Fullness pt. 3
The Fullness of Christ
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” – John 14:1-7
When I was a kid I liked jumping off the top bunk. There was something exciting in the moments between the leap and the floor. There was a sort of exhilaration in the fall. As we grow some of us graduate from jumping off things altogether and some of us find bigger and higher things to jump from. The exhilaration for many, I think, comes from the lack of control. While we’re falling there’s nothing we can do to stop the process. But we’d never take the leap unless we trusted in the outcome. Whether it be a deep enough pool, a strong enough rope, or a reliable parachute.
There are at least two aspects to every rescue, however. The rescue must be strong enough, and it must be gentle enough as well. The ground is certainly strong enough to catch our fall. But we can’t fall too far before it becomes a deadly end. Water is better, it is much more forgiving than the ground, but again, we can only fall so far before it too becomes deadly. A rope can catch us, but it must be elastic enough to not break our bodies.
The method of rescue must be complete before it can save.
In Christ our rescue is complete because of His power, His love, and His grace. Through His power He built all we know. And with His power He also destroys. God made the world perfectly. He did not want anything wrong with His world. He demands perfection. I know that sounds pretty rough, but it’s the truth. Christ demands perfection. Perfection is the rope that keeps us from being smashed on the ground. Or to put it boldly, perfection is what keeps us in heaven and out of hell. The problem is, none of us are perfect. All our ropes of perfection are broken. But through His grace God gave us His rope of salvation, the perfect person, His Son, Jesus Christ. And He softened it with the Cross, because of His love for us.
The Cross is where God’s perfection, love, grace, and our rescue meet.
The Cross is the fullness of our salvation. It’s God’s perfect tool, able to rescue us from the worst kind of fall. On it Christ took the full brunt of God’s demand for perfection. Instead of punishing us, Christ took our punishment. With a broken heart He died. But with a heart full of love He waits to welcome us home with Him. He didn’t die without a purpose. In His death He purposed life itself. When He rose from the dead on the third day He proclaimed to all the world what He was willing to do for us, and that He has the power to overcome death. That’s the best news I’ve ever heard. That’s the good news of the Gospel and I love to hear it because when I truly look to Christ and what He did I feel compelled to love. And there’s nothing better to fill your heart with than love. The Bible says, “We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19 Because His love is full and His love fills completely.
Want to feel full? Tired of feeling empty? Christ wants to fill you. If this message is resonating with you, I don’t need to tell you about the influences of this world. How they will leave you wanting. How they want to destroy you. This is how one of Jesus’ disciples, John, put it in 1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” I know the spirits and the antichrist stuff isn’t necessarily easy, depending on your background. But John’s audience at the time he wrote this letter would have known exactly what he was talking about. Christians were being brutally persecuted in Rome. Nero, who we still think of synonymously with evil, was the emperor at the time. And there were tons of false teachers trying to subvert the apostles. But here’s the point John is making that I really want you to hear. He goes on to say, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (ESV) When we entrust our lives to Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior, the Bible says that He is in us. That’s why we’re called little Christs, or Christians. That doesn’t mean we’re perfect like Christ, but that Christ perfects us by forgiving us of all our sins through His grace in a relationship with Him. And it’s in that relationship that we are changed. All our motivations, our desires, and our thoughts are changed in a relationship with Him. Because of love.
I want you to feel full. I’m tired of all the emptiness in the world. We all have bad days, but I’m tired of seeing people who believe their lives are bad. I’m tired of seeing people with no hope. I want people to know Christ. I want people to understand the phrase found in Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ came to give us hope. He came to rescue. He came for you. He came to fill you. And if He fills you, you will be full.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. – Galatians 4:4-7 ESV