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December 9 Today’s Reading: Colossians 2-4
“Ye are complete in him”
“Ye are complete in him!” — There is no middle ground. Either you are complete in Christ, lacking nothing, or you are altogether without hope before God. We either have everything God requires of man, everything God gives to men, everything Christ has and is as the Mediator between God and man, or we have nothing. “Ye are complete in him!” — Precious sentence! Sweeter than honey to my soul! If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, though utter emptiness in yourself, “Ye are complete in him!” Weak, poor, helpless, unworthy though you are in yourself, in him, your Lord, your Redeemer, your Savior, you are complete in the fullest, broadest, and most varied sense of that mighty word — “complete.” What wonders of grace we have before us! May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher and Guide as we dive into this deep sea and contemplate the mystery of the perfection that is ours in Christ.
The Spirit of God seems to have but one object in view in giving us this sweet sentence. His purpose is to cause every believing soul to look to Christ with the confident “joy of faith,” seeing clearly that as all the fulness of the godhead dwells in him, so all the fulness of Christ is yours and mine, “and ye are complete in him!”
You who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you, all of you, and only you, “are complete in him.” You, who were “dead in trespasses and sins,” are complete in him! You, who “in time past walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,” are complete in him! You, who “were by nature children of wrath, even as others,” are complete in him! You, who were once “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world,” are complete in him! You, who labor and toil, vex and perplex your hearts continually because of the indwelling sin you hate, are complete in him! You, who are groaning under a conscious sense of the body of sin and death that is in you, are complete in him! You, who are loved and chosen of God, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, justified and sanctified by his grace, born of his Spirit, and robed in his righteousness, being clothed with the garments of salvation, are complete in him!
The Scriptures plainly declare that God’s elect have been complete in Christ from eternity (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-6). Our completeness is in Christ. We have been complete in him for as long as we have been in him; and there never has been a time when we were not in him. It is a blessed thing to live in the sweet assurance that we shall be complete in Christ in heaven’s everlasting glory and bliss. — “When we see him we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” What a sweet hope that is! But here Paul is talking about that which is the present blessedness of every sinner who believes on the Son of God. He does not say you shall be complete some day, when your faith is stronger, or when your love is more mature, or your works are better, or you see more clearly. There are no conditions or qualifications for us to meet that we might be complete in Christ. — “Ye are complete in him!” Right now, at this present moment, — “Ye are complete in him!” Do not imagine that there is something lacking, some deficiency you must make up, something you must complete. He is saying, “Know this and rejoice: You are full, complete, and perfect in Christ. Being one with him, in union with him, his fulness, completion, and perfection is your fulness, completion, and perfection.”
What does the word “complete” mean? How far are we to carry this statement — “Ye are complete in him”? Is it possible to carry it too far? Must we be careful not to go overboard here? Never! Whatever we are in Christ, we are completely. Whatever we have in Christ, we have completely. In all matters regarding our spiritual welfare and our soul’s salvation, we are complete in Christ, complete without any supplement of any kind. Rejoice, O my heart, to hear God the Holy Ghost declare, “Ye are complete in him.” — Blessedly, absolutely complete! — Just as complete in him as “all the fulness (completion) of the godhead dwelleth in him bodily!” O my soul, believe this and rejoice! Be ashamed, my heart, of every reluctance to believe that which God has declared! Let our admiration be fixed upon this delightful privilege. Arise, my brother! Arise, my sister! Shake off the fears and doubts with which Satan would bind you! Behold yourself as God declares you to be, as you really are, — “perfect in Christ Jesus.” Do not let your sins shake your faith in him and cause you to question his all-sufficiency and his all-sufficient grace.
“Ye are complete in him!” — Pause over those two little words, “in him.” Everything is in Christ! If we are “in him,” we are complete. We are complete because we are “in him.” Complete because of our union with him. — “Ye are complete in him!” Amen.