Look To God
"Are you full of it?"
Well, we all know that being told we "are full of it" is not a compliment, is it? The usual content being referred to here is BS... and we all know people like that... and we'd rather not count ourselves among them.
When I was in seminary, I often wished that I had more BS to spread around because we had to write pages and pages of "stuff." I felt that I was somehow lacking because I never had enough BS to fill the pages required. I guess... at this point you can be thankful for that... that's why my sermons are so short!
Being "full of it" can refer to many other things as well. As a matter of fact... the prepositional phrase "full of" is so popular that many of our adjectives now end in "ful." Can you imagine how awkward it would be to say "full of beauty" in stead of beautiful. I did a search of the dictionary and discovered that there are 300 words that end in "ful." Help me think of a few.
Well, I also checked out the defintion of fullness. It means:
1. Containing as much or as many as is possible or normal (a bin full of corn)
2. a : complete especially in detail, number, or duration (a full report) (gone a full hour)
So let me ask you once again. Are you full of it? Let me put the question another way. What are you full of?
Our text this morning tells us...
"... you have been given fullness in Christ."
We are people "full of grace"... we have as much grace as we will ever need. In Christ we are complete in every detail. We belong to Christ without restraint... with no qualification. And finally... we have all the distinguishing characteristics... rights... responsibilities... and privileges of full membership in Christ... we are not lacking in any essential... in Jesus Christ we are perfect.
Do you find that difficult to believe? Are you doubtful? Well, I certainly can understand that... none of us appears to be perfect... we all have a lot of those negative characteristics, don't we? How often have you felt vengeful... prideful... shameful... hateful... wishful. How often have you been revengeful... boastful... deceitful... untruthful... hurtful? Probably we are all guilty more often than we would care to admit! So how can we possibly say that we are perfect in God's sight?
Well, it's true that God wants us to be honest with ourselves... we have sinned... and fallen short of the glory of God... again and again! We need honesty in our lives... it's the first step in the spiritual growth that God desires for us. Too often we put up defenses and engage in denial... we like to think we are better than we are. On the other hand... some of us tend to get stuck in our guilt... wallowing around in it... and bemoaning the "fact" that we cannot change. How very difficult it is for us to be truthful about how sinful we are... insightful about how untruthful we are... and hopeful that we might be more successful in our Christian life.
To be quite honest with you... I think it is impossible to be truthful, insightful, and hopeful about ourselves without the knowledge and sure conviction that in Christ we are complete. We need desperately to believe... to know and to experience that God sees us through Jesus Christ. If that is not true... then what good is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus?
Paul says it well:
11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
Do you believe it? Is your sinful nature dead?Well, God thinks so... so who are you to doubt it? This is the good news, folks... you are a new person in God's sight. In God's sight... you are perfect... and complete... exactly the way you were meant to be. Believe it and be thankful!
We have decided to follow Jesus the Christ! And in him we are forgiven... and we are given new life.
Paul also tells us here why we call Jesus the Christ. He says:
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form...
That means that every essential part of God is present in Jesus... the Christ.
And when Paul tells us:
... you have been given fullness in Christ...
that means that God is dwelling in us and we are essentially complete.
Hard to believe? Yes... but the truth is that we are connected to God in Jesus Christ... and it is manifested in our prayer life... in our life with one another... in the way in which we forgive... in our compassion... in our love... in our caring... in our joy. Most of us still have a lot of spiritual growing to do. God calls us to grow spiritually... to grow in grace and understanding of him... to grow ever closer to him. May each of us be willing to grow as God wants us to grow. Amen.
A Sermon Preached on July 26, 1998
The Rev. Shirley R. Frazier
Carolyn Park Presbyterian Church, Arabi, LA
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