At least for most things in life, moving on to new and better things is good. A high-school student graduates and goes on to college. A long-time employee gets promoted to a new position with higher pay and better hours. Couples become parents, then empty-nesters, and then grandparents, and all of the sudden the family has doubled in size and joy!
But is there any equivalent to this in the Christian life this side of glory? Do we ever move on from the basics of trusting in and receiving from Jesus? Do we ever get to graduate from Jesus-dependence to self-dependence, taking off the spiritual “training wheels” as it were?
In his Institutes, John Calvin has an incredible section teasing out the reality that our entire salvation—every single part of it—is found in Jesus:
When we see salvation whole—its every single part is found in Christ, we must beware lest we derive the smallest drop from somewhere else.
If we seek salvation, the very name of Jesus teaches us that he possesses it.
Redemption when we seek it, is in his passion found; acquittal—in his condemnation lies; and freedom from the curse—in his cross known.
If satisfaction for our sins we seek—we’ll find it in his sacrifice.
There’s cleansing in his blood. And if it’s reconciliation that we need, for it he entered Hades; if mortification of our flesh—then in his tomb it’s laid.
And newness of our life—his resurrection brings and and immortality as well come also with that gift.
And if we long to find that heaven’s kingdom’s our inheritance, His entry there secures into with our protection, safety too, and blessings that abound —all flowing from his kingly reign.
The sum of all for those who seek such treasure-trove of blessings, These blessings of all kings, is this: from nowhere else than him can they be drawn; For they are ours in Christ alone.
(Institutes 2.16.19, taken from Sinclair Ferguson’s The Whole Christ, 55-56)
So rather than moving on from Jesus, we continue to grow further into our union with Jesus. Instead of looking elsewhere for something different (or better) than Jesus, Jesus invites us to continue exploring and discovering all that He is for us in the gospel. And what we’ll find is the more we explore, the more we’ll discover that Jesus is better, grander, and more sufficient than we originally thought.