Do you ever get the feeling that there is no such thing as having enough in our world? We live in a culture where there is an incessant pressure to add on to existing things. Think about all of the people who just have to add their own personal comments to a post on Twitter or Facebook. And whether you find yourself dining outside at a restaurant or sitting at a fast-food drive thru, you are always pressured to add something to your order. It’s as if the status quo is never enough!
There is no more tangible example of this phenomenon than in the explosive use of additives and chemicals over the last one hundred years. Additives are just what you think they are: they are things that are added to products that make them stronger, last longer or look better. Additives are in everything – from gasoline to toothpaste to makeup. Even the buildings we live and work in are a product of additives because steel itself is the result of carbon being added to iron.
Although we don’t often think about it, we constantly put additives in our bodies. There are preservatives in bread and cheese to make them resistant to mold, food coloring in margarine to make it look more like butter and artificial sweeteners in soft drinks to make them calorie-free. And while these are all seemingly acceptable ingredients, there comes a point where adding to something actually subtracts from its value.
Additives often bring damaging side effects, and there is a growing movement to return to natural products. Companies are marketing soda from real cane sugar because natural sugar is better for you than high fructose corn syrup or the chemicals found in diet soda. Nutritionists have found that the natural fat found in butter is healthier for you than the additives that make up margarine. The world has begun to realize that some things are best when they are left in their natural state.
While this movement back to natural, organic roots has happened in the world of food, it has not yet fully happened in the realm of faith. It would be wonderful if people saw the Bible and the gospel in all its rich clarity and realized that Christ alone is sufficient for salvation and for every spiritual need of the human soul. But unfortunately what happened in the commercial world has infiltrated the church and created a mindset and attitude that is an affront to God: People are bringing additives to the redemptive work of Christ on the cross.
Many people want to add on to their faith in Jesus Christ! Whether it is incorporating good works for salvation or non-Christian practices from other religions into their faith, people frequently function as if Jesus is not enough in their lives. They may claim that He is their Savior, but their acts and attitudes toward Him reveal the truth – that they believe they must “add” to His work on the cross.
But the Bible is very clear that Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross is enough – we don’t need to add anything to it. Place your trust in Him, ask Him to be the Lord of your life, and then live confidently that He is walking beside you. First Corinthians 3:11 says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” And Jesus Himself declared in John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” There is no question about it – Jesus is enough!
I want to encourage you to live daily in light of this knowledge – He is sufficient to save you, to keep you, to guide you, to protect you, and to bring you home to heaven with Him one day. When you trust in His sufficiency, you will be surprised at how fulfilled and content you will be in your everyday life. And if you start to feel the urge to apply additives to your faith, just claim this truth: He is enough!
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif.)