Complete in Christ


Prayer:  Lord, complete Your purpose established for me. Lord, Your gracious love is eternal; do not abandon Your personal work in me – (Adopted from Psalm 138:8).

Our desire, O Lord, is that You would finish what You started in us, Lord. We will never be the same because of the good work You have begun in us.  Our desire, now that we feel Your presence and internalize Your love for us, is that You would fulfill Your greatest desires for us.  Make us complete in Jesus.  – Amen.

Main Scripture: Reread Philippians 1:6.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in You will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).

Associated Scripture:

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We write this to make our joy complete (1 John 1:1-4, NKJV).

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).

Correlative Quotes:

Through faith alone God counts the ungodly as righteous because of Christ.[1] – John Piper

Grace, by definition, excludes the slightest hint that human merit contributes to our righteous standing before the most holy and perfect Creator.[2] – R. C. Sproul

Christ fills you up. There aren't any other things to add to that. You have been made full of the fullness of him who fills all in all.[3] – John MacArthur


Paul says in Philippians 1:6 that he is fully confident and has no doubt about his salvation and eternal security.  He is convinced that what God has begun, He will finish.  

Paul knows that we are complete in Jesus.  He is persuaded by his face-to-face confrontation with Jesus and his instantaneous conversion that what he has experienced through that total act of forgiveness is real.  Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and experienced salvation (Acts 9:1-7). 

Salvation is a word that describes the overall package of events in the believer’s life.  First, it has its conception in faith.  Faith is a gift from God.  Therefore, our faith does not come from us but from God.  Salvation comes through justification, the act of making us just or right before God. 

  1. Justification is a result of faith

Justification involves a new birth, being born again (John 3:1-6).  The ultimate expression of salvation says that though we were at one time at war with God, we now have peace.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB).

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

  1. Salvation has its perfect work in regeneration

Regeneration is tied directly to the biblical phrase “born again” found in John 3:1.  Through regeneration, our spirit comes alive.  We then have fellowship with God’s Spirit.

Regeneration is the spiritual transformation in a person, brought about by the Holy Spirit, that brings the individual from being spiritually dead to becoming a spiritually alive human being.[4] – Theopedia

  1. Salvation finds its continuation in sanctification

As a believer, justification and regeneration are now completed, they are in the past.  We were justified and regenerated.  Sanctification is in the present.  We are being sanctified.  Philippians 2:12 tells us to: “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

God is Holy, and we are not.  God’s holiness is characterized by moral and ethical completeness, perfection, and absolute separation from evil. Holiness is the quintessential element of God's nature.  It is who God is.  He is Holy, therefore, everything He does and says and every decision that God makes is Holy.  God requires holiness of His people. He is Holy, and He requires us to be holy.  1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV) tells us: “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’"  Sanctification means to be made holy.[5]

  1. Salvation finds its Place in Positional Sanctification

Positional sanctification is completed righteousness in the believer as a result of the action of Jesus on the cross and through His death, resurrection, and ascension.  -- 1 Corinthians 6:11 (CSB) states: “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  The believers’ position as righteous aligns them with God’s holiness. It means that we are made holy in God’s sight by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

  1. Salvation has its consummation in glorification

Glorification is an action by God on behalf of the believer that will take place in the future.  Romans 8:30 (NKJV) explains glorification in these terms: “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

Glorification is the change that takes place in believers at the general resurrection and their admission into heaven.  It is the future and final work of God upon Christians. At the point of our resurrection, God transforms our mortal physical bodies into the bodies in which we will dwell forever.  This is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:42 (NKJV) when Paul writes: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”

Summary Statement:

God has a perfect plan for your life.  That plan begins with your salvation.  We are positionally complete in His plan.  Our redemption at the point of salvation is a completed act.  There is no future worry about our position with God.  However, if we are going to experience the joy that accompanies our salvation, we must grow in His knowledge and truth.  Spiritual growth is essential to continued fellowship.

Lessons within the Lesson:

What things do justification, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification have in common?

How are these four different?

What is the difference between something that is positional and something that is progressive?

How do justification, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification complete the believer?

[1] John Piper, Justification by Faith, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, © Desiring God Foundation, By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Source:

[2] R. C. Sproul, By Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, from Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. all rights reserved. Website:

[3] John MacArthur, Complete in Christ, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, copyright 2015, Grace to You,

[4] Regeneration,, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law.

[5] Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Sanctification, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, sanctification/.