What is the abundant life?
John 10:8-10 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "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.
For many years I have heard people comment on this passage, especially with reference to having life, and life more abundantly. It is normally used to suggest that the Lord wants us to have plenty of good food, designer clothing, a home with at least 1000 square feet per person living in it, and the latest sports car in the garage. In other words people normally interpret this on the basis of having abundance for the indulgence of the flesh. While they may not directly say this, indirectly it is often still made clear.
I personally do not see this passage addressing the issues of the flesh but those of the spirit. Keeping in mind the nature of the Gospel is not just the forgiveness of sins but the restoration of the Spirit of Life that had been lost in Adam, I believe this passage is referring to the subject of salvation. The reason why Jesus came was to provide salvation for humanity. Salvation is receiving the Spirit of Life so that you become alive to God.
Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
Therefore, when He says that he came that you may have life, He is clearly saying that He came so you could have salvation. How much life did He come to offer? He came to offer enough such that you would never have a need for any more. The life He came to give is the very life of God that will provide complete fulfillment in the heart, soul and spirit of mankind. To say He came so that you may have life and have it more abundantly is to say that He came to restore to you the life of God to the extent that you would never have a need for anything else.
The thief, referring to Satan has been trying to steal from God His creation by killing us and subsequently destroying us. We were a temptation for Satan in that he could live within and through us in a similar way that our Creator could. In that way he could try and be like God. For this to happen he had to kill us by deceiving us into rejecting the life of God and becoming dead to Him. Then Satan could effectively steal us from the Lord and in using us in a way outside of the divine purpose for which we were created, he eventually destroys us. In our condition of being lost, we are dead, until we receive the life of God. It is when we are saved that we will be able to enjoy His life, in our life, in an abundantly fulfilling way.