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Life more abundantly

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff

Photo by Gretchen Keith

In John 10:10, Jesus states one of the reasons for His advent:

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

We know that Jesus is talking about spiritual life here, not natural life. He was here, and walked among us in human form, so that he could teach us - more clearly than ever - how to learn truth and how to do good. If we reject truth, and prefer false doctrines that help us justify the selfish things we want to do, we're rejecting spiritual life. If we keep doing evil things because we want to and we don't care if they're really right or wrong, again, we're dying spiritually.

What the Lord really wants for us is life in abundance. If we turn to him, open our minds to His true teachings, and ask for His help in rooting out our evil loves, and implanting good loves in their place, He knows we will have spiritual life in abundance - to eternity.

This is a clear promise. It's not talking about prosperity or comfort or even safety from personal tragedies during our life on earth. Unlike us, though, the Lord can easily take the long view, and He always has the door open for us:

"A person can acquire for himself a life of faith and charity... when he approaches the Lord, who is life itself. Nor is the approach to Him blocked for anyone, since He constantly invites everyone to come to Him." (True Christian Religion 358)

It's pretty exciting. Imagine that... abundant life to eternity. It sure beats spiritual death. It's an amazingly good investment. If only giving up our evils was easier... but, it's not. It's painful. Still, if we don't defeat them, they will eventually enslave us. So... here's advice from the prophet Isaiah:

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

See, too, Arcana Coelestia 7494, for further reading.

Ze Swedenborgových děl

 

Arcana Coelestia # 7494

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7494. People therefore who either pervert, annihilate, or reject the good of love and the truth of faith residing with them do not have life within themselves. For life received from the Divine consists in willing what is good and believing what is true. But those who do not will what is good, only what is evil, and do not believe what is true, only what is false, possess the opposite of life. This opposite of life is hell and is called death; and those people are called the dead. The fact that the life of love and faith is called life and also eternal life, and those who possess it within themselves are called living persons; and the fact that the opposite of life is called death, and also eternal death, and those [who possess the opposite of life within themselves] are called dead persons, is clear from a large number of places in the Word, such as Matthew 4:16; 8:21-22; 18:8-9; 19:16-17, 29; John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24-25; 6:33, 35, 47-48, 50-51, 53, 57-58, 67; John 8-21, John 24, John 51; 10:10; 11:15, 26; 14:6, 19; 17:7; 20:31; and elsewhere.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.