Christ All In All
By Thomas Watson (1620 – 1686)
“...Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).
Christ is all – in regard of divine assistance. A Christian’s strength lies in Christ, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). How is a Christian able to do duty, to resist temptation – but through Christ’s strengthening? How is it that a spark of grace lives in a sea of corruption, the storms of persecution blowing – but that Christ holds this spark in the hollow of His hand? How is it that the roaring lion of hell has not devoured the saints? Because the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defended them! Christ not only gives us our crown – but our shield. He not only gives us our garland when we overcome – but our strength whereby we overcome. “They overcame him [the accuser of the brethren] by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:11). Christ keeps the royal fort of grace – so that it is not blown up. Peter’s shield was bruised – but Christ ensured that it was not broken. “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not...” (Luke 22:32), that it be not a total falling away. The crown of all the saints’ victories must be set upon the head of Christ!
In Him dwells all fullness (Col. 1:19). Christ is whatever the soul can desire. Christ is beauty to adorn, gold to enrich, balm to heal, bread to strengthen, wine to comfort, and salvation to crown. If we are in danger, Christ is a shield; if we are disconsolate, He is a sun. He has enough in His wardrobe to abundantly furnish the soul.
Christ sanctifies all our crosses. They shall be medicinal to the soul; they shall work sin out – and work grace in. God’s stretching the strings of His violin is to tune it and make the music better. Christ sees to it that His people lose nothing in the furnace, but their drossy impurities.
If Christ Is All, Then Make Him So to You
Make Christ all – in your understanding. Be ambitious to know nothing but Christ (1 Cor. 2:2). Oh, make Christ all! Be willing to know nothing but Christ. Though you may know other things in their due place – yet know Christ in the first place. Let the knowledge of Jesus Christ have the pre-eminence, as the sun among the lesser planets. This is the crowning knowledge. “...The prudent are crowned with knowledge” (Prov. 14:18). We cannot know ourselves, unless we know Christ. It is He who takes us into our hearts and shows us the spots of our souls, whereby we abhor ourselves in dust and ashes. Christ shows us our own emptiness and poverty. Until we see our own emptiness, we are not fit to be filled with the golden oil of mercy. We cannot know God but through Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
Make Christ all – in your affections. Desire nothing but Christ. He is the aggregation of all good things. “Ye are complete in Him...” (Col. 2:10). Christ is the Christian’s perfection. Why should the soul desire less? How can it desire more? Love nothing but Christ. Love is the choicest affection; it is the richest jewel the creature has to bestow. Oh, if Christ is all, love Him better than all!
Make Christ all – in your abilities; do all in His strength. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10). When you are to resist a temptation, or to mortify a corruption – do not go out in your own strength, but in the strength of Christ. Be strong in the Lord. Some go out to duty in the strength of their abilities, and go out against sin in the strength of their resolutions – and they both come home foiled. Alas! What are our resolutions but like the green cords which bound Samson! A sinful heart will soon break these. Do as David when he was to go up against Goliath. He said, “I come to you in the name of the Lord.” So say to your Goliath lust, “I come to you in the name of Christ.” Then we conquer, when the Lion of the tribe of Judah marches before us.
– Excerpted from Christ All In All by Thomas Watson, a Puritan preacher and author.