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Complete in Christ

Our natures have been transformed in a second way by the merits of the Son upon us.

2) We are completed by God in Christ.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:9-10)

Consider the titles that are given to believers to describe the perfection of their position in Christ.

1) We are called saints (1 Cor. 1:2, Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1). Positionally, every believer is a saint – a called-out one, a set-apart one, a sanctified one (1 Corinthians 6:11).

2) We are called new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse tells us that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, and all things have become new. Consider the language here. In Revelation 21:1 we read, “ Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.” And then a few verses later: “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” The similarities are unmistakable. As God will make a brand new creation, complete in every way, so the Christian is considered in Christ to be completed, and perfected. While we know that, practically speaking, we are still putting off the old man and putting on the new, positionally, we are complete.

3) We are said to be dead with Christ and alive to His resurrection and righteousness (Rom 6:4-10) We are positionally as dead to sin as Christ is, and as alive to the Father and righteousness as Christ is.

Complete in Thee—no more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

– Charles Wesley

4) We are called ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:19) When we are in Christ, we become his appointed representatives, considered in Heaven’s eyes to be positionally fit to represent the Perfect One. Not just anyone can be the ambassador of a country. To be ambassadors of Christ means that in Christ we have been completed and qualified to represent Him.

5) We are called citizens of Heaven and said to be seated with Christ (Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:6). It would be impossible to say someone is seated in the heavenlies and a current citizen of Heaven if his position were severely in doubt, or if his position were unknown until the very end of his life. These titles are given to believers because we are complete in Christ.

To believe and trust that we are positionally completed in Christ encourages us to ‘become what we are’. Faith gives rise to a confident response of communion, instead of a guilt-ridden drive to be something we are not. Our position in Christ is complete, we are free to commune with him and grow into what we are. By faith, we must trust that our God-given position is one of being a saint, a new creation, dead to sin and alive to righteousness, ambassadors for Christ, and already seated citizens of Heaven.

Not what I am, O Lord, but what Thou art;
That, that alone, can be my soul’s true rest;
Thy love, not mine, bids fear and doubt depart,
And stills the tempest of my tossing breast.

Horatius Bonar

The Father’s love for us means we are chosen and secured. The Son’s merit upon us means we accepted and completed. Here our faith takes its stand, believing what God says is true of us in Christ, and coming boldly to him to know him and love him. Our eyes forsake our own works or merit, and cling entirely to Christ, hiding ourselves in him. We can live in his presence and love him, because he has placed us in Christ.

However, the Trinity’s action in transforming our natures into God-loving worshippers has one more aspect: the Holy Spirit’s presence in us. This becomes our power to worship.

David de Bruyn

About David de Bruyn

David de Bruyn pastors New Covenant Baptist Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a graduate of Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Minnesota and the University of South Africa (D.Th.). Since 1999, he has presented a weekly radio program that is heard throughout much of central South Africa. He also blogs at Churches Without Chests.

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