For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;…
I. A PARTICULAR FULNESS dwelt in Christ. The definitive article "the" has reference not to fulness in general. It would not be to the honour of Jesus to have all fulness whatsoever. We read of some whose cups and platters were full of extortion and excess; of Elymas, who was "full of subtlety," etc.; of men who were "full of envy, murder," etc. In Jesus it is some conspicuously glorious fulness.
II. A DIVINE FULNESS. The apostle refers to it in Colossians 2:9 — the fulness of the Godhead, not only really and spiritually, but bodily, in an incarnated condition, and thus conspicuously, and in such a way as made it a reasonable thing to ascribe to our Lord the work of creation on the one hand, and the headship of the Church on the other.
1. The Godhead is full of power. "Nothing is too hard for the Lord." All that fulness, too, is in Jesus, so that He is able to wheel the worlds in their orbits and "to save to the uttermost," etc.
2. The Godhead is full of righteousness. In God is "no darkness at all." Our Lord is "Jesus Christ the righteous," whom no one can convict of sin; and He is so full that His righteousness is available, not to Himself alone, but "unto all and upon all them that believe."
3. The Godhead is full of love. "God is love." Jesus said, "Greater love than this," etc.
4. Hence, too, there was in Him fulness "of grace and truth," of meekness, tenderness, gentleness.
III. A PERMANENT FULNESS. "Dwelt." The Father did not desire that the fulness of Godhead should stream through our Saviour, illuminating and glorifying His nature as it passed, and then vanish. It is the same in glory "to-day, yesterday, and for ever."
(J. Morison, D. D.)
I. THE FULNESS THAT IS IN CHRIST.
1. All fulness. Ahasuerus promised Esther that her request should be granted though it cost him half his kingdom. Christ offers nothing by halves. "It pleased the Father," etc. Transferring Divine wealth to our account in the bank of heaven, and giving us an unlimited credit there, Jesus says: "All things whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
2. All fulness of mercy to pardon sin. The gospel proclaims a universal amnesty. When the last gun is fired, and pardon proclaimed in reconquered provinces, is it not always marked by notable exceptions? But from Christ's pardoning mercy none are excepted save those who except themselves. It reaches the vilest sinner. It binds a zone of mercy round the world, and perish the hands that would narrow it by a hair's breadth. None shall be damned but those who damn themselves. One might fancy that now all are certain to be saved. Who will not accept of it? Offer a starving man bread, a poor man money, a sick man health, a lifeboat in the wreck, how gladly will they be accepted! But salvation, the one thing needful, is the one thing man will not accept. He will stoop to pick up a piece of gold out of the mire, but he will not rise out of the mire to receive a crown from heaven. What infatuation!
3. All fulness of grace to sanctify. Why are the best of us no better, holier, happier? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? No. He who justified can sanctify, and with holiness give fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore. There is efficiency and sufficiency in Jesus to complete what He has begun. There are stores of grace which are like the widow's barrel that grew no emptier for the meals it furnished. "My grace is sufficient for thee." With a well ever flowing our vessels need never be empty. No earthly fortune will stand daily visits to the bank, but this will. You may ask too little, but you cannot ask too much; you may go too seldom, but you cannot go too often to the throne.
II. THERE IS A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF SANCTIFYING AND PARDONING GRACE IN CHRIST. "Dwell," not come and go, like a wayfaring man, like a shallow, noisy, treacherous brook that fails when most needed, but like the deep-seated spring that, rising silently, though affluently, at the mountain's foot, and having unseen communication with its exhaustless supplies, is ever flowing over its grassy margin, equally unaffected by the long droughts that dry the wells and the frosts that pave the neighbouring lake with ice.
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;