By Charles H. Welch

Fulness (Eph. 1:22,23). Two writers, one Cunnington who made a translation of the New Testament, and Dr. J. Armitage Robinson, have made such suggestive comments on Ephesians 1:22 and 23, that we feel obliged to let the reader have the benefit of their helpful words. The intervening comments are by A.T. in an article published in The Differentiator.

"Cunnington furnishes an unusual thought, 'the fulness of Him who all in all is receiving His fulness.' The last four words express the Middle Voice force of 'getting or doing something for oneself.' Cunnington has here a footnote, 'cf. Phil. 2:7; process of cancelling the Emptying.' Here we have a most beautiful thought. When Christ Jesus (note the term) emptied Himself, He must have emptied Himself of His fulness. But after resurrection He got back His fulness-'in Him delights the entire fulness to dwell' (Col. 1:19); 'in Him is dwelling the entire fulness of the Deity bodily' (Col. 2:9).

"But the glorious thing for us is not alone that He got back the fulness He formerly possessed. Even that pristine fulness would be incomplete without His Body, the Church. We are, as it were, the fulness of His fulness.

"In his Exposition of Ephesians (1907) J. Armitage Robinson, D.D., states that verse 23 is perhaps the most remarkable expression in the whole epistle. He says the Church is described as 'the fulness of Him who aU in all is being fulfilled.' Paul would appear to mean 'that in some mysterious sense the Church is that without which the Christ is not complete, but with which He is or will be complete. That is to say, he looks upon the Christ as in a sense waiting for completeness, and destined in the purpose of God to find completeness in the Church. This is a somewhat startling thought.'

"Dr. Robinson gives a new thought from Col. 2:9, 'for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Deity in a bodily way, and ye are filled (or, fulfilled) in Him.' This is usually taken to refer to the Godhead residing in the Lord's body in all its completeness. But Dr. Robinson says this would be to neglect Paul's special use of the terms 'fulness' and 'body' in his epistles. The empty deceit of the philosophical despoiler can only give tradition and world-elements in place of the heavenly Christ. For in Christ dwells all the fulness of the Deity, expressing itself through a body: a body, in which you are incorporated, so that in Him the fulness is yours. The next words in Col. 2:10 might be taken as confirming this thought, literally, 'And you are, in Him, ones-having-been-filled-full.'

"Dr. Robinson continues, 'Thus St. Paul looks forward to the ultimate issue of the Divine purpose for the universe. The present stage is a stage of imperfection: the final stage will be perfection. All is now incomplete: in the issue all will be complete. And this completeness, this fulfilment, this attainment of purpose and realisation of ideal, is found and is to be found (for to St. Paul the present contains implicitly the future) in Christ-in Christ "by way of a body"; that is to say, in Christ as a whole, in which the head and the body are inseparably one. Even beyond this the Apostle dares to look. This fulfilled and completed universe is in truth the return of all things to their creative source, through Christ to God, "of Whom and through Whom and unto Whom are all things,"-"that God may be all in all." ' "

See article on BODY.

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