The Fullness of God
When he wrote the letter to the church at Colosse in Asia Minor, the Apostle Paul was addressing a destructive Judeo-Gnostic heresy that was infiltrating and weakening the church. Though he doesn’t define the heresy in his letter, it is easy to see from his emphases the errors which he was correcting. And one of the points where the Colossian Christians had fallen into error was over THE point of Christianity: Who Jesus Christ is. The declarative truth which Paul states becomes a promise for every believer: Jesus Christ is the embodiment and fullness of Deity.
Apparently (like today), religious leaders in Paul’s day were teaching that Christ was not God. It is very easy to hold Christ in high regard (as did the Gnostics, and as do the Moslems and even many pseudo-Christian cults of our day) without confessing him as God in the flesh. Have you heard that point of view today? Perhaps you have been well into a conversation with a person whom you assumed was a Christian when you discover that they equate Jesus with Paul and the other great “leaders” of Christianity, or even with Buddha or Mohammed or “founders” of other faiths. Does this really matter? According to Paul, very much so. For if Christ is not truly the Living Word of God, then he cannot speak for God. His words to us bear no more import than the words of any other religious leader. And if this is true, then the second part of Paul’s statement becomes even more meaningless.
Not only is Christ the fullness of the Deity in bodily form, Paul promises that believers have been given spiritual fullness in Christ—that he is above every other power and authority (including, by implication, the Gnostic teachers). But if Christ’s word in us is not the word of God in us, then we have received only the word of a wise man, not the word of God. Have you received Christ? Have you believed his word? Then you have believed and received the very life of God himself, for Jesus Christ is God.
God’s Promise to You: “Receiving Christ is receiving me.”
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