By Randy Harshbarger
In a time when men and women are searching and longing for something meaningful in “religion,” we, as members of the Lord’s church, should declare forcefully and clearly that all man’s needs can be found in Jesus Christ. ‘This is exactly what the Apostle Paul declares in Colossians 2. While men and women put their faith and trust in religious leaders of this age, Paul declared some 2,000 years ago that all men can be “made full” in Christ Jesus. Jesus asked the Pharisees: “What think ye of Christ?” That is still the crucial question in religion. The Old Testament looked for and declared in prophecy the coming Messiah. Finally, when Jesus did come, He did not fail in any respect. He died for all, that all might live; all can be complete in Christ. That is what men should think of Christ!
Complete means “lacking no part, finished, thorough.” The true nature of Christ is the fundamental premise on which Christains may rest, being assured of having their spiritual needs supplied; by His very nature, He can make all men complete. Colossians 1:15 tells us that Christ is “the image of the invisible God.” Jesus is the revelation of God’s true nature; He is God’s ideal of man and man’s ideal of God! Jesus Christ is also Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Col. 1:16, 17; cf. Heb. 1:3). Paul also tells us, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead . . .” (Col. 1:18). The church is comprised of, or identifies the saved; the saved are people who are in subjection to Jesus Christ (Acts 2:47). As Head of the church, Christ directs the movement of His body; we, as members of the body, follow the direction of the Head. When men and women are content to be part of the body of Christ and are willing to follow Christ’s lead, they have the assurance of continued blessings from the one who died for all.
Sometimes men of this world have different ideas and concepts as to what constitutes their needs. Some think they need great wealth; some want prominence. Whatever men may come up with, if it does not match the spiritual blessings found in Christ, then those men have failed. Paul tells us (Col. 2:3) that in Christ, and only in Him, can we find the wisdom that we need to make the right choices and decisions in this life. With wisdom from Christ, we can make discriminating choices; the more we study and “learn of Christ,” the better our spiritual understanding.
In Colossians 1:14, Paul tells us that in Christ we have redemption from sin. When you consider the binding, damning, nature of sin, you realize how important it is to be “in Christ.” “Redeem” literally signifies “the buying of a slave out of slavery.” The price paid to buy you and me out of slavery was the blood of God’s Son. Peter tells us that redemption is in the blood (1 Pet. 1:18-2p), and Paul tells us that redemption is in Christ (Col. 1:14). It was the blood of Christ that was the awful price paid to redeem all men. Closely associated with redemption is the idea of forgiveness. The only way for us to have the guilt of sin removed is to be forgiven of our wrongs; this is possible through the blood of Christ. While there are many unhappy people in the world, the New Testament pictures people who have been forgiven of their sins as happy people (Acts 8:9, 39; 16:34). In Colossians 3, Paul describes another blessing that comes to those in Christ. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . .” Real, lasting peace is not subject to externals, i.e.,, the things of this world. Paul and Silas were. beaten and thrown in jail; still, at midnight they were able to worship God in song. From a Roman prison, Paul could write about true, lasting peace (Phil. 4:6, 7). The peace that comes from serving Christ guards and rules the heart. In Christ we have hope. In Christ we have a feeling of self-worth. In Christ, our everyday relationships take on added meaning and significance. We live in hope of eternal life. We live as God’s “elect.” We are able to live at peace with all men.
You may be complete in Christ by obeying His will and then faithfully serving Him. Have you done that?
Truth Magazine XXIV: 48, p. 770
December 4, 1980