Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Colossians 1:19 – Jesus is the Fullness of God

Whenever we describe a person we usually do so by saying who he is and what he does. In Colossians 1:19-20, Paul reminds his readers as to who Jesus is, but we may find his words difficult to understand, with their reference to divine fullness.
It seems probable that ‘fullness’ was an idea in use among the Colossians. They wanted to have the fullness of God in their lives. Since God was so great, they thought different messengers were needed to bring his fullness to them. So they imagined a long list of possible angels who could help them get these blessings from God. This suggestion is not too surprising because angels have often been God’s messengers, both in the Old and New Testaments. The problem with the Colossian notion is that it demeaned Jesus and made him lower than God.
One of the many biblical verses that teaches the deity of Jesus is Colossians 1:19. His deity is seen in the phrase ‘all the fullness of God’. The word ‘fullness’ means completeness and extensiveness. Paul is stating that all of God is found in Jesus Christ. The one who was born in Bethlehem is fully divine.
We know that the way in which we read a passage like this will affect how we respond to it. What are some of the ways in which people read this verse? Some read it with curiosity, wondering what such unusual language signifies. Others read it with contempt, assuming that Paul’s words are only myths. Still others read it with confidence, because they have an understanding of Christian theology. And another set of people will read it with consecration, because they realise that the only appropriate response to Paul’s description of Jesus is dedication.

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