Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Starting Point

I shared this passage of scripture the other day:

Col 2:6-10

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. NKJV

Oh, how I wish I'd understood the truth found in this verse years ago when the foundation for my understanding of my life in Christ was being laid! I shared a bit about this passage the other day, but for the moment I just want to focus on the word "complete."

In Christ dwells all the fullness of God, and we are in Christ, and we are complete in the fullness of God! This is the starting point (and finishing point!) for our life in Christ! This is our entire life in Christ. Completeness. The fact that we are complete.

What I mean by saying "this is the starting point" is that at the very moment we receive Christ, we become complete in the fullness of God. From that point on, life is all about experiencing the completeness we have in Him.

My intention here is to contrast the perhaps - all - too - common - way - of - thinking that says that from this point on, we're now trying to become something great for God or we're working or striving to get closer to Him or to be more and more acceptable to Him. It seems that many people live their Christian lives with the thinking that if only they can get themselves to do more and more godly works "for God," then they'll become more and more close to Him and complete in Him. They may even say that they're going to accomplish all this "by the grace of God."

What I'm really getting at is that the grace of God has already accomplished all this! We are complete in Him already. We "start" from the place of completion. Rather than a life that's lived to try to bring us closer to God or to make us more complete in Him, we run the race that's before us as people who are already complete! We live from completeness, not toward the goal of completeness! I think so many of us are so messed up because we're trying to achieve something we already have, and we're trying to achieve it through means that never worked in the first place!

Can we grow in our understanding of this completeness? Can we grow in our application of the completeness that we already have? Of course! To me, those are ways to describe what's commonly known as growing in Christian maturity. This maturity doesn't come by becoming something. Maturity comes from growing in our understanding and application of who we have already become! Does this make sense?

In Him we live and move and have our being. When I began my walk with Jesus, I was seriously trying to be all I could be for God. I always felt like I fell so short! Now I realize that I already am all that He wants me to be, because He made me into a New Creation, complete in Him. The rest of my days are no longer to be spent striving to become something. I'm learning and growing daily in my understanding of my true identity - who I already am in Him!

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