For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37 (CSB)
Note from Kip…
The artist’s final stroke of the brush. The potter’s last turn of the lathe. The last song of a musical. The proud graduate receiving their diploma.
We enjoy completion of things. Especially things of beauty. So much so that we take the term and attach it to things that are perhaps a bit more subjective.
The first completion
I’ve heard people scoff at the notion that a wife completes her husband, but that as a matter of fact was part of God’s design. Because He put Adam in a deep sleep and then removed a rib from the newly formed man and created woman.
It’s apparent that Adam was aware of what had happened when he exclaimed:
And the man said:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man.
Genesis 2:23 (HCSB)
And because she was taken from him, she in fact, completed him.
Each a complete creation, self contained. But designed to be united as one. Thus was the establishment of marriage, which is a ‘bone’ of contention with the world today more so than ever as they seek to subvert the God ordained rite of marriage as a civil coupling rather than one of faith.
The Lamb and His Bride
I really don’t want to go into depth on marriage, but it was the the first time that man recognized this state of completion. Till then, he had simply accepted that what was in the garden of Eden was what was in the garden of Eden. He couldn’t grasp the concept of unfinished until that which was missing from him was restored to him.
It’s that way between Jesus Christ and us as well. We, a part of Him, His very creation. Separated by sin. A condition that He was relentless to correct because for Him to be then completed He required His bride just as Adam did.
He went to extreme measures to secure her, even to sacrificing Himself for her.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (HCSB)
And thus this model of completion comes full circle as Christ’s union to His Bride the Church, illustrates the very way in which husbands are to give of themselves for their wives.
The Body of Christ
Another profound illustration of completion is that very Bride of Christ. She is also referred to as The Body of Christ, which again reflects back to God’s design.
The current social culture celebrates individualism and independents. Women at times are berated by other women if they are not fully liberated from the men in their world. Everyone wishes to be unique and standout from the rest so as to be exalted for being themselves.
I am me. I am uniquely adept at being me. I’m a ME specialist.
Being self aware and pleased with ones perspective can be a positive thing, but it can also serve as a fatal distraction from those things which are critical to us as well. It’s part of that independence culture we see so prevalent today.
It also is perhaps the reason that many find the concept of being part of something else and blending in, not just unappealing but at times distasteful.
The term ‘Body of Christ’ encompasses the sum of those who follow Christ Jesus. Notice that I didn’t say ‘believers’ in Christ.
You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder.
James 2:19 (HCSB)
Cleary, just believing doesn’t exhibit the level of commitment that Jesus was talking about when He said ‘Believe in Me’. What He was really talking about was following Him.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Luke 9:23 (HCSB)
So, we are talking about ‘followers’ not just believers.
This body is made up of followers, which are also called disciples of Christ. A disciple is one who follows. And collectively we make up the Body of Christ.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:4-8 (NLT)
We ‘followers’ of Christ are part of this body. Each with different skills and abilities. Our varring perspectives, approaches, personalities, compassion, and attributes, all lend to a functioning completed Body of Christ, The Bride of the Lamb.
While that is all wonderful, you might be saying to yourself, ‘yeah, so?, What’s that got to do with me?’
That thing about being completed is what it has to do with you.
Just as we were created to have a close personal relationship with God, to the point that our very soul yearns for it. Those outside His Grace look to anything and everything to try and fulfill that desire. We are only complete when we have at last established that relationship and strive to grow in it.
We as followers and actually believers as well, don’t feel fully together unless we are together with other followers of Christ. Christ’s Church isn’t a building, not an organization, and certainly not a committee. His Bride, His Church, His Body, is comprised of willing followers and believers in His promise of salvation.
When we choose to isolate ourselves from that body, we place ourselves in jeopardy, because we are by design, engineered to function as one unit, His Body.
This is why as we draw closer and closer to our Brothers and Sisters, we have more love, more joy, more peace than ever before. Our spirit communes with theirs. The presence of the Holy Spirit in all of us rejoices in unison. And we find yet another true form of completion.
Be ‘completed’. Be that follower of Christ Jesus. Be ‘completed’. Put yourself in close fellowship with other followers. There, you will find completion. Until the day that Jesus comes to take us home as His Bride…