From More to Fully

From More to Fully

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mat.11:28-30)

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph.1:3)

One of the great truths of the Christian gospel is that salvation is by grace through faith. It comes not by our good works or cleaning up our act but by placing our trust in Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. Again, this is the bread and butter message of the gospel. And Christians believe it, at least theoretically.

Here is what I mean. This wonderful gospel truth of grace-based salvation is often infected with the spiritual virus of “more.” This “more” virus is expressed in one of two ways. First is the growing sense that you need to do more to be and/or stay in right standing with God. It is more Bible study, more prayer, more giving, more serving, more, more.

Indeed, there is nothing wrong with any of these things. In fact, there is nothing wrong with doing more of them. It is the reason for doing them that is the problem. Somehow we struggle with the notion that our relationship with God is founded on grace alone. It seems too simple. It also takes away any sense of spiritual pride if we can’t do anything to merit it.

So without even realizing what is happening, we allow the “more” virus to infect us. That takes us down a road that increasingly crushes us with a sense of obligation to do more to be right with God. It is no different from the heavy burden of the law that the New Testament talks about. And it is simply not needed.

Remember, Jesus said that we should come unto Him and that His burden was light (Mat.11:30). Why? Because it is relationship-based, not performance-based. We are not called to do more to be right with Him. Instead, we are called to release our lives into His loving care (1Pet.5:7). Along the way, we will be doing some things that help strengthen the relationship. But it is not a call to more duty. Instead, it is an invitation to a deeper relationship.

The other way we get infected with the “more” virus is by being hooked into thinking that there is some elusive spiritual blessing that we are missing. Although we have a saving relationship with Christ, we become convinced that more is being withheld from us. So we need a second blessing, anointing, or some kind of addition to what was received at salvation.

But such is not the case. In Ephesians 1, Paul indicates that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Notice that this is past tense. It is not that someday God will give us more of a blessing. He has already blessed us fully and completely in Christ. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, our understanding and appreciation for these blessings grow, bless us again. But it’s not an additional blessing. It’s more of a deepening of the blessing that has already been received.

So let me encourage you to move from the language of more to fully. Hear this. You are fully forgiven, accepted, and blessed. You don’t need anything more.

Brian Lee (D.Min., SEBTS) is a minister of the Gospel with more than 40 years of pastoral experience.

Photo: Pixabay.

© 2022 XMegapolis. Used by permission.

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