PROMISES OF GOD’S LIVING WORD
The Fullness of God
When he wrote his letter to the church at Colossae in Asia Minor, the apostle Paul was addressing a destructive Judeo-Gnostic heresy that was infiltrating and weakening the church. Although he doesn’t define the heresy in his letter, we can discern from his emphases the errors that he was correcting. And one of the points where the Colossian Christians had fallen into error was over the basic tenet of Christianity: who Jesus Christ is. The truth that Paul declares becomes a promise for every believer: Jesus Christ is the embodiment and fullness of Deity.
Apparently, religious leaders in Paul’s day were teaching that Christ was not God. These teachers held Jesus in high regard (as did the Gnostics, and as do the Muslims 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 to be a Christian when you discovered that he or she ranks Jesus with Paul and the other great “leaders” of Christianity, or even with Buddha or Mohammed or the “founders” of other faiths. Does this really matter? According to Paul, it most definitely does. For if Jesus Christ is not truly the Word, then He cannot speak for God. His words to us are no more important than the words of any other religious leader. And if this is true, then the second part of Paul’s statement becomes even less meaningful.
But Paul not only assures his readers that “in [Christ] all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9); he also promises that those who believe have been given spiritual “fullness” in Christ. By believing that Jesus Christ is God, we possess a knowledge that surpasses any other religious teaching or personality, because Jesus is above every other power and authority (including, by implication, the Gnostic teachers).
If Christ’s Word in us is not the Word of God, 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.
Receiving Jesus Christ is receiving God Himself.