Why Be Incomplete?

The Apostle Peter wrote that God “has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:3) In other words, the Bible is sufficient for everything you might need concerning spiritual matters. Want to know your purpose on earth? The answer is in Ecclesiastes 12: 13. Want to know if there is more to this life than what you can see? Read passages like Luke 16: 19-31; 2 Corinthians 5: 10; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; and Revelation 20:12-15. After learning those things, you will probably want to know how to be prepared for the next life. Again, the answer can be found in Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-47, 16:30-33; and Romans 6: 1-18. Even still, this is just a small portion of what Peter means by the “knowledge of Him.”

In addition to what Peter wrote, Paul had this to say about the Bible, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Paul is saying that the Bible is not only useful for learning about God and being convicted by what is right, but also how to get right and stay right with God. That’s what he means by “being complete.” It implies it is also possible to be incomplete, meaning, not having done all that God requires of us.

A great example for illustrating this principle is King Saul. He was told by the Lord to “Go, and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.” ( 1 Samuel 15: 18) Saul went. He fought against them. But, he “brought back Agag king of Amalek” and allowed the people to bring back part of the plunder “to sacrifice to the Lord.” So Samuel said, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:20-22) Saul did not complete all that God had required him to do! Thus, Saul was incomplete in his obedience.

So, are YOU complete? Have you obeyed the things God has commanded? (cf. Matthew 7:21-23) Are you fully submitting to the requirements He has for you? To determine if you are, consider the following questions:

  • Have you obeyed the Gospel like the Bible says? Many folks respond by saying they were taught to “accept Jesus” into their heart and/or say the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. They will then go to Romans 10:9 as justification. But there are other passages like Mark 16:16; Romans 6:1-17; Gal 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21 that say baptism is also part of salvation. For salvation to be complete, one can’t ignore or leave out those commands! If you haven’t followed God’s commands fully for being saved, then you are still “incomplete.”
  • Have you loved your neighbor as yourself like the Bible says? (Matt 22:39) A lawyer of the word tried testing Jesus on this commandment by asking Him, “Who is my neighbor!’ (Luke 10:29) Jesus then taught the Parable of the Good Samaritan and asked the lawyer, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves!’ And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” If you are not showing mercy (love) to your neighbor, then you are incomplete in fulfilling Jesus’ commands.
  • Have you forgiven others like the Bible says? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, there were additional requirements taught at the same time as the prayer. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt 6: 14-15) God expects us to forgive others if we want to receive forgiveness. If you only ask for forgiveness and do not extend it to others, then you are incomplete.

There are several more questions we could easily add to this list, such as: Are you attending worship? (Heb 10:25) Loving your spouse as you should? (Eph 5:33) Studying your Bible? (2 Tim 2:15) Serving others? (Matt 25:34-40). If the Bible tells you everything you need to be complete, then why would you want to be incomplete?