Fullness in Christ

by Scarlett Stough

“…you have been given fullness* in Christ (Colossians 2:10),” wrote Paul to the assembly of believers in Colosse. What exactly does that mean? So many biblical words and phrases are thrown around as if we understood them as well as words like rain or house, but do we?

We can understand being filled with a meal, but when it comes to being “given fullness in Christ,” we find the metaphor difficult to understand in concrete terms. Jesus compared his body to bread and his blood to wine and asks us to eat and drink of him (Matthew 26:26-28). Most of us know he did not mean that literally; it isn’t possible. Yet we still have trouble fully understanding how to apply this principle to life.

In the letter to the Colossians, Paul was inspired to explain why Jesus the Christ, and faith in him, is the way God is bringing peace between God and humanity. He is the whole meal. We don’t need to add any human philosophies and traditions, or to follow man-made rules and principles upon which society bases its wisdom.

The believers in Colosse were being confused by people who were promoting not only unnecessary circumcision, but also, angel worship, personal visions (their false credentials) and ascetic living as the way to please God, gain humility and to suppress one’s lustful appetites (Colossians 2:4, 8, 11, 16-18). Paul wrote to them that treating the body harshly does not change the inner sinful nature (Colossians 2:22-23.) Christ alone has completely cut off that sinful nature from having any power to cut us off from God.

These false teachers were not using the Scriptures or the teachings of Jesus as the foundation of their arguments. This letter is preserved so we too can avoid being deceived by words that sound good, but are not in agreement with the gospel as preached by Jesus, the Twelve Apostles and the other apostles, like Paul.

We proclaim him [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect** in Christ (Colossians 1:28.)

If we belong to Christ, he has made us complete. We do not need to go beyond the clear instructions available to us in the Scriptures. Christ is our Apostle, our Prophet, our Savior, our Judge, our King, our Brother, our Teacher, our Mediator and the list goes on. No human being stands between us and God, our Savior. No human philosophy can substitute for his teachings.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (Colossians 2:9-10.)

Faith placed in Christ is faith well placed. Accept no substitute.


*4137 translated “complete” in the KJV, is translated from the Greek pleroo which “signifies 1). “to fill” 2). “to fulfill, complete.”
**5046 Greek teleios “brought to its end; finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness, perfect.”
Both of the above definitions are from The New Strong’s Expanded Concordance of the Bible.

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Know the Mystery of God.


Volume 11 Issue 2 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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