The More Abundant Life
, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;"
, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
A. The Christian life, the life of the Lord Jesus which we received when we became Christians, is an Abundant Life.
1. Jesus came into this world to bring to us the Gift of Spiritual Life.
2. The Quality of this life He came to give us is described as "Life More Abundant!"
B. Is there any difference between "Life" and "Abundant Life"?
1. In our gardens we have plants which are Barely Alive while others are Abounding With Life.
2. In human life we have those who are Weak In Body and those who are Robust And Vigorous.
3. It is equally true in our "Spiritual Life" --- we may have life but not abundant life.
C. Every Christian has life, but Not Every Christian enjoys the abundant life which Christ came to give.
1. The Deficiency is not on His side, but On Ours.
2. The Lack is not in the giving but in the Receiving.
I. Lets Notice Some Facts About The Abundant Life:
A. God's plan and purpose is --- the "abundant" life should be the Normal life of His children.
1. Many think that the life of spiritual abundance is the abnormal experience of Super Saints.
2. But, it is not meant to be! --- Anything Less Than Abundance Is The Abnormal.
B. This abundant life is for Every believer.
1. God's desire and provision for every believer is fulness of life.
2. The abundant life is not meant for a select few "special" saints.
C. This abundant life is to be enjoyed Now.
1. When we die we will enter into a Fuller Life altogether.
2. But the abundant life of which we are talking is to be Enjoyed Now --- While We Are On This Earth.
D. This abundant life is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, imparted to us and Lived In And Through Us By The Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:7 --- Lesson Text)
II. What Are The Characteristics of This Abundant Life?
A. A life that is Well-Pleasing To The Father.
1. For 33 years Jesus lived a life that was Wholly Pleasing to His Father.
John 8:29, "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."
2. In And Of Ourselves, we can never live a life that is pleasing to God.
3. However, the Life Of Jesus is entirely pleasing to Him --- when we Allow Jesus To Live His Life Through Us --- God is well pleased with us.
4. 2 Cor. 5:18-20, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
5. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
B. A life of Utter Dependence upon the Father.
1. John 8:28, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."
2. The abundant life is a life of Constant Dependence upon "Christ who is our life" (Col. 3:4).
Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
C. A life of Complete Submission to the will of the Father.
1. Psa. 40:7-8, "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
2. John 4:34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
6:38, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."
3. One of the chief characteristics of the abundant life is complete submission to the will of the Father.
D. A life of Moment-By-Moment Fellowship with the Father.
1. During His earthly life there was never any "sin" or "self" between our Lord and His Father --- until He was "Made To Be Sin" for us on Calvary's cross.
a. Matt. 27:46, "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, La-ma sa-bach tha-ni? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
b. 2 Cor. 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
2. The abundant life is a life of Constant, Intimate Fellowship with God.
Song --- "Nothing Between"
Nothing between my soul and the Saviour,
Naught of this world's delusive dream:
I have renounced all sinful pleasure,
Jesus is mine, there's nothing between.
Nothing between like worldly pleasure;
Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
Must not my heart from Him ever sever,
He is my all, there's nothing between.
Nothing between, like pride or station;
Self or friends shall not intervene;
Tho' it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved, there's nothing between.
Nothing between my soul and the Saviour,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
a. Isa. 59:1-2, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
b. Psa. 51:11-12, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."
E. A life of Constant Victory over sin and the Devil.
1. Our Lord was tempted in all points as we are, yet He Never Yielded --- He always Overcame.
a. Heb. 4:15, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
b. 1 Peter 2:22, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:"
2. Christ Offers To Us Also A Life That Is Victorious And Triumphant Over Sin And Satan.
1 Cor. 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
F. A life of Abundant Peace And Joy.
1. John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
15:11, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
17:13, "And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves."
2. When did Jesus speak these words of "My joy..." --- "My peace..." --- "I have overcome the world" --- it was when He was Facing The Cross of Shame And Suffering.
a. Let's read again John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
b. Now read the next verse 17:1, "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:"
3. Peter, who was Crucified Upside Down, said:
1 Peter 1:8, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
G. A life of Sacrificial Service.
Matt. 20:28, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
III. How May We Live And Experience This Abundant Life?
A. We enter into this abundant life as we Live In Dependence Upon Him.
1. This abundant life is one of: --- Submission --- Fellowship --- Victory --- Joy --- Peace --- and Sacrificial Service.
2. The whole point is this: --- It Is His Life --- and he is able to live out His abundant life in and through us only as we:
a. Receive Him fully into our life,
b. Surrender ourselves completely to Him,
B. The Measure in which I can Know And Experience His abundant life depends upon --- and is In Exact Proportion To --- the measure in which I am Surrendered To Him.
C. Will you Yield Yourself Fully to Him --- let Him fill you with His life more abundant.
A Search For The Truth About Salvation