Human experience is a slippery concept. Because of its subjective nature people don’t often place great value in its rational potential or practical functionality. Yet, experience is fundamental to what it means to be a human person. So to speak of faith in nonexperiential terms is to misunderstand its human significance. With this challenge before us, today we address the topic of experiencing Christ’s sufficiency.
The Challenge of Experience
How can we objectively speak about a topic that is by nature, subjective? My experience is always my experience—shaped as it is by my own history, presuppositions, hopes, and fears. The same is true of yours. Yet despite the virtually limitless ways God communicates the truth of Christ’s sufficiency through our experiences, the understanding that is conveyed is not slippery at all. As will be shown, we have every reason to believe that God desires to grant us an experiential understanding of such sufficiency.
Christ’s Sufficiency in Scripture
So what does the sufficiency of Christ feel like? We begin by looking to Scripture. For in it we learn from the many individuals who’ve experienced the emotionally transforming grace of Christ. For instance, we see how Peter’s revelation of Jesus’ love (John 21) transformed him from a fearful disciple to a bold apostle. We also see how Paul’s revelation of Christ’s forgiveness (Acts 26) changed him from a hateful zealot to a loving servant-leader. And throughout the Book of Acts we see individuals, families, and communities radically transformed by not just “knowing” but even feeling the grace of Christ in their desperate points of need.
Experiencing Christ’s Sufficiency Today
We live in a day of incredible spiritual hunger. People want a faith they can feel. But how can we find such a faith? We begin by asking God to awaken in us the same kind of experiential faith we see modeled in the Bible. What might this look like?
For me, when I worry about the opinion of others, the sickening dread in my stomach recedes after meditating on Colossians 2:10. For there I receive Christ’s promise that in Him I’m already complete. And when I feel the storms of economic and relational uncertainty, the anxiety in my chest lifts when I reflect on Philippians 4:7 and lay hold of Christ’s peace that somehow transcends my understanding. Yes, as we meditate on the promises of Christ, we too can actually feel this unspeakable sufficiency of divine grace. How amazing it is to finally experience what we’ve been confessing all along—in His presence we already have all that we need! Next week we introduce the theme of hope by rethinking its meaning and implications for Christians today.
What Do You Think?
Do you think that experiencing Christ’s sufficiency is important for a healthy faith? Why or why not?
♦ To see the poem this post is based on, click here.