit, I see a similar teaching from Jesus in John 15:8 – “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. Jesus wants us to live full lives of abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God! That is abundant life!


  • In Him is Life

We read this of Jesus in John 1:4: “ In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Abundant life truly does come solely through being in relationship with Christ. Abundant life is not about a life full of ease, riches, prosperity, good health, and comfort. Abundant life is about a life lived with Christ, in step with Christ, and infused with the love, joy, and peace of Christ. That is the full life, the good life, the abundant life!



My favorite thing to do (and the number one practice I encourage you to implement when seeking to grow in your understanding of God’s Word and ability to study it well!) is look up the words of the Bible in their original languages. When I did so to help grow my understanding of Jesus’ words regarding abundant life in John 10:10, what I discovered is that the Greek word translated “life” in John 10:10 is the exact same Greek word found in John 1:4 where we are told that in Him is life. That Greek word is the word “zoe” and literally means,

  1. of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature

  2. life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

The abundant life is the full life, the life found in Christ and blessed with His fruit. Keep in mind what we learned about the meaning of “life”, and add to it the meaning of the Greek word “perissos” translated “abundant” in John 10:10:

exceeding some number or measure or rank or need

  1. over and above, more than is necessary, superadded

    1. exceeding abundantly, supremely

    2. something further, more, much more than all, more plainly

  2. superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon

Christ came so that we might live life to the full in Him, and not only that, but live that full life supremely and exceedingly beyond anything we can imagine on our own. That life full of love, joy, and peace is the life we find in Christ, and it is a life full of love, joy, and peace, to abundant measures exceedingly above what we can imagine. 

That, my friends, is abundant life! And it is what you have in Christ as His follower!

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