“Jesus” – I contemplate the name Jesus – that name that has come to mean so much to me – that name that makes me feel warm and loved – that name that is bandied about by many who have no regard for it and who He is.
“Yes I chose that name which represents My main purpose in the world – Saviour – but being a saviour means so much more than plucking you out of the torrent of this evil world – it means making you my ‘friend’. Yes I am your Saviour – but first I am your Friend, I am your Shepherd, but first your Friend, I am Father, Brother, King, Lover, but in all this I am first your Friend. Friendship has so many facets to it – each of which I fill – now I want you to be my friend – to fill up that space I have kept in My heart specifically for your friendship to fill – and through Me you can spread My friendship in the world to others – because I am a friend to everyone who professes My name – Jesus”.
Now Lilly has asked me to comment on the beautiful passage in Colossians 1:15-20. So here is how I see that passage fits in to Paul’s letter and why it has been put there.
When I was a new Christian in the 80’s, very involved with the “Charismatic Renewal movement”, there was a buzzword – “fullness”. The message was that, “Yes its wonderful that you are a Christian, but to really enjoy your Christianity and especially to have the power to serve the Lord through His supernatural Spiritual gifts, in other words to experience His fullness you needed to be baptized in the Spirit”. Everyone who hadn’t received that baptism or ‘second blessing’ as it was often known was missing out and somehow a sort of lame Christian.
Now there seems to have been a similar message being preached by various False Teachers after Paul had left to the Colossian church. Teachers offering a fuller experience of Christ through some other means. So this is Paul’s reply to those teachings. If you read through the letter and look for them, Paul has played with the word ‘Full’ or ‘Fullness’ in several places.
But here is the basic basic message: In 1:15-20 He presents Jesus. Who He is and what His relationship with God is and what He has accomplished while here on earth. The key vs is 1:19 “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus)”. In other words everything God has and is and can give, was and is present in Christ. Now move to 2:9 he repeats this “For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form” and now comes the crunch 2:10 “and you have been given fullness in Christ”. So every Christian, when he receives Christ, receives everything that God has available to give. Just meditate on that incredible fact. We have it, we have everything already, that God can and will give, the moment you become a Christian.
But now the question is: why do we not all seem to experience it and why is it so attractive to us that when we are offered an easy way to receive fullness we often fall for it? In ch 2:11 to the end of the chapter Paul mentions a number of the things that the people were obviously being offered to give them that experience of “fullness”. Well Paul actually answers that question by mentioning three ways that we can get to the point of experiencing fullness.
Ch 1:9 Paul repeats a similar statement which he uses in Ephesians 1:17-19. We need to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the extent of the magnificent gift God has given us in Christ and Paul shows that we need God’s help to grow in the wisdom and understanding of that, not just in our heads but our hearts as well. We need to know what we have received and what it means to us. The more we know the more we will experience it and be led to live by it.
Ch 1:25 It is through the study and teaching from God’s word that that knowledge will be available to us. The study and meditation on the Word is key to getting this knowledge. Knowledge which in many respects has been a mystery and still is to many of us as it is slowly unfolded in His Word. (vv26,27)
Then in ch 2:1 and 3:16, Paul reveals the importance of our interaction as a church, as a group of saints in helping each other to grow in our knowledge and experience of the fullness presented to us through our relationship with Christ. This is a community effort and really, especially with Covid, is so important to remind ourselves of the importance of this interaction and our responsibility to each other so together we can grow in knowledge and obedience.
So to sum this all up; we need not and should not be calling on God to give us more but rather that He show us what we already have and then live accordingly. We need to listen to Jesus. We don’t need more of Him He needs more of us. I close with these words from the song “Yet not I but through Christ in me” “What gift of Grace is Jesus my Redeemer, there is no more for heaven to give”.
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