What Does the Utter Sufficiency of Christ Mean?

Understanding the sufficiency of Christ requires two things:  to know who God is and to know who we are.

Scripture tells us were “alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21 ESV).  We were born with a sin nature that separates us from God (cf. Genesis 3; Psalms 51:5).  Our natural inclination is towards evil, not good, and given enough time, this inclination only gets worse as can be seen from the beginning of time (cf. Genesis 6) and throughout history.  We all sin and fall short of God’s glory (cf. Romans 3:23).  The picture is clear:  we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior.

That Savior is Jesus Christ.  Christ is “riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery” (Colossians 2:2 ESV).  He is the Son of God (cf. Luke 1:35; Hebrews 1:1-4).  Christ is God who came to earth in human form (cf. John 1).  He is the sinless Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world (cf. 1 Peter 1:19).  He was the last great sacrifice for sin (cf. Hebrews 10).

Christ is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15 ESV).  He is the Creator of all things, not only the heavens and the earth but also governments and authorities (v. 16).  When Paul said all things, he meant all things.  Christ holds together all things (v. 16-17).  Christ is the head of the church (v. 18).  He is the firstborn from the dead (v. 19).  Because Christ rose from the dead those who put their faith in Him will also rise and be reconciled to Christ (v. 20).  The fullness of God dwelt in Christ (v. 19).  In other words, Christ is God and was with God and was in the beginning (cf. John 1).  Christ is the source of all wisdom and treasure (cf. Colossians 2:3).  In Him is found everything one needs for life and godliness (cf. 2 Peter 1:3).

This is wonderful news for all who put their trust in Christ because faith in Christ means forgiveness of sins (cf. Ephesians 1:7; 2:8).  We are new creations (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are no longer separated from God but a part of His royal family (cf. Romans 9:8; 1 John 3:1-2).

When Paul was writing to the church at Colossia, false teachers had arisen among them suggesting that the people needed Jesus plus something else (e.g., human philosophy, religious legalism, mysticism, or asceticism).  While God gives us many great tools to help us along the way (e.g. modern medicine), true hope can only be found in Christ.  Many people try to put their hope in other things:  money, prestige, the government, entertainment, sports, education, medicine, human wisdom, fitness, alcohol, other people, and the list could go on.  Ultimately, these things will never satisfy.  It is only through the all-sufficient Christ that we find true hope and healing.  Through Christ we are “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11 ESV).  In fact, as indicated earlier, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3 ESV).  Don’t believe the lie that you need anything other than Christ to sustain you.  You do not need ceremonies, rituals, religious routines, spiritual experiences, self-denial, or human wisdom to have a right relationship with God.  All you need is Jesus.

Losing heart?  Feeling like you are wasting away?  Experiencing trials and tribulations?  It is easy to look at the tangible things we can touch and feel and do, hoping that these things will give us what we need to feel better.  That is not what Scripture tells us to do though.  We are instructed to look not to what is seen but to what is unseen because your “light and momentary troubles are producing an eternal weight of glory” that you cannot even begin to comprehend at the moment (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).  True renewal comes from a saving relationship with the all-sufficient Jesus Christ.  If we could really grasp this truth, it would completely alter the way we think about the things that happen in this world and to us personally.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13 ESV).

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