What Does It Mean that God Makes Us Complete?

May the God of peace… make you complete (katartizo) in every good work to do His will through the blood of the everlasting covenant so you will be well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever. (Heb. 13:20-21)

There’s a lot going on in these verses theologically. But the simple version is this.

The God of Peace, who has embarked from all eternity on a mission of grace and mercy, reconciling us to Himself, makes us “complete” in order to align our mission with His purpose. He does so through a covenant relationship. It is through the relationship that he does the work of completing, of preparing us to do the works that He would find pleasing.

That much we know, or at least we should know as followers of Christ.

But here’s where it gets good. The word translated “complete” here is not the word used elsewhere to refer to consummation or finality. See Heb. 5:9, for example:

“And being made perfect (Teleioo), he became the author of eternal salvation ….”

Rather, katertizo has the idea of a process of repairing what has been broken, restoring what has been damaged, reconciling what has been torn apart, reorienting what has been knocked askew, rearranging, refitting, reequipping as part of an ongoing but inevitable process of making complete or whole once again.

Furthermore, it is the same Greek word used by the writer of Hebrews in 11:3 and translated there as “framed”:

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God

When we think of the two uses together, it sheds some fresh light on the process of God completing us in relationship with Him, especially with the undertones of recreating behind both Heb. 11:3 and the very word generosity:

May the God of peace reconcile you to Himself through a process of reframing, restoring, and  repairing you in the context of a covenant relationship with Him so that you may then do what is well – pleasing in His sight.

Are you ready to be made complete through this process? Explore more of what that might look like for your church at ReimagineGenerosity.com

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About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and speaker who empowers people to live an authentic life with abundant faith. A former pastor, Christian school leader, and master teacher, he is the founder of FaithWalkers (Faithwalkers.com) where he equips Christians to live an authentic life and a blogger on faith and cultural issues at Patheos and TheResurgent.com. He is the author of several books including A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, What God Wants You to Do Next, The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth, and multiple collaborative books including his latest with co-author Erick Erickson — You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe (Regnery, February 22, 2016).
In addition to his own writing and speaking, Bill helps other people and organizations tell their own story in effective ways. He comes alongside authors as a collaborative writer, handcrafts engaging materials as a content creator, and creates an effective brand strategy as a platform developer with his team of creatives and digital technicians. (BillintheBlank.com)