Thursday, 30 March 2017
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, Colossians 1:19
The construction of the words of this verse leave it open as to the identification of the subject. The words, “the Father” are inserted here. Some translations state, “God,” or even “the Godhead.” Others leave any insert out. The Father is referred to in verse 12 where Paul acknowledges “giving thanks to the Father.” However, the term “God” is used in verse 15 where it says, “He is the image of the invisible God.” As this is the nearest antecedent, and as “God” is at other times referring to the Father, it appears to be a better choice to fully define what is on Paul’s mind.
Further, Colossians 2:9 states, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…” This is speaking specifically of Christ as well, and so Paul was probably thinking of the Godhead, or Deity, here in 1:19 as well. With this understanding, the verse can be logically evaluated.
“For it pleased” shows that what has come about in Christ was something satisfying to God. Everything about the exaltation of Christ which has been seen in the preceding verses was by the design, and with the approval, of God. Christ Jesus’ preeminence in all things was God’s intent all along. This is revealed through the words that “in Him all the fullness should dwell.” The pleroma, or fullness,” refers to all of the divine attributes and the essential nature of the Godhead. Everything about God that can be revealed to us is done so through Christ Jesus. He is the focal point for us to understand God, fully and completely. It is through Him that God will ceaselessly and endlessly reveal Himself to us. This is fully supported by the words of Revelation 21 –
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:22, 23
What God reveals of Himself is done through the Lamb. Thus God’s light of revelation is fully expressed to us through Christ Jesus. This was what Jesus was telling the apostles in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” The fullness of the Godhead is seen and expressed to us through Jesus Christ because it dwells in Him. The word Paul uses for “dwell” is one which indicates settling down as a permanent resident. Jesus didn’t temporarily receive the fullness of the Godhead, but He possesses it completely and eternally. He is God’s permanent focal point for revealing Himself to us.
Life application: God has chosen to reveal Himself in His fullness through Jesus Christ. To deny the deity of Christ is to deny the truth of God. One either has the Son, which includes the fullness of God, or they do not have God. It is that plain and that simple. Don’t resist God any longer, but rather yield yourself to the Son and, in turn, be pleasing to God the Father.
Heavenly Father, we can buck against Your word, denying what You have done through Jesus Christ, but only we will suffer. You are pleased to reveal Yourself through Him. We can either accept that revelation of Yourself, or we can walk away from You and remain apart from You. But in Christ, there is fellowship; in Christ, there is hope; and in Christ, there is full and eternal reconciliation with You. May we yield our hearts and bow our knees before the matchless King of Glory! Praise You, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.