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Complete in Christ

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 4:00 am

Complete in Christ

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Paul is here arguing against the facets of the false heresy that was attacking the Colossian and in the midst of that he gets into this concept of who Christ is and what Christ can do.

And the idea is that you don't need any human philosophy. You don't need any human wisdom.

You are complete in titled the higher Christian life. The premise of the book was this a genuine Christian will experience after his conversion. A second blessing from God, a blessing that makes the person instantly holy and even able to reach a state of sinless perfection will is that right is that how salvation through Christ works you need something extra second blessing. In order to be truly saved. I invite you to consider that today as John MacArthur looks to the book of Colossians to see what it means to be complete in Christ.

That's the title John series and now with the lesson. Here's John. Colossians 210 to 15 when read it to you.

Just so you have it in your mind and get the total impact of it. Colossians 210 and here complete in him who is the head of all principality and power, in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands and putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ buried with him in baptism, in which also ye are risen with him to the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead, and you, being dead in your sins and the young circumcision of your flesh, hath he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross and having spoiled principalities and powers. He made a show of them openly triumphing over them in it and that passage is so loaded with theology and doctrine that it just kind of loses out of every phrase were going whenever at least get a careful overview of all that is here in our continuing study of Colossians we have been made aware, as we've gone verse by verse that the apostle Paul is making repeatedly a tremendous statement regarding the person of Jesus Christ and his ability to say and that is no less true in this section. Although this section is a rebuttal against the false philosophies and heresies which are right at the doorstep of the Colossians as a rebuttal. It comes out very positive, because Paul's approach against false systems is always the positive approach you don't need to argue against the falsity of the system.

If you just present the truth of Jesus Christ.

And that's precisely what he's doing as he argues against human philosophy.

Remember last time we began by looking at verses eight and nine and we saw that Paul says, beware lest anybody spoil you through philosophy which is vain deceit. Paul is here arguing against the four facets of the false heresy that was attacking the Colossians and facet number one was a heresy hat is as part of it. Human philosophy and so Paul is digging into that and in the midst of that he gets into this concept of who Christ is and what Christ can do.

And the idea is that you don't need any human philosophy. You don't need any human wisdom. You are complete in him. That's the great truth that he is signaling there in verse 10. Now, in order to introduce our thoughts.

I want to just kind of draw your attention to something else other than this passage, and it is the healings of our Lord because I think the healings of our Lord illustrated great principle relative to salvation. So take your Bible and let's go back to the beginning of the New Testament in the book of Matthew and I want to see if you all by yourself without making me making much editorial comment can pick out of the verses that I read to you a consistent pattern or principal. Matthew 922 Jesus turned about and when he saw her he said, and I'm going to read you just the way the old English as it because the translation I think gives the complete meaning of the word daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made the whole and the woman was made whole from that hour. Matthew 1213 then Seth heed to the man stretch forth thine hand, and he stretched it forth and it was restored whole like the other. Matthew 1528 then Jesus answered and set a neural woman, great is thy faith be it under the even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Verse 31 insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk the blind to see, and they glorified the God of Israel Gospel of Mark chapter 3 verse five and when he had looked roundabout on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts. He Seth onto the man stretch forth thine hand, and he stretched it out, and his hand was restored whole as the other. Mark five verse 28 for she said, if I may touch, but his close eyes shall be whole verse 34.

He said daughter, thy faith hath made the whole. Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Luke 610 in looking roundabout on them. He said stretch forth thy hand, he did so in his hand was restored whole like the other seven chapter 10th verse they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. Luke 848. I know you're seeing a pattern here very obvious. Luke 848.

He said daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made the whole go in peace and further on the 17th chapter of Luke the 19th verse he said to him, arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made the whole Gospel of John, no less a part of this same thought pattern. John 56 Jesus said to him, will thou be made whole. Verse 14 behold, thou art made whole verse 15 Jesus had made him whole. John 723 if a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken. Are you angry with me because I have made a manhole on the Sabbath and that the new Schofield has the clear meaning of that it says entirely well on the Sabbath whole. Now you have the same thing carried out in apostolic miracles as well in that asked for nine if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made a whole be it known unto you into all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified of God raising the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole find it again in acts 934 Peter said, Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes the whole arise. Make your bed and he arose immediately. Now what you see in all of those passages is a consistency in the style of healing that Jesus did when Jesus healed, somebody made them what whole entirely well. No missing parts. Now there are some synonyms used in those various things but the dominant term is the word whose EA's from which we get the medical word hi Jean and it means healthy. Jesus made them well healthy sound. The best translation entirely well.

The absence of any infirmity. Now listen all the healing miracles of Jesus made people completely healthy. There was no progression involved. They were whole instantly know what you say what in the world is that have to do with Colossians 2 just this it serves, at least in my mind and I trust in your as a beautiful picture of the way Jesus heals spiritually. If Jesus heals physical illness and makes people entirely whole, then that is precisely what is meant by the apostle Paul in chapter 2, verse 10, when he says, and ye are complete in him, you could put the word hole in their just as Jesus Christ did miracles of healing that made people entirely well.

