By Theodore Epp
Ephesians 1:1; John 3:13-21
Eternal life is procured by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By His death Jesus paid the penalty for sin; by His burial He took sin away; by His resurrection He lives in the believer. This is all involved in the new birth. On the other hand, the abundant life is procured for the believer through the living, ascended Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. The believer who lives on the basis of what he possesses in Christ has an abundant life. He realizes the indwelling Christ is able to meet any need.
Eternal life is objective in the sense that a person obtains it by placing faith in the fact of Christ's shed blood for the remission of sins. The abundant life is subjective in that it is a personal response to what a believer has in Christ. The one who knows that Christ is able to meet every need and who lives accordingly has the abundant life.
Eternal life is the same for all believers, regardless of their sinful past. It does not matter whether the person was guilty of gross sin, as society measures sin, or whether he was a person of high moral standards. All who receive Christ have eternal life. However, not all believers have abundant life. The abundant life varies in believers according to their individual responses to Jesus Christ.
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).