Garland Of Grace – 03.09.15

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Complete In Christ 

“We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.” – Colossians 1:28

In Colossians chapter 1, the Apostle Paul stresses to the early church at Colossae that Jesus Christ is everything.  He truly is the incomparable and matchless Christ, and the church must be built up in Him.  For my purposes in this devotional thought, I would like for us to draw our attention in particular to Colossians 1:28 where Paul emphatically states that we are made perfect in Christ Jesus.

The word perfect does not suggest sinlessness, but completeness.  It is the Greek word “teleion” meaning complete, mature, or whole.  It is a word that paints a picture of ongoing spiritual progress in the life of the Christian, and refers to spiritual maturity (Hebrews 5:14, Colossians 4:22).  Spiritual growth and development is vital, for we are called to be ripened and mature believers. And as we make this forward progression in our Christian pilgrimage, one of the greatest joys we can tap into is knowing that we are made complete in Christ Jesus. At this point it must be noted that Paul did not say “Presenting every man complete.” Rather he said, “Presenting every man complete in Christ Jesus” Oh the power of a preposition!  We are only complete when we are “in” Christ Jesus.

Being made complete in Christ Jesus is a wonderful promise to ponder upon when considering how incomplete and destitute we really are without Christ.  There is absolutely nothing good about mankind apart from God. Man on his own is incapable of genuinely doing good (Romans 3:10-12). We know this harsh reality because the Bible tells us that even our best efforts are nothing but a heaping mass of rubbish and a pile of filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6, Philippians 3:8). Without Christ, we are unrighteous people, polluted by the poison of sin, and bankrupt before a holy and righteous God. The only way that someone can be made complete is to file spiritual bankruptcy. You might ask, “What is spiritual bankruptcy?”  Well, it has been suggested that if financial bankruptcy is admitting that you are broke, spiritual bankruptcy is admitting you are broken.  It is only when we admit our brokenness and turn to God that we can find this completeness. This completeness we receive is not based upon any contribution made on our part; for we on our own have insufficient funds in our account.  The prince of preachers Charles Spurgeon put it this way; “Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps imperfection. Every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters imperfection. You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you; you are perfect in Christ Jesus. In God’s sight, you are complete in him.”  Spurgeon’s comments serve as a reminder to us all that our completeness has only been accomplished through the sacrificial death of the only sufficient one, Jesus Christ.

It must be remembered that the Apostle Paul was warning his audience of vicious false teachers that were claiming completeness in Christ was attained through the acquisition of something attached to salvation such as knowledge or works. This is one of the primary reasons why he stressed the sufficiency of Christ.  He wanted these early Christians to embrace the truth that Christ was enough.  Salvation was not a formula of Christ plus something else; rather salvation was found in Christ and Christ alone!

 – Pastor Eric

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