Fullness in Christ

By Terry Wardle

February 5, 2012

I was surprised, somewhat ambushed by a scripture recently. Colossians 2:9 and 10. Verse nine is an important statement about the deity of Christ. It says that in Christ the fullness of God lives in bodily form. Simply stated, Paul is telling us that if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. The writer of Hebrews said the same thing, only differently. He or she wrote that “the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3.) Again, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. He is God incarnate, who came in flesh and blood to reveal the expanse of his power, love and grace. Meditating on this would certainly help us experience a reshaping of our God image, which in many cases is dominated by harshness, withholding, and judgment.
As important as that statement is, it was Colossians verse ten that stopped me in my tracks. It says, “… you have been given fullness in Christ.” I have read that verse countless times, but for some reason missed both its placement in the text and its implication for my life. For our lives. After Paul tells us that the fullness of God dwelled in Christ, he states that the fullness of Christ now dwells in us. There are two implications of this that should take is to our knees.
First, all of Jesus is in all of us. Nothing held back, by grace we now share his nature, have the seed of his virtue, and clearly have been given his power and authority. We have a long way to go before we will ever understand or embrace all this, but it is true just the same and part of our formation. But secondly, and I do believe this is part of what Paul is communicating, just as looking at Christ tells people what God is like, looking at us should tell people what Christ is like. Emphasis on the should. Frankly, I think non Christians get this. They look at Christians and come to conclusions about what Jesus and faith in him is all about. Unfortunately, they are often seeing little of Jesus, and a whole lot of our immaturity, and as result draw really bad conclusions about what following Jesus is all about.
It all begins to make sense … Paul’s constant emphasis to be rooted, built up, maturing, ultimately perfect in Christ. All of Jesus, flowing through all of us, to bring all the world to the love and grace of God. Come Holy Spirit, help.

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