sheep-pen

Abundant life is a life sacrificed

What is the abundant life?

Jesus said that he came that people might have an abundant life (John 10:10). The prosperity preachers think that Jesus meant he came so that we would be rich in money and possessions. How truly they misunderstand the son of God!

A study of John 10 shows exactly what Jesus meant. The Lord began by saying he is the door of the sheep (John 10:1, 7). After the sheep were placed in an enclosure for the night, the shepherd put his body across the entrance. Wolves would, therefore, have to take the shepherd’s life before gaining access to the sheep.

Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins (John 10:17-18). Later in this same gospel, Jesus said that if a grain of wheat falls into the ground, it would spring up and bear fruit (John 12:24). He was talking about his death, to be sure, but he was also talking about something else.

The servant is not greater than his lord (John 13:16). If Jesus’ example was to give himself as a sacrifice for us, then we must also give ourselves as a sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). When the apostle wrote that we should “present” our bodies, he used a technical term for offering a sacrifice.[1]

Yet, few people understand this. Many believe that when Jesus said he came that we might have an abundant life that he meant we were to be prosperous, healthy and robust. The “prosperity preachers” claim it was Jesus’ purpose to make us all rich. This flies in the face of the examples of the apostles who suffered great poverty to preach the gospel.

What God requires of us is a sacrifice just as Jesus sacrificed himself. The Lord said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:23-24 NASB). This is almost identical to what Jesus said in John 12:25.

Are you giving your life as a transformed sacrifice so you may live eternally?

[1] “Word Pictures of the Greek New Testament,” A.T. Robertson, Volume IV, Page 402 Broadman Press.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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