For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;…
I. By FULNESS OF GRACE we understand all those perfections to which the term grace extends itself.
II. WHY WAS IT NECESSARY THAT THIS FULNESS OF GRACE SHOULD DWELL IN CHRIST?
1. The fitness of things required it, on account of the union of His soul with the Word. For it is proper that in proportion as anything is nearer to the influential cause, so much the more abundantly should it partake of the influence itself. Since, therefore, God Himself is the fountain of grace, the soul of Christ, so near to God, cannot but abound in grace.
2. Necessity requires it, from consideration of the end, on account of the relation between Christ and the race. For grace was to be bestowed on him, not as on a private person, but as the universal fountain from whom it might be transfused into the rest of men. But in this fountain all the parts ought to be full and combined. The evangelist shows that grace is shed abroad from Christ (John 1:16; Ephesians 4:7).
III. THIS FULNESS OF GRACE IS PECULIAR TO CHRIST ALONE. To prove which, notice: In the saints militant there is not a fulness of grace; for it cannot consist with so many remains of the old man: for a fulness of grace leaves no room for sin. But not even in the very saints triumphant. For if one star differeth from another star in light and magnitude, then how much more does it differ from the sun? But an objection is raised, that the Virgin Mary, for instance, is said to be "full of grace" (Luke 1:28); and Stephen also "full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8); and that therefore a fulness of grace is not peculiar to Christ. I answer, The fulness of grace is twofold: one may be regarded on the part of grace itself, when a man hath it in the greatest extent, both as to every kind of grace, and in the greatest perfection as to degree. This is the fulness of Christ alone. The other regards grace on the part of the possessor when a man hath it as fully and as sufficiently as his state and condition can contain. Hence observe —
1. That God is not accustomed to impose an office upon any one without at the same time conferring upon him all those powers which are necessary for the discharge of it: He lays upon Christ the office of Head of the Church; but He also imparts to Him a fulness of grace. Therefore, whoever thrust themselves into offices, for the administration of which they are altogether incompetent, are not called to them by God, but are impelled either by avarice or ambition.
2. Since there is a fulness of grace in Christ alone, we must expect its streams to flow to us from Him alone: they who seek grace elsewhere commit two evils (Jeremiah 2:13).
Parallel VersesKJV: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;