“FOR it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” – Col. i. 19
How peculiarly pleasing it is to such as trust alone in the Lord to contemplate the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ! However lean, barren and destitute God’s children may feel themselves to be, it is a real satisfaction to know that he possesses all fullness in himself; and that “Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Upon a subject of so much interest, so full of consolation to the family of God, a few reflections cannot be uninteresting.
The character in whom all fullness is treasured is none other than the immaculate Lamb of God, the Redeemer of Israel, the Mediator of the New Testament, the King of Sion and the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. However much his character and perfections have been traduced by Pharisees, workmongers and modern arminians who have denied his power to execute his sovereign pleasure in calling, quickening and eventually glorifying all that his Father gave him, and how much soever they may reflect upon his wisdom, goodness and grace, “Unto you that believe, he is precious.” But may we not inquire, in what does his fullness consist? It certainly does not consist in the possession of all or any of those qualities or attributes which men are wont to ascribe to him, such as anxiety, inability, dependence on creatures’ wills or works; nor can he be filled with the spirit of that religion which is highly esteemed by the children of this world, since that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Men have regarded him as altogether like themselves, as possessing a fullness of such qualities as to them, in their depraved and benighted state, would seem comely and God-like. But the natural opposition of man to all that belongs to the divine perfections disqualifies him for justly appreciating that which is truly good and spiritually excellent.
First. “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” – Col. ii. 9. What do we or can we possibly know of the Godhead that we have not learned through the medium of our Lord Jesus Christ? What conceivable attribute of God that does not shine forth in the face of the Beloved? “He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person.” – Heb. i. 3. Eternity, immutability, self-existence, independence, omniscience, omnipotence, justice, love and truth are all treasured up in him as they exist in the Father. He that knoweth the Son knoweth the Father. He that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father. And he that receiveth or worshipeth the Son, receiveth and worshipeth the Father. Who can comprehend the fullness of him in whom all the Godhead dwelleth bodily?
Second. It hath pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell in regard to the church; for the apostle says he is “Given to be Head over all things to the church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” – Eph. i. 22, 23. And immediately connected with the words above cited the apostle adds, “And ye are complete in him who is the Head of all principalities and power.” – Col. ii. 10. This then must be considered as one important item of the fullness of Christ. All are in him that will ever be in him, his church created in him, chosen in him, loved in him, secured in him and made acceptable in him, are the fullness of his choice, purpose and grace; they are the fullness of his mystical body, embracing all the members of a perfect body, and the joints and bands, gifts and perfections, and as such they have ever existed in him in perfect harmony with the inspired testimony: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, even from everlasting to everlasting thou God.” – Psa. xc. 1, 2. This fullness embraces all that the Father gave him, all whom he has redeemed with his own blood, and all that shall ultimately reign with him in glory; so that all the powers that be can never add to his fullness in regard to the number or perfection of his church as his church exists in him; for that which is full can contain no more, that which is complete admits of no enlargement, and that Sion which God has pronounced “The perfection of beauty,” (Psa. 1. 2) cannot be improved. However imperfect, uncomely, loathsome and incomplete the church collectively or the saints individually may be in herself or themselves considered, Christ is of God, made unto his people Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. – Cor. i. 30.
Third. He is “Full of grace and truth.” – John i. 14. We are lost in wonder and admiration when we trace the perfections of our adorable Prince and Savior. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor, or who hath first given to him and it shall be recompensed to him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen. – Rom. xi. 33-36.
Full of grace. All that has been flowing from the fountain of grace to meet the wants of his dependent people in ages past has not diminished his fullness. lie remains the same yesterday, to-day and for ever. Not even that astonishing requisition upon the fountain when Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, when he bore the purse, carried our sorrows, endured the withdrawing of his Father’s presence, could chill the ardor of his love or lessen the abundance of his grace. Often as we, the children of his love, are involved in clouds and darkness, doubts anti fears, and in our extremity made to approach the throne of grace, we witness the ample fullness of grace still flowing on to meet our returning wants. Like the fullness of his grace is that of his truth, it endureth for ever; heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word cannot fail. How consoling to his saints is the assurance that his promises are based on infallible truth. “Wherein God willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” – Heb. vi. 17, 18. Of the indwelling fullness of the Redeemer we may include his power. All power in heaven and on earth is given into his hands. – Matt. xxviii. 18. That he should give eternal life unto as many as the Father hath given him. – John xxvii. 2. There is in him an unwasting fullness of all that can contribute to his glory or the real good of his people. He is full of sympathy for the feelings of our infirmities, full of compassion, full of wisdom and knowledge, full of love and full of glory. Truly we may say with the apostle, Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate front sinners and made higher than the heavens. – Heb. vii. 26. “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” – John i. 16.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
Nov. 15, 1842.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 88 – 92