Bible Echo and Signs of the Times


January 15, 1892

“Ye are Complete in Him”


[A discourse preached in Federal Hall, North Fitzroy, Melbourne, December 19, 1891.]

“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the God-head bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:1-10. BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 1

Mark the words of the last clause, “Ye are complete in him.” Is not this a wonderful statement? Notwithstanding all our various temperaments, our different defects and imperfections, notwithstanding the attacks of the enemy, his grievous temptations and suggestions, we are said to be complete in him who is the head of all principality and power. Very much is presented before you in the words which I have read; but we shall be able to notice only a few of the points contained in this scripture. But we desire that you should be able in some measure to comprehend the possibilities to which we may attain in our Christian life. We are to walk even as Christ walked, or the words of inspiration would not so present the course of the follower of Christ. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 2

In order to attain to this high calling of God in Christ Jesus, you must begin the day with your Saviour. The very first out-breathing of the soul in the morning should be for the presence of Jesus. “Without me,” he says, “ye can do nothing.” It is Jesus that we need; his light, his life, his spirit, must be ours continually. We need him every hour. And we should pray in the morning that as the sun illuminates the landscape, and fills the world with light, so the Sun of righteousness may shine into the chambers of mind and heart, and make us all light in the Lord. We cannot do without his presence one moment. The enemy knows when we undertake to do without our Lord, and he is there, ready to fill our minds with his evil suggestions that we may fall from our steadfastness; but it is the desire of the Lord that from moment to moment we should abide in him, and thus be complete in him, accepted in the Beloved. God designs that every one of us shall be perfect in him, so that we may represent to the world the perfection of his character. He wants us to be set free from sin, that we may not disappoint Heaven, that we may not grieve our divine Redeemer. He does not desire us to profess Christianity, and yet not avail ourselves of that grace which is able to make us perfect, that we may be found wanting in nothing, but unblamable before him in love and holiness. BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 3

I hear one say, “I can never reach that standard.” But this is what you must be, or you will never enter heaven. We want to gain heaven; for there, there is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, “I am sick;” no burial trains there, no mourning, no death, no parting, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. O, we must be with him; for in his presence is fulness of joy, at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. And it is here that we must behold him, and become changed into his image. “We all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” How much comfort it gives to behold him here by the eye of faith, that we may by beholding be made like him, but what will it be to behold him as he is, without one dimming veil between? BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 4

And who is he? He is the One who has made an infinite sacrifice in our behalf, the One who has brought eternal redemption to our view, and should we behold in him all he is to us, how gladly would we yield our hearts to him, to love him and obey him. Can we not do this now? Is there not need that we behold him by faith and become changed into his image, when we know that the world is covered with moral darkness like the pall of death, that as we reflect light into the gloomy pathway of those who are in perplexity and error, they may see that there is brightness and attractiveness in the Christian's hope? But all this depends upon your reception of the Holy Spirit. It is your privilege to be anointed from on high, or you cannot represent Jesus as he is, and the world cannot take knowledge of you that you have been with him and have learned of the divine Teacher. You are to walk in him, to love him because he first loved you. BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 5

Jesus did not seek you and me because we were his friends; for we were estranged from him, and unreconciled to God. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. But he has promised to give us his Holy Spirit, that we might become assimilated to his nature, changed into his image. Therefore we must put away everything like passion, impatience, murmuring, and unrest, and find a place for Jesus in the heart. We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul-temple, that Jesus may take up his abode within us. Now he stands at the door of the heart as a heavenly merchantman; he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and will open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” “Open unto me; buy of me the heavenly wares; buy of me the gold tried in the fire.” Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer, which will enable us to find our way into the hearts of those who do not know him, who are cold and alienated from him through unbelief and sin. He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is his glorious righteousness: and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. O, shall we not open the heart's door to this heavenly visitor? BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 6

But every one who is Christ's, who has tasted of the powers of the world to come, has crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. As the physical nature is sustained by the food we eat, so the spiritual nature must be sustained by the Word and Spirit of God. God desires us to have a healthful experience. We shall be feeble and dying Christians if we have the experience described by the apostle as fashioned after “the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” We must have Christ abiding in our hearts by faith, and then we shall manifest the fruits of the Spirit, which the Word of God declares are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 7

But sometimes those who profess to be followers of Christ, will say, “You must not be surprised if I am rough, if I speak bluntly, if I manifest temper; for it is my way.” But is not Heaven surprised at such manifestations, since the plan of salvation has been devised, since an infinite sacrifice has been made on Calvary's cross, that we might reflect the image of Jesus? Will your way lead to heaven? Suppose one should come up to the pearly gates, and say, “I know that I have been rude and unkind, and it is my disposition to lie and to steal; but I want an entrance into the heavenly mansions;” would that way give him an entrance into the portals of the heavenly city?—No; it is those who keep Christ's way that will enter there. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If any one thinks he can climb up some other way, he will find that it will not lead him to the mansions of glory. We want Christ's way. His life must be in us, even as blood is the life that nourishes the body. Jesus has said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.... He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him.” We should study that we may understand the meaning of these words; for they are of vital importance to us. Jesus has explained their significance. He says, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” BEcho January 15, 1892, par. 8

(To be continued.)