Summary: Are you changed by the Spirit, made one of God's good guys?
The word, Complete, is defined in my Collegiate Dictionary as “lacking nothing; whole; entire; having all the required or customary characteristics, skills ” A Complete Christian is one that has applied himself to being whole through Jesus Christ, who will not settle for less than the best that Christ has for him.
My call as your Pastor is to point you to completion in Christ, men and women who are serious about being world-class Christians who make the world a better place and who are catalysts for Kingdom of God.
Our text for this series speaks to what it means to be a complete Christian, not in the sense that we have reached the end of our need to grow, but rather as one fully engaged, fully prepared to live for Christ. A couple of weeks ago, we learned from this passage that Gd has given everything we need ‘for life and godliness!’
Please do not hear this series as one simply motivating you to self improvement. It is important to commit to spiritual and mental growth, but the Complete Christian does not emerge out of self-actualization! This is a work of the Spirit, the result of continuing FAITH that trusts God. This faith lets us ‘see’ what we can become in Christ and then keeps us steady when it appears that we cannot reach the goal.
That is just the beginning, however.
“Make every effort to add to your faith.....” And then we find seven traits of a complete Christian -
∙ Brotherly kindness, and
Imagine if the Creator had become bored or weary and decided that instead of making the universe all 'very good,' (Genesis 1:31) He had settled for “good enough!” We observe that God went for design that is wondrous, full of beauty, and marked by excellence. Since this is how our God chose to prepare the world for us, doesn’t make sense that we choose to serve Him with excellence?
Inspiring Peter, the Spirit challenges us to commit ourselves to a life of goodness
“Add to faith, GOODNESS.” The KJV says, VIRTUE.
Goodness, in the Bible is a robust word, that speaks of moral excellence and character worthy of admiration.
In the first language of the New Testament, Greek, the word is ARETE. It derives from a root that means: to raise up, elevate, lift up.
We live in a society that is increasingly low, full of compromise, with little commitment to moral excellence.
Our entertainment is full of things lewd and crude. Much of our art is incomprehensible splashes of clashing colors, nothing like the great works of the masters of the 18th century.
Our world could stand a few more truly good people who would, by their example and encouragement,
RAISE THE STANDARD. Sin leads us into a moral swamp where there is no shame, no sense of offense, no striving for the best.
A caution : Do not confuse genuine goodness with its false look-alike; sanctimony.
What is sanctimony? Sanctimonious people are “ pre-occupied with building an image of devotion and/or religiosity.” Jesus dealt with sanctimonious people all of the time. He told them they resembled ‘white-washed tombs, full of death’ and that ‘they shut the Kingdom in the face of those who would enter’ though they themselves did not even truly keep the Law!