In John 10:10 Jesus, the Christ, stated His reason for coming into the world: "…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

It is sadly apparent that many Christians are content to receive the eternal life that Jesus gives and stop there. They never move on to the level of abundant life in Christ. They might be likened to someone who purchases a new car, pushes it home, and continues to push it wherever they go. They have this beautiful automobile of which they are very proud, but instead of providing great benefit to them, it becomes drudgery Even as the new car owner needs to turn the key to enable the engine to roar to life and enable the car to provide a great benefit, the Christian needs to appropriate the abundant life that is available to them from their Savior.

I.  Receiving Jesus Brings Life to Believers
     "…I am come that they may have life…"

Before Receiving Jesus the Believer Was Spiritually Dead

If human beings possessed eternal life naturally there would have been no reason for Jesus to come in order to give them this life. In John 3:36 we read, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
     The apostle Paul gave this rather startling description of believers before they received Christ as Savior, "And you  He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, just as the others." Ephesians 2:1-3
     Certainly there are degrees to which men and women indulge the desires of the flesh from the raw and raucous to the cultured and sophisticated, but they all do and they possess the same three spiritual characteristics:
      Dead in trespasses and sins
     Walk according to the course of this world
     Live according to the desires of the flesh

II. TO Receive Jesus by Faith the Believer has Spiritual Life

     Jesus introduced the revolutionary truth, that He would live in believers, "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" . John 14:20. "…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make Our home with him. "   John 14:23. 

In Colossians the Apostle Paul reveals that the great mystery which God kept secret until revealed by the New Testament apostles and prophets was "…Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

     The "believing" that brings salvation to a lost soul is not believing that Jesus was a historical person. It is a believing that actively receives Jesus Christ into heart and life: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."  John 1:12.   "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life; and this life is in His son. He who has the Son has life;  he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1st John 5:11, 12.  "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

Receiving Jesus As Savior by faith brings life.

III. Yielding To Jesus Brings Abundant Life

Common Mistakes of Christians
     Many Christians feel that after they have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior that it is up to them to try and live the Christian life the best they can. Others feel that since He has come to live in their heart that they can get help from Him to live the Christian life if they can pray and believe strongly enough.

The Christian Life is Impossible by Human Effort
As Jesus gave the illustration of how He is the vine and we are the branches He stated the utter futility of believers living the Christian life by their own efforts: "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine; neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.´ John 15:4, 5.
     As long as our ego is in control we will be thinking and living according to our fleshly nature. The Bible refers to this as being "a babe in Christ" or a "carnal" Christian:

     To the Corinthian Christians Paul wrote, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as to spiritual people, but as to carnal (fleshly), as to babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with solid food: for until now  you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal: " 1st  Corinthians 3: 1-3

To the Romans (Romans 8:6, 7) Paul wrote "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

Paul even stated his fleshly condition as a believer and an apostle of Christ, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells..." Romans 7:18. We might ask ourselves, Are we really better than the apostle Paul?

To the Galatians Paul stated some of the fruit of walking or living according to the fleshly nature, "…adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like…"  Galatians 5:19-21.

Sadly, this is where Christians find themselves when the self ego remains in control.

IV. The Christian Life Can Only Be Lived By Christ

"Without Me you can do nothing" John 15:5. It is when the believer is constantly aware of this truth that s/he begins to be willing to let Christ take control.

It is at this point that the believer needs to grasp the fact that Jesus desires to continue living His life through each and every believer. This is an aspect of the believer’s salvation that many find difficult to understand. This truth is brought to us in Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." This verse is telling us that Christ reconciles us to God by His death on the cross and He delivers us from sin’s power by His resurrected life in us.

The apostle Paul was giving testimony to this truth when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live:  but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20. Paul sincerely believed Christ was living His life through him.

How Do We Turn Control Over To Jesus?

1 We are to reckon (or account) that all we are as a lost sinner has been crucified with Christ.
     This is not saying that something is true when it is not. It IS saying that something is true that is true. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him:"  Romans 6:6, 7
     "Knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:9 - 11. (See also Colossians 3:3, 4)

     When we were saved we were placed into Christ’s body by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) and God says we experienced death, burial, and resurrection in Christ.

2.  We must yield ourselves to Christ.
 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.

Since Jesus taught that we should take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23) it seems to follow that we should also freshly yield our lives to Christ daily to let Him live through us. Some have likened this to us getting off the throne of our life and allowing Jesus to take the throne.

3.       We should confess that any area of our life not under His control is sin
Perchance our self nature takes back control of our life or there are areas of our life that we have not yet yielded to Christ what should we do? . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  1st  John 1:9.  Once again, yield to His authority and believe Him to be in control.

 Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted

    Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.