The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 94 of 141
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firstborn of every living creature, and firstborn from the dead; it was well pleasing that in
Him should all the fulness dwell (Col. 1: 15-19).
Had we continued our quotation of John's Gospel to the eighteenth verse, we should
have read, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the
bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him"; this finds its complement in Col. 1: 15
where Christ is spoken of as "the image of the invisible God". The body, whether of
flesh and blood as it was during the life of Christ on earth, or manifestation of God to
man. The passage from Col. 2: cited above links the believer with this glorious fulness;
we are said to be "complete", or "filled full" in Him, and He who fills us is head of all
principality and power. Both titles therefore lift the Church into the highest glory; as the
Church appears quickened, raised and seated together with Christ at the right hand of
God, filled to the full in Him, of all the assemblies purchased by precious blood and
saved by sovereign grace, this Church alone is honoured by being called in its turn, "the
fulness of Him that filleth all in all". He fills "all things" as Eph. 4: has already
declared; in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; the invisible God finds in
Him the express image of all His marvellous being, ways, and purposes. The church
which in its turn is "His body", that Church is the "fulness" of the unseen Christ; even
principalities and powers in the super-heavenlies look at this to be a member of His Body
is glorious, what shall we say to the revelation that that Church is His fulness? Called
during a dispensation of the Mystery in connection with the mystery of His will, it finds
its place in a dispensation of the FULNESS of the seasons (1: 10). The goal before it is
twice connected with the fulness; first, in Eph. 3: 19, it goes on in the comprehension
of the love of Christ, in order that it may be filled unto all the fulness of God, and
secondly, in 4: 13, the goal of the initial and foundation ministry of the "gifts" of the
risen Christ, given in the capacity of the One that filleth "all things", is given as "the
unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". The Church which is His Body is the
perfect man, for He created it in Himself "one new man" (2: 15), and its measure is "the
measure of the full age or maturity of the fulness of Christ". Christ as the One in whom
all the fulness of the Godhead dwells, is the only manifestation of the invisible God, and
the only declaration of the Father; the Church which is His Body is the present (and may
we dare hope) the future manifestation of the glory of Christ, its unseen Head.
The hope that the special privilege of the One Body may go on into the future ages
seems confirmed by the words of Eph. 3: 21, where, after reference to being filled unto
all the fulness of God, the apostle concludes, "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ
Jesus, to all the generations of the ages, Amen". May it be so, now and ever, must surely
be the desire of every member of His Body.