Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fullness

“He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together… For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him… For in Him the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily.” (Colossians 1:17, 19, 2:9 CSB)

Jesus was somewhat enigmatic. They knew who He was. But they did not know who He was. They knew where He was from. But they did not know where He was from. The entire question of who Jesus was and is has been around a long time. Heresies have been given birth because of this very question, as theologians and others have struggled to try to answer the question. Some have concluded that He was just a man. Some have concluded that He was and is God. Some call Him the “God-man.” Some say He was half divine and half human, while others say He was fully divine and fully human.

The Colossian church was having to battle some heresies related to this question. We do not know who the perpetrators were by name, but the heresy seems to be related mainly to Gnosticism and asceticism. The basic thrust of their teaching was that Jesus was “one” way, not “the” way, that Jesus was only one in a cosmological host of spiritual entities who could navigate you to heaven, and they taught that following severely ascetic practices was part of this. So, one of the main reasons Paul wrote this letter was to combat these false teachings at Colosse.

Paul nailed down the singular truth that Jesus Christ is supreme. He is before all things, and in Him – like keys on a key ring – all things hold together. God was pleased that 100% of His fullness dwell in Him. He was and is the Son of God. That makes Him 100% God and 100% human, both at the same time. And honestly, that is not something we know how to reconcile in our limited human minds. It is simply a truth we accept on the basis of faith. Jesus told His disciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Therefore, any teaching, regardless of who it may come from, that in some way denigrates the divinity/humanity of Jesus, or which holds up “alternatives” to Him as the one and only way to the Father, is heresy and must be opposed. More importantly, we need to continually hold before the church and the world that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

Lord, Help us to maintain the truth standard of Your word and represent You fully and accurately to the world. Help us in Your church to equally represent the truth of who You are, for Your glory. Amen.

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