Three Ways to be Made Whole (Complete in Christ)

Shared on February 18, 2024

Do you desire to be made whole in your soul? Many of us have souls that are either an empty shell or shattered and broken. There is a way to put the pieces of our soul together, but you cannot find that way in the world. Do you desire to be made whole in your soul? Join Pastor McCrary in this week’s Sunday School lesson for the three ways to be made whole in your soul.


I preached a series of sermons near the end of last year where I focused on our identity— knowing who we are.  It is very important for you to know who you are and not be having an identity crisis as a child of God.  A child of God having an identity crisis is a field day for Satan.  So, in our lesson this week, we will see Paul speak to the fact that all of God’s children have been made complete through Christ.

Knowing Thyself

In last week’s lesson, we focused on our faith being built on a solid foundation.  We will see Paul encourage believers to walk in Christ (v.6).  Paul wrote that believers should walk in faith that is rooted and built on Christ  (v.7).  Why do you think Paul wrote that believers should walk in this manner?  The answer: confidence.

Being a believer is all about confidence.  No matter what it is in life, when you have confidence, it is a boost that can lead to great success.  When you are doubtful and fearful, that doubt and fear can paralyze you.  Believers should always be moving forward.  There is no failure when one is moving forward.

Don’t doubt who you are

As I said in last week’s lesson, our faith has been assured through Christ.  The devil will try to make you doubt who you are.  Who are you?  Well, if you are a sincere believer, you know that you have been washed clean of your sin, right?  Because you are a sincere believer, you are a child of God that lives under His grace.

Does this mean that you are perfect?  How often have you had a devil say to you, “you think you’re perfect but you’re not”.  As often as you hear this statement, know that it’s the devil trying to make you doubt who you are.  We will see Paul say, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit (v.8).”  

I really do believe that the devil’s greatest attack against us is turning us against ourselves.  Doubt, I believe, is a far more potent weapon than fear.  While fear can be paralyzing, there are times where fear gets us to move, right?  

For example, I’m a God-fearing believer.  Because I fear God’s judgment of sin, I am moved to know and understand the way of God.  Because I do not want to suffer eternal condemnation, I do my very best to live in obedience to God’s word.  So, this is a case of fear being helpful for me.

Doubt, on the other hand, is very discouraging and demoralizing.  Doubt is paralyzing.  When you doubt you are able to do something, most times we don’t put forth an effort because we don’t believe.  The devil desires for you to doubt who you are a child of God because that would cause you not to put for the effort of faith.  So, you must not doubt who you are!

Again this week we will see that Paul speaks about the believer’s restoration through Christ.  Paul stated, “you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (v.10).”  That is such an important statement to make considering that we wrestles against principalities, powers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:12).  Though we wrestle against these monsters, Christ reigns over all of them!

While the devil may try to call us everything but a child of God, what he says doesn’t matter.  At the end, it is God’s word that matters.  God’s word is that whoever believes in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  Don’t doubt this promise and don’t doubt your faith in this promise.

Yes, we may fall to temptation several times after our confession of faith but God is merciful.  We must understand that God is faithful and just to forgive us of our transgressions when we make our confession known (1 John 1:9).

How We Were Made Whole

To you who may still be doubting who you are, Paul goes on to talk about how we have been made complete.  It is very important that we understand how we were made complete so that we can withstand the lies of the deceiver.

Spiritual circumcision

Paul writes that we were made whole first through spiritual circumcision performed by Chirst (v.11).  Circumcision of the flesh is the cutting off of the foreskin of men.  Circumcision is first mentioned in Genesis 17:10-11.  To be a sign and seal of the covenant between Abraham and God, Abraham and descendants were to be circumcised in the flesh.

The circumcision that Paul spoke of for those of the church age was made without hands; it was spiritual circumcision.  Rather than cutting away foreskin of men’s uncleanliness, spiritual circumcision cuts away the sins of all.  Since circumcision was a sign of the covenant between God and Israel, spiritual circumcision stands as a sign of God’s covenant with believers.