So when Jesus touches a life spiritually, and give salvation is entire salvation is whole salvation that person become spiritually entirely well. In fact, if you want to choose another Pauline term, if any man be in Christ he is a what new creation, I mean that is brand-new wholeness of this is nothing new. God is always done that. When David cried out in the midst of his sin. In Psalm 5110.

He knew what God would do and he said God created me a wet a clean heart whole no spot no blemish when God acts against sin in his saving grace. There is a wholeness in Ezekiel 1119.

I will give them one heart, I will put a new spirit within you. I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

And that's repeated later in Ezekiel. As you know, God says a new heart, a new soul, as it were a new clean inside so that spiritual healing which is salvation is as whole as is the physical and John 116 is a great statement he's talking here about Christ and John the Baptist says this of his fullness have all we received when you were saved you received of Christ.

What fullness you received the fullness of Christ. The wholeness of Christ became your wholeness so that somebody who becomes a Christian is spiritually whole and that's Paul's whole standard here that's his whole point here.

He's trying to say these people look when you receive Christ. You are made whole. I healthy man doesn't need any more medicine you don't need human philosophy. You don't need Jewish legalism. You don't need strange pagan mysticism. You don't need abstaining.

Asceticism, you don't need anything. When you receive Christ in his salvation. You were made whole. That's his point and John says here John the Baptist in John 116 of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. In Galatians at the end and the six chapter in the 15th verse he says, for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor un-circumcision. Listen, but a new creation same integrity is 517 a new creation with the second Peter 13, according as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness to say that when you get that next phrase, through the knowledge of the him when you come to know Christ and salvation than when you get all things pertaining to life and God was the moment you believe in Christ so I say if we can say the miracles of Jesus made people whole. We can also say the spiritual transformation of salvation makes them just as whole spiritual so that when you become a Christian, you are a clean heart, a new heart, a new spirit, a soundness wholeness you become spiritually well you don't need to add anything to that. Nothing, not legalism, asceticism, mysticism or human philosophy now is look at Colossians 210. Colossians 210 says and you are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power. Literally it says you have been made full.

You have been made full. In him. Nothing missing Christ fills you up there are any other things to add to that you have been made full with the fullness of him who fills all in all human philosophy based on the traditions of man is verse eight says in the elementary marks of infantile human religion has nothing to add to what is already completed when Jesus died on the cross. The last thing he said is it is finished and reset any minute not only in terms of his own deed, but in terms of securing the fullness of salvation by that deed, and this one who rules all principality and power. That is all other beings all created authorities all created rulers particularly referring her to the angelic ones he rules them all. They have nothing to add to his work. These people who are influencing the classes are dead wrong. You'll need to get to God through a series of intermediary Aon's or Angel listen good angels can't help make you complete and bad angels can harm you. Once you are complete. So Paul deals a blow to the heresy of human philosophy and religion which tries to deny the Christ is the power to give complete salvation. We discussed that enough to know that that was the basic heresy they were facing Colossians you have in Jesus Christ. The fountain that never fails would be fools to listen to these false teachers who would have them you at broken cisterns that hold no water.

You only philosophy and you don't need angelic intermediaries.

Christ is the completer makes anything he touches whole all his healing miracles, whether physical or spiritual instantaneous and complete these two things of physical healing and spiritual salvation are brought together. I think beautifully in the statement of third John verse two, tucked away their this is kinda beautiful, really John is writing to his beloved Gaius. We loved and the truth and he says in verse to watch this is beautiful, beloved, beloved Gaius. I wish above all things that thou mass prosper and be in hell I watches, even as thy soul is healthy. He says all Gaius, if your physical body could only be as healthy as your soul, would you be in terrific shape.

What's the implication implication is that because the guys a believer's soul prospers.

His soul is healthy sin twice. Apart the practical aspect of this but positionally soul is healthy and John is simply saying if your body can only know the health that your soul back to Colossians 2 are complete in him you have been made complete.

Now what is it me say what you mean John was a complete complete what what is the definition of that completeness well. Paul can't just say it either so he's gotta preach a sermon on it just like I would. He's gotta explain it.

So he does in the next verses, and he shows you three ways in which you are complete. These are just basic beautiful thing. Three ways three kinds of completeness three aspects to our completeness number one complete salvation number two complete forgiveness and number three complete victory complete salvation. Verses 11 and 12 complete forgiveness verses 13 and 14 complete victory verse 15 let's look first of all the complete salvation how we complete Paul number one your salvation is complete.

Verse 11 in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands and putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ buried with him in baptism and which also ye are risen with him to the faith of the operation of God is raising from the dead. Now look at this. He says luck.

Your salvation is absolutely complete, there is no need for you to be circumcised.

You've been baptized.

Remember the heresy which the apostle is combating is a somewhat baffling mixture of the pagan beliefs. These various intermediaries and Jewish beliefs of legalism and along with that they're trying to propagate the idea that you have to be circumcised and this is anything new.

