Summary: Christ gives us everything we need for heaven and for service here.
“Do you have everything?” Today I want to direct that question to the five people we are receiving as communicant members. It’s an appropriate question because in a few days Kathy and Geneviève Sumner will be moving to Vernon. Nick Korfman will be heading to Wisconsin to attend Luther Prep School. And while Jordan van Velzen and Dylan Beach aren’t going anywhere, they are entering a new stage in life. Dylan, will be starting high school, and Jordan will be an upperclassman at his school. It is, therefore, appropriate to ask each of you: “Do you have everything you need for the new stage in your life?” Thankfully our sermon text this morning assures us that, yes, in Christ we have everything we need.
Our text is taken from Paul’s letter to the Colossian Christians. Paul wrote to the Colossians because their pastor, Epaphras, told him about the challenges his congregation faced. False teachers were hanging around urging things like the worship of angels, abstinence from certain foods, and the belief that Jesus wasn’t God. To reinforce what the Colossians had learned from their own pastor, namely that Christ was all they needed, Paul wrote in vs. 9, 10 of our text: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Col. 2:9, 10).
False teachers could claim that Jesus wasn’t God but the truth is the whole divine nature, everything that makes God, God, resides in the person of Jesus. That’s a bit like saying that in this Dixie-cup I hold the waters of every ocean, sea, glacier, lake, river, stream, brook, slough, and puddle. It seems impossible doesn’t it that the infinite God can be housed in a finite body, yet that’s what the Bible teaches about Jesus. Instead of trying to figure out how this can be, it’s more important to answer why. Why did Jesus have to be God and man, and how does that give us fullness as Paul said?
To answer those questions we first must know why Jesus came. He came, as the angels outside of Bethlehem proclaimed, to save the world from sin. In order to save us from our sins Jesus needed to be human so that he could pay the penalty for sin - death. Think of it like this. If I committed a crime, I could hardly expect the judge to let my cat serve the sentence in my place. My cat is an animal and I’m human. In the same way, if Jesus is going to take our place, he needs to be one of us. Still, Jesus needed to remain God so that his payment for death could be extended to the whole world. While you may be able to pay for one or two speeding tickets your spouse or children get, can you afford to pay for every speeding ticket in the world ever issued? No. You would need to be Bill-Gates-rich to do that! In the same way Jesus needed to remain God so that his death could be credited as payment for the sins of everyone that has ever lived.
Because Jesus has won our forgiveness Paul says that we have fullness in Christ. As the gas burners fill the canopy of a hot air balloon so it can rise above the earth, so Jesus fills us with forgiveness so that we can rise over death. Christ gives us other promises too that fill our life. Because he promises to take care of us no matter where we go we can rise above the stresses of life whether that’s moving to a new community or adjusting to a new school.