“Ye Are Complete In Him”

“And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead” (Col 2:10-12). Such is the doctrine as to the believer’s position in the Lord Jesus Christ—a doctrine replete with the richest privileges for every single member of the Body.

Everything, in short, is involved. The perfect remission of sin, divine righteousness, complete acceptance, eternal security, and full fellowship with the Lord Jesus in all His glory. “Ye are complete in Him.” This, surely, comprehends everything. What could be added to one who is “complete”? Could “philosophy,” “the tradition of men,” “the rudiments of the world,” “meats, drinks, holy days, new moons, of Sabbaths”? “Touch not” this, “taste not” that, “handle not” the other; “the Commandments and doctrines of men,” “days, and months, and times, and years—could any of these things, or all of them put together, add a single jot or tittle to one whom the Father has pronounced “complete”?

Nor is this completeness to be, by any means, viewed as a matter of attainment to some point which we have not yet reached, and after which we must diligently strive for the possession of which we cannot be sure until we lie upon a bed of death, or stand before a throne of judgment. It is the position of the feeblest, the most inexperienced, and the most unlettered child of the Father. The very weakest saint is included in the apostolic ‘ye . . ., all the children of the Father “are complete in Christ.”

The Apostle Paul does not say, Ye will be, Ye may be, Hope that ye may be, Pray that ye may be: no, he, by the Holy Spirit, states in the most absolute manner, that “ye are complete.” This is the true Christian starting-point; and for man to make a goal of what God makes a starting-point, is to upset everything.

But then, some will ask, “Have we no sin, no failure, no imperfections”? Assuredly we have. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth in mot in us” (1John 1:8). We have sin in us, but no sin on us. Moreover, our position is not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus at the right hand of the Father. It is “in Him” we “are complete.” Our Father sees us in His Beloved. This is our changeless and everlasting standing. “The body of the sins of the flesh” are “put off,” “by the circumcision of Christ.”

We “are not in the flesh,” though the flesh is in us. We are united to the Lord Jesus in glory in the power of a new and “an endless life,” and that life is inseparably connected with the divine righteousness in which we stand before our Father. The Lord Jesus has put away everything “that was against us” (Col 2:14), and He has brought each of us nigh to the Father, in the self-same favor as that which He Himself enjoys. Hence, we are to enjoy! In a word, the Lord Jesus is our righteousness and life. This settles every objection, silences every doubt. “Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one” (Heb 2:11).

- C H Mackintosh

Devotional by Miles J Stanford