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wondrous truth revealed in Eph. 1: 23, ever remember the practical issues that are found
in chapters 4: and 5:
"The Church. . . . the Fulness" (Eph. 1: 23).
The Church of this parenthetical dispensation of the Mystery, called out not only from
the world, but from among those who do already believe, is not only "the Church which
is His Body", but also, wondrous title, "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all".
First let us consider who it is that "fills all in all". In chapter 4: 10 we read:--
"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all the heavens, in
order that He might fill all things."
The parallel with chapter 1: 20, 21, where the risen Christ is seated in the
super-heavenlies "far above all principality", etc., is clear; the ascension beyond all
heavens, even as the exaltation above all powers, was necessary in order that the Lord
might manifestly "fill all things". John, when writing his Gospels, speaks of grace that
outshone all that had previously been revealed; he tells us that
"The Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory as of
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . and of His fulness have all
we received" (1: 14-16).
Those who received "of His fulness" were the ones who "beheld the peculiar glory" of
Christ as "the Word made flesh", "the only begotten of the Father". The emphasis upon
the "flesh" and "the only begotten" are essential; none can receive blessing apart from
the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; of this we shall see more
presently. Let us notice that rich as the blessing revealed by John undoubtedly is, those
who are blessed therein are not said to be His fulness; they receive of it. The Church of
the One Body not only receives of His fulness but is the fulness of Him who filleth all in
all. These two aspects are brought together in Col. 2: 9, 10:--
"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily and ye are filled to the full
of Him, which is the Head of all principality and power."
First we have the statement that in Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; the
words are simple, the meaning clear, but the tremendous conception of them surpasses
human thought. One word more must however be added, and this seems to make the
majesty and mystery of the revelation all the greater. How does all the fulness dwell in
Christ? The answer is that it dwells in Him bodily; just as John tells us "the Word was
made flesh", and the glory was that of "the only begotten", so on resurrection ground the
fulness dwells in Him bodily, and He is twice spoken of in Col. 1: as the first-born,