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Complete - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2024 12:00 am

Complete - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 18, 2024 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley describes the consequences of an earthly worldview versus one focused on heaven.

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Do you feel like you are lacking in some way? Today in our study of Colossians we explore Chapter 2 to learn about how all believers are complete in Christ. Now you may be asking yourself the question, how can you be complete in Christ?

What do you mean captivated by the philosophies of the world? Well Paul was writing to the Colossian church and what his message was to them is absolutely apropos for us today because our society is so similar to theirs. And what is happening in many churches today is similar to what was happening in the Colossian church. There are false teachers in the Colossian church parading around this high sounding philosophical theory about what they needed in order to make them complete.

And that is Jesus Christ is not sufficient. So I want us to examine first of all this whole idea of being captured by the world's philosophy. Now all through the centuries men have pursued all kinds of searches and all kinds of knowledge in order to understand something. Man has wanted to understand the existence of man, the source of all things, the end of all things, the purpose of all things, the cause and result of all things. It has been man's search of understanding. And philosophy is man reaching up and reaching out for understanding. Divine revelation is God reaching down to explain and to share with man the truth. So human reasoning, human philosophy is man in his own capacity and ability to reason. It is man's search for an understanding of why he exists, his purpose in life, his cause, his end results, how it's going to end. And Paul simply says in this passage that human reasoning is not sufficient for man to understand himself, the world or anything else. He says, you know, philosophy is man's endless search and each philosophical theory is built on somebody else's philosophical theory. And if you trace them all back, they just thought of a conglomerate of all kinds of things based back on philosophy hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Nothing new in essence. Man's endless search because in his pride, he will not kneel before Almighty God. He will not accept the simple truth that the Lord Jesus Christ has taught. And so man in his pride has to have something higher than the simplicity of the gospel.

The only problem is when he gets all that, he hasn't got anything. That's what exactly Paul is saying when he says an empty deception. Look at that verse eight. See to it, he says, that no one take you captive through philosophy and empty deception. Now, what he was saying here in this passage is this, that these folks who were teaching false doctrine, they were going back to things that the believers had been delivered from a long time ago. He says, don't let anybody capture you and carry you back to a legalistic, straight jacket sort of idea about salvation. You don't do this and you don't do the other. Don't let anybody get you back into some ascetic form of life that you get God's acceptance by denying yourselves. Don't let yourself get caught up in vain, empty promises that cannot offer you anything.

And one of the biggest problems we have to deal with is alcohol and drugs. Somewhere along the way, somebody sold our society on this erroneous lie. And that is this will make you feel better. This will do something for you. And you ought to have it. It'll do something for you. But when you have it, you will have had it.

That's what they don't tell you. Isn't it amazing in this affluent, educated, scientific society and world we live in that our basic problem is drugs trying to escape the reality of my life. And you and I are the victims of a society with a high sounding philosophical approach to life that is leaving us, listen, empty.

Why? Because life has no meaning. Life has no purpose. Life has no sense of direction.

What is there to live for? And you and I don't realize how horribly we have been influenced by the same kind of thing. He says these elementary principles. I mean, you know, once you get saved, there's some things you don't want to go back to because, you know, that's the way you used to live.

That didn't work. And any time a person backslides, and I mean by that, that you turn back to the old way to dabble in sin. What you're saying is, even after you have been delivered from it, you're going back to try again what God delivered you out of, what he freed you from, what you have praised him for freeing you from. Why do you want to go back and dabble in that? And that's what Paul was saying. Why do you want to go back dabbling in these old philosophies that you've been delivered from?

Now, second aspect of this elementary principles is this. In their society, in the ancient society, and again, things haven't changed much. Those people were dominated by the idea that the spirits of the stars and the spirits in the heavens, we're talking about the wrong kind of spirits now, dominated their life.

Their life was fixed by the stars. Does that sound familiar? How many of you open the newspaper in the morning and read your horoscope? Oh, you say, well, you know, I'm a Christian.

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. You know, I just what I do is I look and I just sort of see what it is. I don't give it a hold out of my mind. I just I just look at it and pass on. You say, listen to this. This is how deceived you are. You say, well, you know, just reading that doesn't hurt anybody. Well, let me ask you this question. Now, I can understand why a lost man does that, because anything defines some sense of direction. But again, it's an empty promise.

