Be Filled with His Fullness
Paul,the Mosaic scholar, the religious zealot who sought to eradicate all followers of Jesus whom he hated, who was confronted by the risen Christ and struck blind so he could truly see, and who, now as he writes, dwells in a prison for proclaiming the Christ he once despised -- this extraordinary soul whose body was hindered by a disability which intense prayers could not remove, Paul now writes of divine realities which exceed the capacity of human language.
Consider his theme of fullness (a Greek word, pleroma, which should not be confused with a later heretical Gnostic myth).
1. The gathering in the fullness of times.
"that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and earth - in Him" (Eph.1:10)
When all is accomplished that God needs to accomplish, both in heaven and earth, then He will wrap up a grand gift to present to Christ.
We live in an unfolding story. Our time is known by God. The places we occupy are seen by God. He was there in what has happened already. He knows what is ahead. And He is with us right now, right here. He knows what is happening on earth, and has synchronized what is happening in heaven.
Surely, the churning on earth is kept in balance by the calm in heaven. The dark storms on earth cannot cast a shadow on the brilliance of heaven. And here is why.
2. Christ fills all in all.
Christ is the head of the body, the Church.
The Church is the fullness of Christ.
"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Eph.1:22-23).
There are now, as then, principalities and powers in the heavenly realms. There are forces holding dominions, carrying names, whether holy or evil.
But there is One who died and rose again, who has now been seated at the right hand of God, far above every other power in the heavenlies. And that is His rightful place, not only now in this present age, but also in the future age which we will enter in the fullness of time.
This One, the Lord Jesus Christ, stands above all other powers, for "He put all things under His feet" (Eph.1:22). And the supreme Christ is connected in love and power to all His followers, as Head to body. This means that the Church is not subservient to any power other than Christ. So vital is the Church to the victory of Christ that we are His fullness, just as He fills everything in every way, in heaven and earth, in this age and the next!
Words fall short. The mind must let go and admit we cannot keep pace with such revelation.
As we stay in our homes to curb the spread of this virus, we are only as confined as our theology is small. Dear believer, your Savior, who knows right where you are, sits atop the tiers of heaven, yet lives in your soul. You are part of His body, and in Him you will flourish in this life and the next.
Permit me to round out Paul's teaching.
3. Be filled only with the Spirit of Jesus.
"And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph.5:18).
To live into the fullness of Christ, Who fills all in all, we must be full of the Spirit He has given us. Accept no substitutes,
Only Christ! Add nothing to Him. Take nothing from Him.
- neither wine nor medication
- neither lust nor human love
- neither plans nor property
Let us be so emptied of self that there is room for Him to increase. Confess fear and welcome Him who is the fullness of love.
Let us do this till our final breath and we wake on the other side where we will see Him and understand the glory of His fullness.
My personal prayer as I conclude this lofty teaching must be: Lord Jesus, how shall I live this day to enlarge my heart to be more filled with Your Spirit?
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