For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
The Colossians had accepted a false teaching that found spiritual fullness in something other than Christ. Paul warns against being taken captive by such philosophy and empty deceit (v. 8). Instead, we find everything in Christ, in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (v. 9). When believers under the old covenant thought of “dwelling,” they likely thought of God’s presence in the Temple. However, God has now revealed himself in a body rather than a building. We’ve already seen the importance of understanding both the deity and humanity of Christ (1:19). Therefore, under the new covenant, “the focus for God’s presence” and “the nucleus of God’s people” is no longer the Temple, but Christ himself. Deity has taken up residence in a body and that body was broken on our behalf.¹
Christ is the fullness of deity and he fills those who believe. Again, Paul is rebuking a false teaching that sought a spiritual fullness in some “deeper” teaching. Paul is showing us that there is nothing more magnificent than the fact that Christ has put on flesh, dwelt among us, and indwells believers. There is nothing more satisfying or filling than our relationship with the Lord. Everything else simply falls short. Only he is the head of ALL rule and authority.
- Do you understand how Christ has replaced the Temple as the presence of God?
- If Christ is the fullness of God, what are some practical implications of the fact that he fills us?
- Do you truly believe that Christ is your everything? He is that master of your thoughts, emotions, desires, etc?
¹ The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon, Douglas Moo.