“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.” John 10:10.
We have all seen the famous half-glass of water sitting on the table. Then the age-old question, “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?” Some might say, “What difference does it make? It is what it is.” Now, that might be true when it comes to water in a glass. But when it comes to spiritual matters, it makes all the difference in the world. Half-empty Christians are ones that were once full and are no more—this is backsliding. On the other hand, half-full believers are on their way to an abundant life in Christ.
This is what Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word abundantly (Greek perissos) expresses something that goes far beyond what is necessary. I like the way the Amplified Bible puts it, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” In other words, Jesus came to give us fullness of life. But what is this fullness of life? And how does one attain it?
Let’s begin by describing what fullness of life is? To me, fullness of life involves two spiritual qualities which are also included in the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23—joy and peace.
First, this fullness consists of joy. The Greek word for joy in the New Testament is chara and means “gladness or state of rejoicing or happiness.” It is a deep-rooted joy in the heart based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a joy that the world doesn’t give and the world can’t take away. Paul knew the reality of this joy. We see this in the Book of Philippians which has the theme of joy. Paul had joy in prayer (1:4), joy in suffering (1:18), joy in unity (2:2), joy in prison (2:17-18), joy in brokenness, (3:3), joy in judgment (2:16) joy in all things (4:4) and joy in life and death (1:21).
The second spiritual quality of fullness is peace. Some people think that peace is the absence of conflict. But, according to John MacArthur, it is more than that, “God sees peace not as the absence of conflict but the presence of righteousness. Righteousness will bring about right relationships. Peace is not just stopping a war. It’s the impartation of righteousness that brings two parties together in love.” Thus, fullness extends upward—a right relationship with God (Romans 5:1); outward—a right relationship with others (Romans 12:18); inward—a right relationship with self (Colossians 3:15). If one has a life overflowing with joy and peace, they have fullness of life.
How does one obtain this fullness?
I compare this fullness to a big room. There is one door that can be used to access this room, but there are many facets to this door. This door consists of dependency upon God, submission to His will and daily fellowship with Him through Bible reading and prayer. When these things are done, the door to the fullness of life will swing wide open, and we can walk in. Praise God! This fullness of life is made available to every believer. It is not something that we wait for in the sweet by-and-by; we can have it in the harsh now-and-now.
~Dr. William R. Glaze