G. Davison 1989
As the previous speaker was bringing before us the wonderful riches of God's treasury, that are available for us in Lord Jesus Christ, I felt impressed to say a little as to the Divine fulness that is in the Son of God, as indicated in the Scriptures I have just read.
Last night we were hearing from Philippians 2, of the marvellous stoop of the Lord Jesus from the form of God to the form of a Servant. Wonderful and true as that surely was, (our hearts were delighted as we listened), we must ever remember that personally He was no less great when in the Servant's form down here than when subsisting in the form of God. In these Scriptures we have read of that Divine fulness, which was in Him in this world, which is still in Him in resurrection, and which will yet come into display in the vessel which is even now being formed, and which will be fitted to display the fulness of Him which filleth all in all.
To begin with then in John 1, we read how "the Word became flesh … full of grace and truth"; and again that "of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace," or "grace upon grace." It does not say, truth upon truth, for truth has come in a complete and absolute way in the Son. But grace, Divine favour, flows on, ministered to us as needed.
We can trace it a little through this Gospel, chapter after chapter, as meeting varieties of human need. In John 2, we see grace manifested at the marriage feast. In John 3, as dealing with Nicodemus. In John 4, meeting the woman at the well. In John 5, with the man at the pool. In John 6, feeding the crowds. In John 8, with the woman in the temple. In John 9, opening the eyes of the blind man. In John 11, raising Lazarus and dealing with his sisters. Grouping them all together, we can indeed say, "Of His fulness have we all received, and grace upon grace."
If we turn now to Colossians 1, we find the Fulness spoken of in a very distinctive way. In the Son all fulness was pleased to dwell. Here it seems to be for the reconciliation of all things in the heavens and on earth for the pleasure of the Godhead.
While in Genesis 1, we read that God was active in creation, we learn here that it was through the Son that all things were brought into being. In verse 16 there are three prepositions; "by" (or "in"), "by" and "for". The first indicates the Source; the second, the instrumental Power; the third, the End in view. All three are used in connection with the Son, and are true of Him.
In verse 16 we have "all things were created by Him," and in verse 20, "by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself." "By" is the same word in both cases, and putting them together, we have this: The Son was instrumental in the creation of all things, and becoming man He is instrumental through His death in reconciling all things for the pleasure of the Godhead. Then in regard to the "for," He will yet fill all things, as Ephesians 1, states.
In Colossians 2, we read that the Fulness is still dwelling in Him bodily. In Him down here to reconcile all things for the pleasure of the Godhead, it abides in Him in glory, for the support of the members of His Body, in order that they may display now in testimony the virtues of the Head. The word "complete," in verse 10, is connected with the word "fulness" in verse 9, since it means "filled full." The fulness of the Godhead is in Him, and we are filled full in Him now, to enable us to come out for His pleasure in this world. Hence from the Head, "all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."
In Ephesians 1, our thoughts are carried on to the world to come. In that day Christ will fill all things with His fulness. The vessel will be adequate, fruit of God's own work, to display His fulness to the bounds of the universe. In Colossians that fulness is to be displayed in testimony now; in Ephesians to be displayed in glory in the world to come. In Ephesians 4, the work of the ministry will go on, "till we all come … unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
The verse we read in Revelation 22, came into my mind as I rose. Here again we have the greatness of the Son brought before us. He is the " Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." The three things suggest, Language; Work; Being. He is the embodiment of all that God has to say; of all that He works for His glory; of all that He is in nature and character. The Son abides "the Same."
In verse 16, He presents Himself to us as "I Jesus," the One we heard of from Philippians 2, in His perfect Manhood and His lowly grace. In this last chapter of the Scriptures we are given to see His eternal greatness, and along with that His infinite grace, that will ever be known to us; for He abides, "Jesus Christ the Same yesterday, and today, and for ever."