The Fullness Of Christ
Christless religion keeps God and humanity remote from each other. That approach seems reasonable to people who instinctively know they are not good enough for God. It preserves the dignity of whatever deity they worship, and protects them from the full force of the god's anger. It also suits any religious hierarchy by preserving mysteries which only they can understand, as they teach rites and rituals for others to follow without understanding. But faith in Christ is totally different. Jesus Christ is God in an identifiable human body (John 1:14) - offensive to some but gloriously liberating to those who receive Him (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Yet many believers fail to appreciate the power of this truth. It is not just that Jesus was infused with 'extra goodness' or that God's character was reflected by Him: but everything that is God was in Him, and still is! Everything that God is, Jesus Christ is - and was seen in His physical lifestyle, amazing teaching, and astounding miracles. And yet, even in the early days of the church, some people taught that Jesus was really an angel or that His physical humanity was an apparition. In these words to the Colossians, Paul challenged those false prophets. Later, John also identified them to warn the Christian not to believe their teaching (1 John 4:1-6). To know Jesus is to know God (John 14:7-10).
Even more amazingly, those who receive Him have been ‘brought to fullness’. This means that everyone who trusts in Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life (John 3:16) has been filled up with God. That is a big statement, one which we might shy away from as we look at our weaknesses, but it is our destiny. That is why Paul prays for the Ephesians that they may be “…filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) - all that sin had removed (from our relationship with God and eternal life) has been restored. We, who trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord, have an intimate bond with the person who has ultimate authority over everything. He has the power to keep us from falling away and the power to bring us into His presence with joy and no shame (Jude 1:24-25).
So, you see, we can never consider Christ too highly, because He is the highest person who is in command of everything. Our error is to devalue Him: to engage with His humanity but to ignore His divinity; or to forget that the fullness of His life is in us now, making us complete in Him for all eternity. Because He has God's full authority over everything, no teacher can be wiser than Him or contradict Him. Although some want to resist this, or even accuse believers of arrogance for believing it and rejecting any other way, He is still the one to whom everybody is accountable (2 Corinthians 5:10). Even today, the divinity of Jesus is still the target of false teachers. But the Apostle's message is to rejoice in your relationship with Christ, turn away from those teachers who deny His full deity, and proclaim Him to others wherever you live and work.
© Dr Paul Adams