Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Completeness of Christ

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

~Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV [adapted]).

This is theologically very powerful stuff. It bridges large conceptual chasms in the thinking pertaining to Christ’s simultaneous and complete humanity and Divinity, deciding in the affirmative.

Jesus was no less the fullest incarnation of God as he stepped upon the earth some two thousand years ago—this is indeed what Paul is saying.

Not only was the fullness of God in Jesus as he strode the earth, there is fullness now and forever in the concepts Paul presents us here in Colossians 1. It is bold and all-encompassing theology taking our minds possibly to the widest expanse of human thought regarding God.

And this is tremendously good for us, yet we’ll most usually not even glance its way for blissful ignorance.

Jesus Connects Everything

We know that the man, Jesus, is now with God even though he was never apart from God. Even as Jesus approached the cross, the Father looking the other way fleetingly, Jesus was still part of the Godhead.

Jesus has made all things possible for us so far as God is concerned.

All things in heaven and on earth are pulled together in the Jesus-time and the Jesus-space; all things are under the Father, through Jesus. They always were, but we were apart, due the need of the blood sacrifice of God’s own Son.

All the purposes, plans and programs of redemption have their source at centre in Jesus. The cohort of God can have it no other way. Each part of the Triune God is indivisible to the next—all parts of creation and redemption find their way back to God the Trinity—for God is One.

Perfection Which Can Be Trusted

Such a perfect plan is entirely trustworthy. It is done and it is finished! Nothing whatsoever can be added to it or taken away from it.

This letter of Paul’s is saying to us that any exclusive take on God or Christ or the church or anything else pertaining to God—anything limiting—such as that promoted by the Colossian Heresy in Paul’s original context, is absolute rubbish.

Paul is emphatic.

We share something, in our acceptance of the Saviour’s work, that no power, ruler, throne or authority can or could ever undo—the redemptive plan hatched before creation—the Spirit, Word, wisdom and glory of God.

We can readily spend every waking moment of our lives resting passionately in these concepts and we’d still get no closer to exhausting the enormity of such a gargantuan paradigm.

This fullness is now ours—inclusively and abundantly.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Further Reading:

John Phillips, Exploring Colossians & Philemon – The John Phillips Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2002), pp. 45-93.

Robert H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament – 4th Edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1970, 1981, 1994, 2003), pp. 416-20.

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