The Fullness of Christ|
In Colossians 2:8, Paul wrote that teachings according to the traditions of men and the principles of the world were "empty deception" or "vain deceit." He understood that no righteousness or salvation could ever come through the knowledge and philosophies of man. Any attempt to find salvation through human reason only serves to pull man farther away from true righteousness.
In contrast to the emptiness of man's knowledge, Paul wrote of Christ Jesus, "In him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority" (Col. 2:9-10). Notice two points here: (1) the fullness of the person of Christ and (2) the fullness (completeness) of those who are in Him.
Christ is the fullness of Deity because He is God. All the qualities of God are found in Him. All of God's power and wisdom and excellence are embodied in the person of the Son of God, Christ the Lord. John said of Him, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Christ is complete as a member of the Godhead and lacks nothing. In Him the fullness of God abides forever.
Consider some of the qualities of Christ in the fullness of God. Christ has all authority on heaven and on earth (Col. 2:10; Matt. 28:18). He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Col. 1: 15-17; Heb. 1:3). He is the Head of the church, which is His body (Col. 1: 18; Eph. 1 :22-23). In Him are found all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). In Him is light just as in the Father (John 1:4,9; 1John 1:5). In Him is salvation for those who obey Him as He obeyed the Father (Heb. 5:8-9).
In Christ, and only in Christ, man is made full or complete in salvation from sins. When Peter was asked by what name or what power he had performed miracles, he answered that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, and he said, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:5-12). No philosophy of man can replace that which Christ supplied by giving His life to perfect those who obey Him.
Only through Christ does man have the knowledge of what he must do in order to be made perfect or complete. Peter wrote, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2Pet 1:2-3). It is the gospel of Christ which has given us this knowledge and leads us to the glory of Christ (2Thess. 2:13-14).
Thus, Christ is complete as our Lord and Savior, and those who obey Him are made complete as children of God. We need nothing else but Christ in order to obtain this fullness, and to seek anything more is vain. By entering into Christ through baptism (Gal. 3:27), we can become like Him and be made complete, just as He is complete.
Stacey E. Durham
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