Lesson 10

Paul's Letter to the Colossians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1:19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross. Through him, I say, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens.

Today's Lesson 

Paul's hymn to Jesus Christ has emphasized the preeminence of Christ above all created nature. He is above and before all beings. In Him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Through His divine nature, all things were created, whether things of heaven or earth, everything was created by Him and for Him. In Him, all of creation is held together. In verse 19, Paul adds another great revelation that flows from Christ and to the people He redeemed.


"For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him." This concept is an especially important one to Paul. Latter in this same letter he will write, "For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, and in him you are made full…" (2:9-10a). What does Paul mean that all the fullness of God dwelled in Jesus Christ?


First, Paul is saying that there is a unity between all that God has revealed and all that Christ has come to give us. "All of the fullness" is in Christ. God is not divided. There is a unity of purpose in all that has gone before and all that Christ came to bring. God is one. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "The Father and I are one." And, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." God was united in the person of Christ and revealed to us completely.


Paul is also saying that God dwelt in Christ fully. God overflows all containers. God does not come sparingly. There is no such thing as "just a little bit" of God's presence. The presence of God completely filled the life of Jesus Christ from beginning to end. When Jesus told His disciples to let down their nets and they tried to pull them into the boat, the nets were completely filled. When the bread that was left over was collected after feeding the five thousand, twelve baskets, one for each of the disciples, were completely filled with what was left. What God enters, He fills completely.


Paul is also teaching that God was pleased to dwell in Him fully. Everything about the Son was pleasing to the Father. God's love for His children is not half-hearted. His love is complete and unbounded. God was pleased with Christ because of the obedience that Jesus rendered unto God in all things. He said, "I do nothing of my own, but only that which the Father has given me to do." There was no sin or rebellion in the heart of Jesus Christ. His every action and word was done with complete accord with the will of the Father.


And finally, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him. God created the universe, which is vast beyond measure, but God dwells in His people. God does not live in the heights of the mountains or in the depths of the seas. He lives in and through His children. When Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, God was with Him and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove as a sign to John that this was the Chosen One of God. God was with Him when He calmed the waves on the Sea of Galilee and brought the disciples boat to safety. And God dwelt with Him when He was flogged and dragged to Golgatha and they nailed His wrists and ankles to the tree.


Indeed, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Him. Every attribute of God is revealed in Jesus Christ. He is the complete revelation of the Father. He is the image of the invisible God. All of history and all of creation came together in Jesus Christ to reveal God to His people. From the beginning, God had been planning to reveal Himself in just this fashion. And having revealed Himself, God was pleased with all that was accomplished.


This is no accident. This is not some alternative plan that was devised because a better one fell through. God is pleased with what has been accomplished. God will see this through to completion.


Are you willing to allow the fullness of God to come into your life until you are completely overwhelmed? Are you willing to surrender completely to His will and His pleasure?


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