“And Ye Are Complete In Him”
“And ye are complete in Him.”
This precious word was addressed to “the saints, and faithful brethren” (Colossians 1:2); for of them only could it be said, “And ye are complete in Him.” Paul and Timothy had heard of their faith in Christ, and of their love to the brethren (Colossians 1:4). But let it be observed, their faith in Christ Jesus, and their love to the brethren, was not the cause of their completeness, but the evidence of it, both to themselves and to others. Faith worketh by love, saith the same apostle; and faith purifieth the heart, that is, the conscience: also, the blood of Christ is so blessedly effucacious, that it us said to “purge the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:14)
All laws, moral or ceremonial; all duties, be they ever so punctually and rigidly observed by man, leave him in guilt and pollution, under the dominion of sin, and a slave to the fear of death, shut up as a prisoner in a cell, without breathing any of the pure air of true liberty. The son must make a man free before he can be free indeed. Without a lively faith in the atonement of Jesus, a man’s religion is not worth a straw. Faiths there are many; religions many; creeds and ceremonies various; knowledge extensive; zeal in doing something for God, the order of the day amongst professors of religion of all classes. But would it not amount to something like presumption, to a corrupting the Word of God, were a man to address indiscriminately the whole body of professors, and say to them, “And ye are complete in Him.”?
Rather give the children their portion; preach a full, free and finished salvation; up with Christ, and down with the sinner, that the poor sinner who is down low enough, and miserable enough with the burden of his sins, may be made to rejoive, that Christ “is made of God unto him wisdom, and righteousness, and santification, and redemption.” (1st Corinthians 1:30)
Tell the weary, heavy-laden soul, groaning under guilt, and sin, and fear, that it is in the adored Mediator’s Person, and by virtue of His righteousness, that he is rendered complete before God – that he is “accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
Man, yea, all men, are born in a state of spiritual death, iniquity and ignorance. Adam’s sin is every man’s sin: it is his birth-sin. By the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost a man is made to feel, to know, and humbly to confess, that if there were no other man in the world deserving of the eternal indignation of the Almighty, he does; nor can such a poor sinner deliver himself by all his prayers, labours, tears and repentance, though he labours at all his might at all these things. But O what rest, what peace is brought into the labouring sinner’s bosom when the Holy Ghost proclaims to him the Lord’s gracious name, “merciful and gracious!” (Psalm 103:8)
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee!” (Isaiah 60:1)
All the marrow and sweetness of salvation is comprehended in the text: “And ye are complete in Him.” Look again into the words, thou poor, ruined sinner; and observe – Paul doth not say, ye may be complete, or ye shall be complete after ye have done much, and suffered much, and brought into subjection the members of that wretched old man you brought into the world with you. No! but he says, “ye are complete in Him.” Though your sins be as scarlet, though ye are filthy and foul, and all your duties are contaminated, and you find every day you live more reason than ever to cry out “God be merciful unto me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13)
Lord, a sinner, lame and poor,
Would thy gracious aid implore;
Low would fall before Thy feet,
Say, “In me thou art complete.”
Jesus, in my bosom rise.
Sins of every name and size.
O! what hells of sin I see!
Say, “Thou art complete in Me.”
Speak the Word with power divine, Evidence the blessing mine;
Meet me at the mercy-seat, Say
“Thou art in Me complete.”
When my faith seems dead and gone,
And can only sigh and groan,
Me with heavenly cordials meet,
Say, “In me thou art complete.”