I so appreciated Joe’s lesson last week. To confidently know who we are in Christ is nothing short of amazing. Hopefully, you received an email reminding us of who we are in Christ, but if you didn’t have a chance to read it, consider the following: We are “A chosen generation! A royal priesthood! A holy nation! His own special people!” (1st Peter 2:9) We are well acquainted with the verse but do we inwardly grasp the magnitude of the hope that each of these reveals. Joe spoke of the name Christian last week, and these are but a few of the descriptive words that speak to that very name. And it is all according to Christ.
It is easy to forget who we are in Christ because of distractions! That is what our focus has been concerning the church in Colosse. We left off last time with a cautioning thought, “BEWARE.” The philosophy of their time and the gnostic mindset within the Jewish influences were a distraction. It distracted these early Christians from understanding Christ and who they were as His church. It put in doubt the very sufficiency of Christ to be the answer to their spiritual problems. So, he reminds them of who Christ is, elevating Him to His rightful place, above all human wisdom.
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily….”
I like the simplicity of the ETRV, which says, “I say this because all of God lives in Christ fully, even in his life on earth.” Christ was not merely an emanation of God; that is, a form of radiation from God. NO! As Christians, we can be “filled with the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), but in Christ, “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” As one commentator put it, “The very substance of God, if one might so speak, dwells in Christ in the full sense.” Isaiah spoke of this long ago, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means God with us (Matthew 1:23). John would write about the “Word was God” (John 1:1), saying that the “word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Jesus said it simply, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). One and the same, even in bodily form. This Jesus is He in whom you placed your trust and in whom there is hope.
“…and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
It is essential to remind ourselves of what they were facing once again; that is, various teachings suggest that they lacked something even as followers of Christ. Paul states definitely, you are complete in Him! Complete means to make replete. Here are some “in Him” bible verses. “To those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1st Corinthians 1:2). “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2nd Corinthians 5:17). “For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). We are blessed with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). As one commentator writes, “To be complete is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation.” It is all found IN HIM! And since you are IN HIM, you are complete because He is the head, the authority, over all things.
Okay, I know that we are works in progress, so how could we be well and complete? As an artist works on his sculpture, slowly chiseling away at the stone, the fullest sense of his work is in the rock. He only needs to chip away what is not necessary to reveal his masterpiece. Help us, Lord, to trust in You completely and strengthen us to know who we are; that is, complete in You. Let the Lord’s church say amen.