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Pastor Hal   Bekemeyer

What Part of Complete Do We Not Understand?

(Col 2:6-10)  "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: {7} Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. {8} Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. {9} For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. {10} And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

When a person trusts Christ as Savior many wonderful things happen. Too many believers see conversion as a change in destination only when, perhaps, they should discover that they now have a destiny (an inner realizable purpose in life). And when we read Paul’s epistles we discover that with our destiny comes a plethora of attributes and directions to realize God’s purpose in our life.

 

(1 Cor 12:12-13)  "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. {13} For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

 

Ephesians one tells us that the Holy Spirit is our “seal” and our “earnest”. However, He also performs an essential operation of God; He baptizes us into the Body of Christ. This accomplishes our eternal identification with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our identity and life are now intrinsically linked with Him. This perspective should change our view of a life agenda. It’s not about what we think is right, it’s about Christ’s life and purpose in us.

 (Gal 2:20-21)  "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. {21} I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

 

The truth is, many of us “frustrate” God’s purpose in our life because we refuse the power of His grace, preferring to draw on our own energy and ideology. There is nothing ambiguous about the statement “…ye are complete in Him.” There is nothing we can add philosophically or ideologically to God’s plan and provision. There is nothing that our creativity, or energy, can bring to the equation. It’s all about, in, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. But, man continually attempts to add to this completeness.

 

(Col 2:8-13)  "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. {9} For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. {10} And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: {11} In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: {12} Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. {13} And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

Man brings his own ideas and agenda and inserts it into the place of Christ’s life in us, replacing that which is ideal with frustration. Man brings religion (manmade attempts to please God) into the equation, replacing the life of Christ with rites, ceremonies, regulations and false authority. For instance; Paul in Ephesians 4:5 says there is “one baptism”.  I Corinthians 12 and Colossians 2 make it abundantly clear that this “one baptism” is an “operation of God.”  Why then does man insist on a second, unnecessary Hebrew water rite? Yes, I know all about the so-called symbolism and alleged outward testimony ascribed to this practice. But, our testimony for, and identification with the Lord Jesus Christ is not expressed with a ceremony – it is His very life manifested in us.

God’s design is that we be identified completely with His Son, the Lord Jesus, Christ. His design is that we also find our sufficiency in the same identity. We are complete because we are “in Christ”. It’s God’s purpose that we be complete.  

To that end, He has given us a completed written authority in the Scriptures to direct and equip us. (2 Tim 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Yet, man isn’t satisfied with this; He even wants to change, challenge, or correct these written instructions.

(Eph 2:8-10)  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast. {10} For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

Man’s view is that God’s work is incomplete and that it must be improved, corrected, or added to. Man’s arrogance is an affront to God and defies the simplicity that is found in the statement “…ye are complete in Him.”  Just what part of complete is it that we do not understand?