Christ, Our All-SufficiencyJuly 6, 2018 Pastor's Pen
Complete in Him
Not too long ago someone asked me, “Kempiz, you are nearing three years of serving in your current role. What has been the greatest thing God has taught you?” Aside from my immediate thought, “Three years is nothing...” the answer was an easy one, but admittedly, not profound, “I am weak, but Jesus is strong.” This is the greatest lesson God has taught me as a young pastor. In and of myself there is nothing that I have to boast in, “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14).
The truth is that “each” of us is incomplete were it not for Christ, who makes us complete “in Him.” Colossians 2:10 says that “in Him [Christ] you have been made complete” (i.e., “full”). Though in and of ourselves we are seriously lacking and insufficient, in Christ, who is the “fullness” of God (Col 1:19), we have “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3). There is nothing that we lack as Christians, as those who have been united with Christ. Our adequacy and sufficiency comes from Him alone.
Because Christ died as my sin-bearer, and went to the cross as my substitutionary sacrifice, I need not fear death, and can live with hope. I wish that more Christians would realize that they truly don’t have anything of “inherent” worth to boast in, except in the cross of Christ. The only difference between us (Christians) and the “pagan” (non-believer) is…Christ! (Pause & Reflect!)…Christ! “If we have Christ, we have everything…if we don’t have Christ we have nothing…” But we so often derive our significance and joy from such things as what we own, our education or careers (or lack of career!), our families, our social or political endeavors, the state and well-being of our country or the world, for that matter, and on and on the list goes.
I am convinced that the more we dwell on Christ, and the riches that we have in Christ, the less “self-focused” and “self-righteous” we will become, by God’s grace. Sadly, we spend more time wondering if we will ever achieve our life goals, rather than on worshiping and treasuring Christ, and the “ultimate” goal that He achieved for God and for us. We spend more time feeling “guilty” and “depressed” about how much we fall short of the “next person” supposedly more spiritual than us (though in the end, we are all on the same level, playing field), rather than on what Christ achieved on the cross for sinners, who deserved only hell and condemnation. We spend more time pointing out the wrongs in others, than dealing with our own sin before the Lord, and asking for His grace that we may become like Him.
Christ is our all-sufficient Savior. He grants us “both” freedom from the penalty of sin “and” power over remaining, indwelling sin. See Him all the more. Bask in the riches that you have in Him. Dwell upon the need to be holy because He shed His blood that we may be like Him. Cherish His people, for He died for them, that we might be called “His body,” “His brothers and sisters,” “His Kingdom citizens.” Wow. May Jesus be our all in all. May Jesus be the One we strive to Exalt in this world. May we truly be “expressions” of Christ in our homes, in the church, and in the world.