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The Fullness Of Christ


And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him Who is the Head-- Christ-- from Whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16

The New Testament word for "fullness" is pleroma. It has two basic meanings:

  • something that fills or completes, such as a patch in (Matthew 9:16) or love in (Romans 13:10);
  • fullness or the state or fact of being filled, such as the completed number of saved Gentiles (Rom. 11:25) or the "full measure" of Christ's blessing (Rom. 15:29).

To distinguish between these two meanings in the Bible is somewhat difficult. Thus, we have to read the whole context of the chapter, the verses before and after that verse where the phrase is found.

The apostle Paul used this phrase "the fullness of Christ" to describe a state of Christian maturity in which believers are no longer "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men". Firmly rooted in Christ, cannot be shaken.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Col 2:9-12

We are complete in Christ. Without Him, we are incomplete. He is our Open Door to knowing and experiencing God. This knowledge of God increases by the day. We learn something new about Him everyday, not that God is always changing, on the contrary, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Heb 13:8)

Someone commented me that I always "sing new songs." But the fact is that many of these "new" songs are old goodies, some as far back as 1950s. They are "new" because people do not know them even though they existed. Similarly, there are many eternal attributes about the character of God that we have yet to marvel at. Let’s start from the very beginning (Genesis) and that’s a very good place to start. And this journey of knowing God never ends. It will continue throughout all eternity. Infinite and unfathomable knowledge!

Our Lord Jesus Christ possesses the complete fullness of God's divine nature and attributes. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Jesus desires to fill us completely with Himself. But do we want to be completely filled with Him in all of His fullness? Whenever we come to God, He desires to fill us "FULL-TANK" but the choice and decision is ours to make. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness-- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. Col 1:24-29

Each Christian must therefore be willing to accept whatever edification and suffering God may send to fill up in the flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions. "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

"...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Eph 3:16-21

All the fullness of God is found in Jesus Christ Who embodied the love of God. This love of God is measured by width, length, depth and height. Many times, we have only two main classifications: "Have love" or "Have no love". Between black and white is a spectrum of billions of other colors. Similarly, there are many types of loves.

Even the highest-valued agape love needs to be nurtured and matured from infant stage to adulthood. We need to increase our love for God and others. Our love need to be more patient, more kind, more gentle, more humble, more forbearing, more faithful, more hopeful and more rejoicing. Our love need to be broader (to cover a wider multitude of sins even to loving our worst enemies); longer (to endure for a longer season of time, patiently waiting for His deliverance); deeper (even in the darkest hours and valley experiences we see His purest light); and higher (the joys and delights, the mountaintop experiences of His glory and majesty).

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I John 3:2-3

God’s desire is to make us become like His Son! And we shall be like Him, full of the glory and grace of God!

Source:
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary