Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

May 18, 2005

Christian, You Are Complete in Christ

I'm convinced that we routinely and consistently underestimate our full potential as believers. Jesus says that through faith we would be able to move mountains, but I must confess that I have not often prayed with that kind of confidence. There are mountains I should have removed by now, yet they remain standing, rock-like, immovable, casting their shadow over my days.

Paul says (Col 2:9) that we have been given fullness in Christ. In a parallel verse in Ephesians (4:13) he speaks of the church growing in unity and love until it "[attains] to the full measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ."

In the Colossians passage, that "full measure" is dependent on the sovereignty of Jesus. Because he has disarmed the "principalities and powers, making a public spectacle of them at the cross," those powers now have no authority to prevent our attaining "the full measure" of our destiny in Christ. Not the eternal full measure, but the full measure that God has ordained for our present circumstances.

You see, I believe that this word, like so much else in the New Testament, has both a future (or "eternal") and a present aspect. There is a "full measure" of Christlikeness that shall not be fulfilled in us till the Kingdom comes in "fullness." [Note: The Kingdom's fullness is our fullness, in the same way that the corporate fullness that Paul speaks of most clearly in the Ephesians passage possesses nevertheless a personal aspect or application.] Nevertheless, there is also a "full measure," a completeness of grace and provision, which God has measured out for us today. This measure is not but a shadow of the measure yet to come, and yet it is truly "grace upon grace," "one blessing after another." (John 1:16)

Christian, do you believe it? I ask this in all humility, as one who has often fallen short of the full measure of what God has on offer. Not unlike Peter, I suppose, who might have taken more than just a step or two on the surface of the Sea of Galilee, had he continued in faith. What was the "full measure" of God's intention for Peter that night? Or think of that other night, the dreadful night of Christ's arrest, when Peter denied knowing his beloved Master three times. Was there not a "full measure" that Peter in that moment fell far short of, even if out of understandable fear? But was it not this same Peter, many years later, who wrote, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness . . . that we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through evil desires." And yet, we are more often like the lame man who has asked Jesus to heal him, and to whom the Savior has spoken the words, "Rise and walk," and yet we will not do so (such is our fear and unbelief). In other words, we are more like the early Peter than the late.

Now, keep in mind, this "full measure" is not every blessing you can possibly think of. It is every blessing God has prepared for you for today. And that is of course more than enough. And yet we often push ourselves away from the banqueting table of his grace as if we were afraid of receiving too many of his blessings at once. The Psalmist says, "in your Presence God is fullness of joy." Have you known such fullness even for an hour? It is God's will that you remain in Him and He in you. It is God's will that you cup your hands and receive his gifts even unto "overflowing."

Without fullness, how shall we overflow? Christian, you have been given fullness in Christ, who is head over every power and authority. Only one who is truly "all in all" can offer such fullness, one grace after another. Only one who is both alpha and omega can complete what he has begun in you, believer. Fullness is your destiny, and by the grace of the one who conquered the last enemy, death, your "full measure" of that fullness is available even now as a foretaste of His gifts to come. Cup your hands and say, "I wish to receive and walk out even the full measure of your grace today, Lord; renewing my mind, empowering my prayers, inhabiting my praises to you, my Father and King."

Christian, there is a measure of grace for today that you have not even begun to imagine. It is measured out by God, it is his free gift to those who believe, and its purpose is to empower you for the works he has prepared for you to do today. In him is fullness of joy. Believe and receive.

***

Previous posts in this series:
Christian, Be Who You Are
Christian, You Are a Child of God
Christian, You Are a Branch of the True Vine
Christian, You Are a Friend of Jesus
Christian, You Are the Light of the World
Christian, You are the Salt of the Earth

4 Comments:

Blogger David Warren Fisher said...

Bob: I always enjoy your posts. Please check out my blog and, if you think it's alright, please add a link to my site on your blog. I've got a link on mine to yours.

In His love,

David

11:37 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Done!

6:25 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Are you going to write a book on this? They're so good. You've said very well.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Well, that's my ultimate goal, yes. They will need some going over, of course, but I really feel called to this. I thank God that they seem to be blessing to others, too.

9:36 AM  

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