This year, as you well know by now, my lessons have centered around the idea of growing in Christ. In a world where complacency is so prevalent, where “just doing enough” is all too often the motto, we, as Christians, seek to fight against that tendency, as we walk with our Lord. The battle against complacency is nothing new to God’s people. Listen to these words found in Zephaniah 1:12, “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men who are settled in complacency.” It is in part, for this very reason, God echoes to His children, words like: “for this very reason, giving all diligence” (2nd Peter 1:5), “pursue peace with all people, and holiness” (Hebrews 12:14), “be diligent” (2nd Timothy 2:15), “grow in the grace and knowledge” (2nd Peter 3:18), “be imitators” (Ephesians 5:1) and the list could go on. Each of these speak loudly to the Christians walk, that it is one that is intentionally walked. But, as we journey towards our heavenly home, we need to be reminded of something that is equally important.
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are
complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Did you hear the words? YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM! All those who are in Christ Jesus, from day one of that relationship, are completely saved! No work from that day forward can change that reality. No work from that day forward can improve our status. I think of the apostle Paul, who under the old law, pursued righteousness with great fervor. His credentials, found in Philippians 3:4-6, would proudly be displayed on any Jewish resume at the time. But listen to what Paul came to understand, “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:8-9). Paul had come to realize something so very important; that is, what he so desperately sought after could only be found in Christ Jesus. He became all he needed to be when he became one with Christ, and so it is with us as well.
Well, if that is the case, and we find ourselves in Christ through obedience to the gospel, placing our hope in Him who has thus made us complete, then all this endeavoring is for naught…right? Actually, if you are in Christ and understand the righteousness that has been imputed upon you through Him, your mission has changed. How so you ask? Well, instead of endeavor to become something we are not (becoming righteous through works), we endeavor to become more like what Christ has made us to be in Him. I seek to be more like Him because I am complete in Him.