But I'm talking to believers now. When you pick up a newspaper and you read your horoscope, what you are saying in that moment is this. You are saying by that action that you are placing and don't tell me where I, you know, I don't. Yes, you do, too, because let me ask you this question. Do you mean to tell me you read it and you never think about it anymore that day, never give another thought, never crosses your mind anymore?

I know that's not true. Here's what you're doing. When you read your horoscope, you are acknowledging.

The guidance. Of the signs in the stars over your life, which is idolatry, which is sin, which is paganism. And the worst sin of it all is you in that moment dethrone Jesus Christ in your heart and you set up above the Lord Jesus Christ, the signs of the Zodiac. As your guide for the day, and that is pure idolatry in the simplest form, you call it sin. It has no place in the life of a believer.

It is idolatry, I want to say again, it is to dethrone Jesus Christ as your Lord. He's the only one who knows your future. Nobody knows it but Jesus. There is only one person who can give you guidance for your life, true guidance, and that is the person of Jesus Christ. And listen to what Paul says. He says, see to it that no one take you captive, and many people already have been captivated. No one take you captive through philosophy and into deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him, now look at this, in Him that is in Christ, all the fullness, all the pleroma of deity, all the fullness of God dwells in Christ in bodily form. Then he says, and in Him that is in Christ, you have been made what? Complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. Now what do we mean by being complete in Christ? Now I want you to listen very carefully to this part. That means that all the resources that you and I need for living are already ours.

Let me ask you two or three questions now. According to the scripture, the Bible says that all of God dwells in whom? In bodily form, in whom? In Christ. Christ dwells in whom?

In us. So if all of God dwells in Christ in a bodily form, and Christ Jesus dwells in us, which He does, He said I in you and you in me. Christ dwells in us, then who is in you? Christ is in you. That puts God where?

In you. So let me ask you this question. Now do we agree that God the Father who is in Christ, Jesus Christ is living and abiding in you? Do you agree then that Jesus Christ, that you have God indwelling you? Say amen. Amen.

All right now. Is there any area in which God is incomplete? That is, is anything missing in Him? Is there anything that you need to add to God?

I mean anything, just name anything. Anything needs to be added to God. What does God need added to Him?

Nothing. Now, now we're going to find out whether you believe the Bible or not. All of God dwells in whom?

Christ. Christ dwells in whom? In the believer. God is complete, amen. That makes Jesus Christ complete, amen.

If God, all of God dwells in Christ, Christ dwells in us, what does that make us? Complete. Now you know that's what it says. And in your mind you believe what that says.

But you've got some evidence. You don't feel complete. Some things you need in life you don't have.

Sometimes you fail. You think, how in the world can I say that I'm complete? Look at my life. How can I say that I'm complete? Just look at me. We don't want to look at you.

What I want you to do is this. You ask yourself the question, what did God say about you? God said about you, you are what?

In whom? In Christ. Now, does God tell the truth? Say amen. Amen. God tells the truth. If God tells the truth, He says you and I are complete in Him. Now, what do we mean by that?

Well, let's go back to the fall. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, everything that they needed was theirs. That is, they were complete, but they fell.

And when they fell, they lost it all. So that today, a lost man is very incomplete. He's very incomplete. He's incomplete spiritually because he has no relationship to God. He's incomplete morally because even if he has a standard, it's a very false standard.

And besides, if he has one, he can't live up to it. And thirdly, he's incomplete mentally because the Bible says that a lost man does not have the capacity to understand spiritual things to understand the truth. Now, your lost friends will be highly insulted if you say to them, you certainly are incomplete. But the truth is they're incomplete spiritually, incomplete morally, and incomplete mentally.

They don't have the capacity. When a person trusts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Now, I want you to listen carefully. When a person receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, the Bible says we are born again. We become a new creation.

We have a new spirit. We have a new life because Jesus doesn't hand us down something from heaven, but salvation is Christ. Having doubt on the cross for my sins, forgiving my sins, Christ coming to live within you and me by the power and through the presence of the Holy Spirit. So my salvation is the presence of Jesus Christ in you, the hope of glory. Now, that doesn't mean that I know all I'd like to know about God. Doesn't mean that I can't grow.

