Posted by: the watchmen | June 5, 2008

Complete in Christ.


Complete In Christ

by William B. Hallman

Colossians 2:8-10 -“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

THE GREATEST DISCOVERY that any human being can make is the discovery of the ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST, and the utter worthlessness of man without Him. Christ is all, and in Him we have all. Without Him we are nothing, absolutely nothing. It makes no difference how many times we multiply ciphers: they will be devoid of all magnitude or quality until we place some digit before them But once a digit is placed before them, they take on meaning, value, significance.

“CHRIST IS ALL” is the covering principle of this Book of Colossians. Look at the following verses: “That in all things he might have the preeminence,” (1:18); “In Him should all fulness dwell,” (1:19); “In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, ” (2:3); “In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” (2:9); “In Him, which Is the Head of all principality and power, ” (2: 10): “Christ is all and in all,” (3:11).

I am sure we all can sing with Charles Wesley, “Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find.”

Browning wrote: “I say, the acknowledgment of God in Christ, accepted by that reason, solves for thee all questions in the earth and out of it, and has so far advanced thee to be wise.” And it was Bishop Moule who said “No surer test according to Scripture can be applied to anything claiming to be Christian teaching. Where does it put Jesus Christ? What does it make of Jesus Christ? Is He something in it, or is He ALL?”

This Epistle of Colossians is a positive presentation of the antidote to every form of heresy. Epaphras had come to Paul at Rome with the news that real danger of false teaching had beset the church at Colosse. This new heresy called Gnosticism was a combination of Judaic Ritualism and Oriental Mysticism (See 2:16-18). These Colossians were asked to accept something in addition to Christ. They taught that Christ was not sufficient. Not unique. They taught an additional philosophy (V.8). an additional astrology (V.8 – “elements of the world” having to do with stars and planets), an additional circumcision (V.11); additional ascetic rules and regulations (vs. 16,20-23), and additional worship of angels (V.18).

When anyone says that we are to be saved or kept by the Law, they have never understood the phrase: “COMPLETE IN HIM.” “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). When anyone suggests that we can add to our salvation by doing something. they have never understood the phrase, “COMPLETE IN CHRIST.” “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:15). When anyone suggests that water baptism in any form is necessary for salvation, or as a testimony to one’s faith, or the door to the church, they do not understand the phrase, “COMPLETE IN HIM.” For we are “Buried with Him in baptism” (Col. 2:12). When we are told that we must keep the sabbath, we know men do not understand the COMPLETENESS we have in Christ. “The sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ’, (Col. 2:16-17).

The word translated ‘fulness” in 2:9 is in the Greek the word pleroma, and the word “complete” in 2:11 is the word pepieromenoi. This latter is a perfect passive participle of the word pleroo The word means to “make full, to fill up, to fill to the full, to diffuse throughout, complete, nothing wanting.” So the great word in this Epistle, both with reference to Christ is this word pleromo or pleroo. This fulness is worked into the very structure and language of the Epistle. (See 1:9; 1:19; 1:24; 1:25, 2:2; 2:9: 2:10: 4:12; 4:17).

Not only in Colossians, but in the whole Bible we have tributes to Jesus Christ. He is seen in every promise, parable, prophecy, type, poem, narrative, allegory, and symbol. He is likened to the sun, the stars, the shepherd, the lamb, the lion, the door, the cornerstone, the foundation, the bread, and the wine. Everything about Him is superlative. He is the “Lord of Lords,” “the King of Kings.” “the falrest among ten thousand. ”

Nothing can go beyond completeness. You can add nothing to it. You might as well try to purge a sunbeam, or purify the whiteness of the newly fallen snow as to add to that which is already perfect. And it is not only true that “all fulness dwells in Him,” but also that we are “COMPLETE IN HIM.”

One day Michelangelo went into the studio of the young painter Raphael, and finding him gone, left without leaving his name. But before he went, he took a piece of chalk and wrote on the canvas of the poor and meager design of Raphael a bold and sweeping line with the word “amplius” [wider). When Raphael returned and saw this, he knew immediately who had been there and done this. He thus changed his style. So our Lord points to His fullness and our narrowness and emptiness, and challenges us to partake of His fullness – His “pleroma


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