It pleased the Father that in Him should a fullness dwell… and having made peace through the blood of His cross … Colossians 1:19, 20 KJV
It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him and … having made peace through the blood of His cross… Colossians 1:19-20 NASB
The Colossian epistle reaches its climax in chapter 3:11, “Christ is all and in all.” It is an epistle which presents the greatness and glory, the sovereignty and the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is seen in relationship to the Cosmos, the Church His Body, the Company locally, and the Christian. In Him, we are beyond shortages, substitutes, and the shadows. We have everything in Him.
In the wonderful and majestic Christology of chapter 1, the Spirit of God, through Paul, tells us that in Him, it has pleased God that all fullness should dwell. What is this fullness?
There are two possibilities and both are true; the question relates to which is being proclaimed here. Most who have written about this verse view it as the fullness of deity. We are told further on, “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9). There is no question that at this moment, in a resurrected body, all the fullness of the Godhead resides. There is no question, as well, that while here, as a man among men, He possessed uncompromised deity. Omnipotence and omniscience were displayed by Him in His miracles and in His interactions with men. He Who “knew all things” and of Whom they said, “He hath done all things well,” was deity in its fullness.
But in light of the context, there is a second possible way of understanding this. It may relate to the fullness of God’s purpose. We are told that creation is not only the work of His hands, but it was made “for Him” (1:16). He is its Head. He is not only Head of creation, He is Head of the Body the Church; and, it is God’s purpose that “in all things He might become preeminent” (v 18, Newberry).
It is God’s purpose to head everything up in Christ. Everything is for Him. Ephesians 1:10 says a similar truth when it reveals that God intends “in the dispensation of the fullness of times … [to] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” God has one ultimate purpose: the glory and honor of His Son.
The Millennial age will showcase the glory of Christ. An entire universe will enjoy the blessings of His beneficent reign. His wisdom, goodness, kindness, love, mercy, and grace will be evident for all to enjoy. His holiness and righteousness will replace the unjust regimes which have impoverished earth.
The glory of that 1000-year kingdom age will then merge into the eternal day. And there again, God’s great purpose is to head everything up in a Man. The fullness of the divine program, the fulfillment of the divine purpose will all be seen in the Preeminent Man Who will reign and dwell among men eternally. Divine grace, amazing grace, has not only linked us with Him, but will enable us to behold His glory (John 17:24) eternally.
- If the second interpretation of “all fullness” is correct, does that shed light on what the “knowledge of His will” (v 1:9) means?
- Think of the juxtaposing of the thought of all fullness dwelling in Him, and then, “the blood of His Cross.”