Becoming Whole in Christ
Living the Life Christ Purchased for Me – Colossians 1:24-29
Pastor Doug Klein
I don’t want to grow up. I just want to be a Toys R Us kid. I smile when I think of that because it represents a special time when our children were young and our kids thought that Toys R Us was the coolest place on earth. I don’t want to grow up. I just love staying a kid. Many believers secretly hold to that position. I am heading for heaven. It doesn’t matter if I stay as an infant in my faith. And yet, there’s a real tragedy in failing to grow as a believer in our walk with Christ.
Singer Bob Dylan wrote, “he who is not busy being born is busy dying.” Isn’t it time we start living the life that Christ purchased for us to live?”
The first principle is 1.) A mystery unveiled: God living in us. Colossians 1:26-27
There has always been a deep sense of mystery regarding the origin of life and the mysteries of the universe. The suspense and intrigue increases when we begin to ask what God has been up to in this whole process. Many religious people have sought refuge in secret mystical formulas hidden away from the average person. You have to know the hidden code and password to enter the secret religious society. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the exact opposite: When the angel revealed the Gospel message, it was to be good news of great joy that will be for ALL the people.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28 exhorts the church to go into ALL the world preaching the Gospel. When Jesus returns, every eye will see him.
Paul expounds on the Old Testament concept of veil in 2 Corinthians 3:14-15:
2 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old
covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is
it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over
The Gospel again moves again to the theme of unveiling in verse 16- “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” In other words, we are no longer living in blindness but rather see clearly the face of Christ revealed in the Gospel.
Peter builds on the same theme in 1 Peter 1:10-12:
1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace
that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person
or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the
sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that
they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been
announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the
Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
The prophets prophesized with an eye to the future when the glorious things they were proclaiming would be revealed. They were serving not only themselves but future believers. How unthinkable. How much bigger and impactful than we could ever have imagined. Christ has not only died for our sins but to bring us to God. He has come to possess us as his people and to live his life in us.
The second principle is 2.) A passion pursued: becoming mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28.
We have an imperative to always proclaim Jesus Christ. And verse 28 offers a warning that goes with the incredible good news of the Gospel. Don’t miss this! The implications and blessings of the Gospel are too huge for us to be left on the outside. Don’t ever miss such an incredible opportunity. If you miss this, you will miss out on life. You will miss it for a long, long time.
People miss the Gospel because it is 1) too simple and 2) too easy. There couldn’t possibly be one way to God in a pluralistic culture. The search is more important than arriving at any final truth. Secondly, it’s too easy in that we can’t contribute anything of our own to our salvation. Proud religious people resent not being able to work out their own bargains with God, earning every bit of what they receive. The Gospel is a stumbling block that leaves their hearts unmoved.
Nonetheless, we preach Christ consistently in our words and in our deeds. We proclaim him with a deep sense of wisdom that seasons our message. We don’t simply throw information at people. We engage people with the reality of Jesus. We are not interested in inspiring people. Our goal is to see people become mature followers of Jesus who move towards completeness and wholeness instead of brokenness. God’s crowning achievement is what he is doing and will complete in our lives. His glory is revealed in the salvation of sinners.
So at every level of our growth, we endeavor to help one another become complete in Jesus. We do want to grow and become more like Jesus. A growing Christian is a faithful disciple. We never stop helping one another in this process.
The third principle is 3.) A will to change: allowing God’s power to work in me. Colossians 1: 29.
Personal growth and change is difficult involving our will to keep swimming against the tide of our culture or pushing the boulder up the hill. The Bible admonishes to keep pushing because in our battle against sin, we have not resisted to the point of shedding of our blood. (Hebrews 12:4). It will take more than inspiration to get us moving in our faith. We are pursuing the love of our life with all of our heart and soul. Good intentions alone will not get us anywhere. We pursue Christ like a panting dear in the dry wilderness pursues water. The spirit is very willing but the flesh is weak. But all along, we are not fighting this battle on our own power. We are doing it with the power that God provides in us through his life.
If you meet a very special person who could possibly be the love of your life, how would you pursue the relationship? You would have a very special plan to spend time with this person regardless of your busy schedule. You would find ways to make it happen. You would have a plan no matter what.
What is your plan to get to know Jesus on a deeper level? The time will go by quickly if you just have good intentions. How deeply do you yearn to grow in him? Paul said, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, becoming like him in his death and somehow to attain the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:10).
Isn’t it time to start living the incredible life that Jesus actually purchased for me. God designed us to thrive in him. Let’s choose well – because chosen we have been.
Faith Presbyterian Church
May 8, 2016