Thursday, November 15, 2012

The fullness of Christ

The "fullness of Christ" begins with a human soul being united
with Christ. All divine blessings flow from that union.
Ephesians 1:3 ; Ephesians 2:8;9
To access all the Gospel of John questions and answers - Click here 

John 1:14-18:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16  His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. - John 14-18 - NKJ

Question:  What is the "fullness" of Christ? - John 1:16

The Short and Long Answer:

The Scripture says that "in Christ, are hid, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3

The Scripture also says that His disciples "are complete in Him" - Ephesians 2:10:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.   Colossians 2:8;9;10

One renowned Biblical scholar [Barnes] describes the state of "completeness in Christ:"

1) wisdom which is needful to guide us;
(2) the atonement to be made for sin;
(3) the merit by which a sinner can be justified; and,
(4) the grace which is needful to sustain us in the trials, and to aid us in the duties, of life; 

We may also, take note of another complimentary Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:30 - "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption"

Also, John 1:14 says that from Christ's fullness His disciples witnessed Christ's "glory" - the same glory from God the Father which is "full" of "grace and truth."

So, what is the "fullness of Christ?"

The "fullness of Christ" are all the spiritual blessings which come from Him and are transmitted (granted) to His children:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," Ephesians 1:3

"But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption"  1 Corinthians 1:30 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Note also:  Ephesians 1:23 ; Ephesians 3:19 ; Colossians 1:19 ; Colossians 2:9

Faith is only as good and complete, as its object.
Faith in ordinary human beings who are sinful, is
a foolish trust. Faith in the sinless holy Son of
God is a faith that sustains. That faith can only
come from a pure and undiluted [sinless] source.
"Saving" faith originates from God's Holy
Spirit. He isn't called "holy" for nothing. 
But, what is the "vehicle" driving these spiritual blessings? If only God's children possess the fullness of Christ, then it follows that "faith in Christ" is prerequisite:

Galatians 3:22-29:

22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Galatians 3:22-29

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8;9

John 3:1-21 explains the "born from above" experience.
God's Holy Spirit utilizes the divine revelation of the
Holy Scriptures to effect faith in the individual.
It is miracle of "Conversion" [regeneration]:
James 1:18 ; Titus 3:5 ; John 1:12;13

The fullness of Christ begins with God the Holy Spirit. It is He who grants a human soul faith in Christ, which is the entrance to a Christian's spiritual blessings, in Christ

Following, are a number of Scriptures which demonstrate that "faith in Christ" is divinely granted:

Salvation - John 1:12-13 ; James 1:18 ; Matthew 16:17 ; Ephesians 2:4-5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; 1 Peter 1:3 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Colossians 1:20-21 ; John 3:5-8 ; John 6:65 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; Romans 8:29-31 ; Romans 9:15-18 ; Titus 3:3-7 ; Philippians 2:13 ; 1 John 5:4 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; Hebrews 2:3 

See also:  John 3:1-21 ; Titus 3:5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; John 1:12;13 ; 1 Corinthians 2:12 ; 1  Corinthians 6:11 ; 1 John 5:1

Please note the above Scriptures - The "saving" of one's soul, is entirely, the work of the gracious Good Lord.

The fullness of Christ finds its practical outworking in the God person of the Holy Spirit

Christ prepared His disciples (and, that includes present day believers) for the future. Before His suffering and death by crucifiction and subsequent Resurrection and Ascension,  we have Christ's instructive words in John chapters 14 - 16. Christ promised that He would be with them to the end of the age (the world). He promised them that His Holy Spirit would be their "Comforter" (helper) and that His Holy Spirit would stand by them and "guide them into all the truth." Everything that Christ's disciples would need to survive and be (spiritually) successful, would be supplied them from above. His Holy Spirit's working is the complete and extended "fullness" of Christ.


Please notice: The above verses quoted out of the King James Version. However, by placing your computer cursor over the Bible reference; you may read each individual verse in the New King James Version [translation].


Note to the reader:  

"Bible Questions and Answers" are intended to help assist the web reader to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and to enhance understanding. It is this web author's prayer that God the Holy Spirit will utilize this humble effort to effect and affect faith in those who read and hear.

Please also note:

As Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has additional thoughts to convey of these specific Bible questions and answers individual published web postings, he will continue to edit - revise and add. Please check back, at will on this website; and / or check with Nathan M. Bickel ['s] Facebook page:  The Christian Message for notifications of this website's new additions.

Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web and the two hymn verses from TLH ; CPH; 1941

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