Baptized with Christ

Next, Paul tells us that we are made whole by being buried with Christ in baptism (v.12).  Now, what does Paul mean by this statement?  When were we buried with Christ?  Is Paul saying it is a must that we be baptized in order to be made whole?

Now, keep in mind what I have shared with you recently about the profession of faith and confession of faith.  There is a difference between the profession and confession.  The profession of faith is outwardly whereas the confession is both outward and inward.

Paul also used this same phrase of speech in Romans 6:4 when he wrote, “we were buried with Him through baptism into death.”  There is often an argument made about baptism and how it should be performed.  What is indicated here by Paul would suggest baptism by immersion.

There are some that believe baptism can be performed by pouring water on the head.  Others believe baptism can be performed by the sprinkling of water.  Then there is baptism by water immersion where the body is put under water and lifted out of the water.

Does it truly matter which way one is baptized?  Something I have always tried to make clear about baptism is that the act of baptism is an outward profession of faith.  We can be baptized all day long but if there is no confession of faith in our heart, that baptism has been made meaningless.

Risen and born again

Baptism for the sincere believer has a great meaning that is not physical.  Paul expresses the meaning behind baptism as a symbol that brings believers near to Christ.   When one is immersed in the water, it is as if one’s old self has been buried.  When one is lifted out of the water, it is as if one has been born again.

While we can view one being baptized, it is important that one confesses faith in the heart.  What is most important is being born again spiritually.  Jesus told Nicodemus that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God but one must be born again spiritually (John 3:3-6).

To be born again has nothing to do with the outward profession.  To be born again, there is a change that takes place in the soul.  I was baptized when I was 8 years old.  I tell people all the time that my reason for being baptized had nothing to do with Jesus!  I desired to be baptized so I could have communion every first Sunday.  I wanted my little cracker and grape juice!

So, my baptism was meaningless until I truly began to trust in God later on in life.  Now, when I was little, I do believe that God watched over and kept me.  However, I don’t believe I truly received His Spirit until my college years when I began to truly trust in God.

It is when we truly trust God that we experience true baptism.  True baptism is spiritual baptism performed by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will baptize you into the body of Christ as He begins to transform you from your old self into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  

Made alive through Christ

The old sinful man is a broken and shattered soul.  The sad part about this knowledge is knowing that we are surrounded by so many broken souls.  God does not desire for souls to remain shattered and broken.  God desires for all to be receptive of the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit can make them whole.

How does one receive the Holy Spirit?  Through faith in the only begotten Son of God.  We must lean on Christ.  You and I must enter into fellowship with Christ!  Your faith must be sincere and not just a profession of faith.

In order for us to even be made whole, one must acknowledge that they are shattered and broken in spirit.  It is very sad how many people believe that they are alright when their soul is crying out in pain.  You see, they should desires be made whole but how many of us recognize this?  

If you recognize the error of your way, go to God and He will make you whole.  All you have to do is repent from the error of your way.  Paul wrote that Christ will make you alive in your soul and forgive you of your trespasses (v.13).  Ask yourself, would you rather wander around with a shattered soul or be made who and live?

God is Your Judge

Too often we worry about what others will think when their thoughts do not matter.  Do you know who continues to put this thought into your head?  Satan does not want for you to leave the bondage of sin.  Even when you repent, the devil will constantly remind you of your errors.

To this point, Paul encouraged believers not to let anyone judge you in food or drink, or even with the holidays or days you whole dear (v.16).  The devil will always try to judge your actions and point out your flaws.  Listen to this:  the devil’s judgment is meaningless.  

The most important thing for all believers to carry with them is the divine truth.  What is the divine truth?  Those who are of true faith in Christ will not perish but will have everlasting life.  The divine truth is that Christ has forgiven you and has made you whole!  The divine truth is that your spiritual transformation will be rewarded by the Lord.

As for all the lies and deceptions of the devil, move forward in faith.  As Paul said, “let no one cheat you of your reward” (v.18).  Too many of us give the devil power and authority that he does not have.  The fact of the matter is that all of us, because of our faith in Christ, are more powerful that the devil ever will be.

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