The Judaizers didn't Galatian inmate that's fine that you believe is wonderful. You believe but you got to get circumcised yet that this operation surgical salvation, and he says look verse 11 in whom also you are circumcised, though anybody come along with you about some circumcision you've been circumcised all really, how how could these Colossian Gentiles have been circumcised with the circumcision made without hands were not talking about surgery here were talking about putting off the body of the sins of the flash by the circumcision which Christ did were talking about a spiritual operation, not a physical north of the history of Israel. There were two views of circumcision real Hebrew boy was circumcised the eighth day after he was born and that was the sign of his belonging to the nation of Israel, and it became a controversial thing and there were two schools of thought on one there was the view that circumcision in itself was enough to say surgical salvation. If you just got circumcised. You are in the covenant people and that was it. The physical act is all that was required and you know many in the history of the church pick that up and that's for infant baptism came from and the Israelite and believing this would argue it didn't matter whether Israelite is good. Didn't matter whether he was bad, all that mattered was he was circumcised. That was the typical view of the Jews in Jesus day typical view of the Jewish leaders in Paul's day as well.

That's why in Romans chapter 2 in verse 25 he says circumcision profits. If you keep the law is fine to keep the law, but if you break the law. Circumcision is just like on circumcision.

My dad used to always tell a story about the fighter that went into before every fight he crossed himself. Guises doesn't help when he also does a vacant punch care will do them any good at all. Same thing circumcision to keep the loft fine if you don't it doesn't help. Therefore, he says, even if the on circumcision keeps the righteous of the law. In other words people haven't had the operation obey the law, that will be like being circumcised. They'll move into the covenant blessing verse 28. He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision outward in the flesh. He is a Jew who is one inwardly and circumcision is of the heart. You see, that's what were getting at but this is the typical Jewish view that if you just had the external operation you are in good shape.

But there was another view, and there were some true spiritual Jews. There was a remnant all through Israel's history and they believed that circumcision was only an outward mark of a man inwardly committed to God they believe right. They believe that it just really was simply a symbol on the outside and what really mattered was the heart and this is always been what God told him anyway you go clear back to Exodus got his first laying down the rules. Exodus 612 Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, the children of Israel would not hearken to me how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips here you see Moses at the very beginning, is using the concept of un-circumcision in a metaphorical sense showing to what God is really after God is really after somebody was got a circumcised heart that is heart dedicated to God.

Circumcised lips lips dedicated to God, not simply the act surgery on a child but that the real issue was the heart repent and believe the gospel. You receive the fullness of Christ. Everything you need for a joyous spiritual life.

John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary showed you that today as he continued his series called complete in Christ here on grace to you, John. This idea that we are complete in Christ is a far-reaching profound theological doctrine and its filled with practical implications. So talk about that for you personally. How does this truth affect your everyday life. While I think the recognition that nothing is absent in terms of your spiritual need your spiritual arsenal.

I go back to the idea that you have all things that pertain to life and godliness. That's it. That's a complete statement.

You have all things that put pain to life and godliness, a promise that would go along with that is my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So the Lord lavishes on us the riches of his grace that I think for a Christian. That's where you have to start if you want to live confidently as a believer. You've got to recognize that nothing is missing you know and that's against the grain of the traditional sort of second blessing notion right that you get sorta get saved at the front end but but there's a lot of stuff that you haven't gotten need a second blessing or 1/3 blessing, or you need to attain a deeper life or a higher life for me and all that terminology that's been around for for your centuries and and a true understanding of salvation is that Christ is in the all in Christ is all I love that Christ is all and in all. So if you have Christ you lack nothing. So this just becomes a matter of learning to live my life in the fullness of Christ to be obedient to him to make my life constantly, an act of worship to him to seek to love him to love him more so II think you have to start with the fact that you have everything because you have Christ, nothing is missing and the means of grace, then, are the ways that you tap into that tremendous treasure were doing a series on complete in Christ taken from Colossians 12. You don't want to miss this and to help you along with that we have a study guide titled complete in Christ 250 pages of in-depth study is an outline of every message detailed explanation how to understand and apply the truths reteaching from Colossians so the study guides are perfect for your use at home or for a Bible study or class. Many of you received this study guide titled complete in Christ. A few weeks back and you been using it along with the series but for those of you didn't get that we have some available and you, you'll find it a tremendous tremendous resource and asset a bit of a discount, by the way, if you purchased 10 or more which might want to do for your family or Bible study yes in friend. This is a great resource to use while listening to these lessons again and it's excellent for studying the book of Colossians with your small group so to order the brand-new complete in Christ study guide get in touch today.

Our number here is 855 grace or you can the complete in Christ. Study guide costs $10.50 in shipping is free again to order the complete in Christ. Study guide for yourself or for your home Bible study, call 805 five grace or go to just a reminder about the difference you help make in people's lives. Would you support grace to you financially.

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