The apostle Peter penned a most interesting text in his second letter. He was writing to believers and he stated, . . . as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him . . . . (2 Peter 1:3)
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has been “given . . . all things that pertain to life and godliness.” How has the believer attained to all of this? They have been “given” to him or her by the “divine power” of God when that person repented and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“all things” have been “given. . . to us” and those are the things ” that pertain to life and godliness.”
In considering this biblical truth put forth by Peter one seems to be able to surmise that he or she has “all” that is needed for living, and for doing so in a godly manner. This text from Peter would seem to be like a defining statement of what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Colossae,
. . . you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10)
The one who has placed their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior is “complete in Him,” and subsequently has been given by “His divine power . . . all things that pertain to life and godliness.”
“Complete . . . all” — both tell believers that they lack nothing. Christ is sufficient. There is no need to attempt to add on something more.
It has been said that “a close look at the teachings embraced by countless Christians today shows they are really looking for something more . . . they’re seeking to build a deeper, emotionally exciting and self-edifying Christian experience not found in the Bible.” In the process of all of this, the sufficiency of Christ is brought into question.
Is There Christ and Something More?
This was something the early church was led to believe by the gnostic invasion into its ranks. Our day is no different as all kinds of New Age (neo-Gnostic) philosophies and practices, as well as secular thinking, invade the minds of Christians. We will not be caught off-guard concerning these invasions if we are paying attention to Christ’s Word.
The hard part about battling the “something more mindset” in today’s churches is that we lack the early church’s close unity in focus and mission. One only need consider the fragmented condition of the modern day church to understand why the “something more mindset” is even more difficult to combat.
Advice from Screwtape?
In C. S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters, there is a most interesting bit of advice given by the senior demon Screwtape to his apprentice Wormwood,
- “The real trouble about the set your patient is living in is that it is merely Christian. They all have individual interests, of course, but the bond remains mere Christianity. What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of mind I call, ‘Christianity And . . .'”
What a message of alarm and warning. We must take our counsel from Scripture, realizing that we don’t need Christ and “something more.” We don’t need Christ and psychology or other secular methodologies to attain what is deemed as success in our churches. And, we don’t Christ and mystic practices to somehow elevate us to a high plane of spiritual euphoria.
Beware of the temptations that will surely come that can have us asking, “Christ . . . plus . . . what?” We are “complete” in Him, and He “has given to us [every believer] all things that pertain to life and godliness . . . by “His divine power.”
Let us who make up the body of Christ be unified in following Paul’s instruction to, Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you . . . For by receiving the “word of Christ,” old Screwtape’s counsel of “Christianity and . . .” will not catch us unawares.
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