Friday, August 13, 2010

Complete in Him

Colossians 2:10. "You are complete in Him."

Paul declares that one who, as a Christian, is in Christ is also COMPLETE in him.  In the context of Colossians Paul was telling those believers that they did not need to seek a deeper experience of God or a greater separation from the world by abstaining from certain foods, by outward religious observances,  or by self-discipline or self-abasement to some intermediary.  No. Everything they sought was found in Christ.

That seems simple enough.  But wait.  Why do we run after the latest spiritual experience?  Why do we look to the means of "techniques" and 12 step recovery and support programs to overcome our sin and additions?  Is Jesus not enough?

I know that sounds almost like heresy in our self-absorbed, self-help age. Research and experience have proved they work, haven't they?

Or have they?

"Religious experiences", self-discipline and techniques do have, as Paul says, "an appearance of wisdom." They sound good. There is some apparent benefit. You might actually have a spiritual experience - like some whirling dervishes. Maybe having someone help you speak in tongues by moving your jaw while you make sounds does result in the ability to make unintelligible sounds on your own. Maybe self-discipline does help you achieve some measure of control over your addictions.  But there is a disconnect with God, no real power.

These things so popular today among Christians are really a denial of our completeness in Christ. If  you desire a deeper experience of God, seek it in Christ. Get to know him better and better.

If you desire greater separation from sin, rest in faith upon your position as dead in Christ to sin and simply say no. Yes. That is possible.  Remember you are truly dead. Simply "put off," those things that belong to the old life.

If you desire greater holiness, rest again upon your position in Christ as alive with new life, and "put on" the virtues of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Yes. That is possible. You do not need to train yourself to it. They belong to you in Christ. Put them on by faith.

Don't be distracted by the promises of deeper experiences and greater holiness found any place else but in a simple life of faith in Christ and who we now are in Him.

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