But here's what it means. When Christ comes into your life, you have an eternal relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. You have a relationship in which you have the potential to grow moment by moment, day by day, all the days of your life for all eternity.

The growing is here. We're here able to grow in our Christian life. We have relationships secured in him, eternally secured in him forever, relationship with him, Holy Spirit living within us. And listen, spiritually we are complete because we have the Holy Spirit who has broken the power of sin's reign in our life, is living and abiding within us and enabling us to live victoriously moment by moment, day by day. God doesn't have to think up something when you get in trouble. He doesn't have to wring his hands wondering what is he going to do when all of a sudden you have this tremendous need in your life. Listen, when he came to live within you, he brought the solution and the answer to every single need you would ever have. It isn't something that God gives me from without. The Christian life is an overflow.

It is an inner flow. It is God flowing his life through your life and my life. Therefore, if there's some need, some physical or material need that God wants to use someone else to meet in my life or your life, that's still God in all of his completeness. He's the one who provides through other people. He's the one who provides inwardly. You see, he says you and I are complete in him. If God is complete and needs nothing and that God is living in you and me.

And Jesus' prayer in the 17th chapter of John is that we would be one with him as he and the father one. You can't think of anything you need. Listen, you can't think of anything you need today in which there is no internal, inexhaustible resource to provide that need because God himself is living on the inside of you. That makes you complete and God will provide every need in the right timing, in the right way, through the right channel for your life and my life. What else in the world do you need other than Jesus Christ?

All this high sounding stuff that's been perpetrated upon the church. Well, you just need a new experience. What you need?

No, my friend. What you need is to understand who you are in Jesus Christ, who he is in you. And you'll understand you've got it all. It is a matter of learning to live it, learning to live out of the resource. For example, it's like a man who has his pocketbook in his pocket and he's got plenty of money and he's looking all over the house trying to find his pocketbooks in his back pocket. That's how I'm reminded of people who are running around looking for something new.

They have it. They don't understand who they have, what they have, who they are, who he is in them. They're looking for some new idea. You know why they're looking for something new? Unwilling to submit to the Christ they already know. Do you realize that it's easier to search for a new experience than it is to obey the God you and I already know?

Oh, listen, I want some new truth. I want something to free me and liberate me. Listen, you're not going to be free and liberated from the will of God. You can't be freed from obeying God.

You're not going to get liberated from a life of faith. That's the way God's organized the whole spiritual life. Do you realize how complete you are?

You say it doesn't make a person proud? No, because, you see, it's all centered in whom? In the person of Jesus Christ, all purchased at Calvary 2,000 years ago. And, my friend, this is not a time to be prideful and boastful but stretched out prostrate before God on our face, unworthy of His grace but absolutely confident in the fact that you and I completed Him. What do you think Paul said? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Either that's the word of a boastful, arrogant man, or that is the declaration of a wise, knowledgeable child of the living God.

He says you're complete. I'll tell you something will happen to you once that gets a hold of you. You know what will happen to you? Besides, you understand the Christian life better, worry about a whole lot less, in fact, just about nothing, be troubled by nothing, and listen. These folks are running around every weekend, just live from Friday to Friday, just spin, spin, spin, buy, buy, buy. You know what that's all about?

Trying to fill up an empty void that Jesus when He came into their life filled up and they don't understand who they are in Him. Once you accept the testimony, the eternal testimony of Scripture, that you and I are complete in Christ and we begin to draw out of that resource of who He is in us, it's like somebody putting a million dollars, let's make it a billion, a billion dollars in the bank, give you a checkbook and say, you draw out of this resource the rest of your life. My friend, you've got something better than a billion dollars.

The economy can mess up your money, can't touch your relationship to Jesus Christ. He says complete. Listen, think about this. To think that God in Christ in all of His completeness and all of His fullness is living on the inside of me.

I'll tell you what else that does. That sort of fouls up all my excuses for sin. Well, Lord, you know I need this, that and the other. No, I'm complete in Him. Lord, you know my needs and I want to thank you that you're going to meet Him in your own way and your own time.

I just trust you because God never comes up short. Thank you for listening to part two of Complete. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-18 03:15:24 / 2024-05-18 03:23:06 / 8

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