In Whom All The Fullness Dwells (series:Lessons on Colossians)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

The Greek word translated “fullness” means “totality,” “completeness,” or “plenitude” [a great sufficiency; abundance].

The Greek word translated “fullness” means “totality,” “completeness,” or “plenitude” [a great sufficiency; abundance].

Tom Lowe

Title: IIB4― In Whom All The Fullness Dwells ―Colossians 1:19
• “Special Notes” and “Scripture” follow related verses.
• NIV Bible is used throughout unless noted otherwise.

Colossians 1:19 (NIV)

(Text) 1:19: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.”


(1:19) “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.”

In verses 18-20 we pass from Christ the Lord of the universe to Christ the Lord of the Church.

In verse 18 Paul’s first statement is that Christ “is the head of the body, the church.” Paul’s second statement (also in 1:18) is that Christ is “the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” He explains these statements in verse 19, where he defines Christ’s divine status. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” The Greek word translated “fullness” (see note 1) means “totality,” “completeness,” or “plenitude” a great sufficiency; abundance. It was a word the heretics had been bandying about. They thought of the divine nature as made up of a number of powers emanating one from another in descending scale for “aeons” an immeasurably or indefinitely long period of time. The Lord Jesus might stand high in the series of powers; He might even stand highest; but He was, so they said, only one of many. These powers, taken together, made up, they said, the “totality” of Godhead. Paul takes their word and turns it against them by insisting that in Jesus Christ all fullness dwells; that in Him there is the fullness of the godhead in bodily form (Colossians 2:9; see note 2). On the contrary, he says, in Christ “all the fullness of God,” that is, the totality of divine powers, chose to make its abode. The phrase claims full deity for Christ. Paul says that “God was in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19) not in some partial way (which might be said of many great human teachers) but in His “totality.” One of the supreme objects of Colossians is to insist that Jesus is utterly unique and that in Him there is the whole of God.

This verse is a continuation of the thought that closes verse 18: “. . . that in all things He might have the preeminence”; and in order for this to be possible it was imperative that God the Father be pleased with Jesus to the extent that God bestowed upon Him all “fullness,” even fullness that only God could produce. It was God’s pleasure that all fullness dwell in His beloved Son—the Son of God’s love, the Son of whom God said, “I am well pleased.”

Whatever is needed to save a world of chaos and restore perfect harmony to a disrupted universe is treasured up in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever the believer needs from the moment of redemption to the moment when we stand in His presence—whether it be knowledge, faith, purity, hope, comfort, strength, pardon, or life—we find in His inexhaustible abundance. In Christ all fullness dwells. In Him there is an abundance of everything and everything the believer needs.

Jesus was God in flesh; He was the Word made flesh; but a message of provision that is Not applicable would be inadequate. Not only has ample provision been made through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ; not only has salvation for the sinner been purchased through His shed blood; but the purchase of salvation has been placed within the reach of every poor lost sinner who will come to God by Christ.

Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” He was lifted up—and every unbeliever who will turn sin-blinded eyes toward the cross will receive the opening of His blinded eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4). The unbeliever’s vision will be clear when he sees the bleeding Lamb . . . When he sees the atoning blood that was shed for the remission of sin. And when the mind that has been “blinded by the god of this age” realizes that the Lamb hung on that tree for each and every sinner, faith will then bring salvation, purify the soul, and assure an eternal inheritance. We are not only saved by grace through faith, realizing that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believeth—but the believer who exercises faith in the blood of the lamb slain for the remission of sin will realize that in the shed blood we not only have redemption, but we also are “kept by the power of God through faith.”

In Jesus, the believer finds every grace—as needed, when needed, and under all conditions. The invitation is simply “COME UNTO ME.” And all who are tormented in the pit of the damned will beg for mercy because “Ye would not come to Me, that ye might have life!”

Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” Therefore, every blessing needed—in sickness or in health; in trial or in duty; for body or for soul; in life or in death; for earth or for heaven; for time or for eternity—is found in the fullness of Him who it pleased the Father that “in Him should all fullness dwell.”

(note 1) “Fullness”: this is the word which is needed to complete the picture. Jesus is not simply a sketch of God or a summary and more than a lifeless portrait of Him. In Him there is nothing left out; He is the full revelation of God, and nothing more is necessary.
(note 2) “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” (Colossians 2:9).
(note 3) “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

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