There is a particular phrase the Apostle Paul uses 164 times in his epistles. This phrase is the consummate declaration; nothing can be added to it. It is a technical phrase coined by Paul to disclose what had been given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ; it is the term “in Christ.”
There is a background to each of the epistles of Paul. There were particular circumstances under which they were written. One very frightening picture is that of the Church of Colossae. The Church of Colossae had not overtly rebelled against Paul’s teachings neither did they refute his apostleship. But a very subtle form of apostasy had snuck in. the Colossian heresy was that of being passive towards Christ. They thought they had heard sufficiently and needed to move on to something else. They had developed a nonchalance towards the message of the person and work of Christ. Paul brought them out of this fall from grace by presenting to them the all-sufficient Christ.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power”. Colossians 2:8-10
It is possible for you to be carried away as a spoil because you do not take heed to your stand in Christ. It is possible for your convictions to be swayed from this Gospel by you giving attention to something else”.
All the fullness of the deity continues to live embodied in Christ. In Him, the plenitude of the Godhead has its corporeal home and you are complete in Him; you too are filled full with the fullness of the Godhead. We are made complete in the One who is the head of all principality and power. Christ being the head of all principality and power means that His headship is the origin of all authority and power. If you are complete, filled full with the One who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily and whose headship is the source of all authority and power, then all authority, all power operates in you. You are deficient of nothing! It is time for us to acknowledge what we are in Christ. You are exactly as He is, 100% the same. This is what is called identification. The Father looks at you and He sees in you Christ Jesus His Son. This is not simply because of the indwelling but because you have been made 100% the same. The exactitude between you and Christ Jesus is such that you speak in His name and the government of heaven responds as though it was Christ Jesus Himself who spoke.
It is unfortunate that Christians are robbed of their inheritance by means of teachings that emphasize on their incompleteness. Religion always focuses on how incomplete you are. Many have trouble in acknowledging that they are filled full with the fullness of the Godhead. This would be because you want to analyse that statement from sense knowledge. But we were never called to live by sense knowledge.
The term “complete” is the Greek term “pleroo”, taken from the terminology “pleroma”. This is the term Paul uses in Colossians 2:9. He says, “in Christ Jesus is the pleroma of the Godhead bodily and you are the body which gives expression to the fullness of the Godhead which is Christ.” Without you, Christ is incomplete. We complement Christ.
Whatever is outside of Christ is illegal in you. Unless you have understood what it means to be in Christ, you may still be accommodating what has nothing to do with you. The all-sufficient Christ has brought us to completion with the fullness of His divinity. You should refuse to acknowledge anything other than Christ in your life, because He took what was His and made it yours. If it is not His, then it is not yours!
There are a series of statements in Paul’s epistles which reveal the extent to which Christ has brought us into His sufficiency.
- The sufficiency of Christ has given us conformed sonship.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” — Romans 8:29
The term “conformed” is derived from the Greek word “sunmorphos”, which means to be conjointly formed. At the resurrection of Christ, we were conjointly formed. He as the first born was the prototype son, the sample of what we have been made. Jesus Christ is not only an example to us, but He is the example of us. We have been conferred with the same identical sonship of Jesus Christ. He has made you a son within His own sonship.
- The sufficiency of Christ has made us absolutely new.
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” – 2 Cor. 5:16-18
When Jesus died, He died as all. The death of One was the death of all (2 Cor. 5:14) and when He was resurrected, He did not leave them in the sepulchre. The old things refer to the cosmos in Adam, the federal headship of Adam. They passed away, meaning they died. Everything old was abolished at the cross when Jesus died and all things have become new. The term used for newness is the Greek word “kainos” which refers to that which is unprecedented, that which is unheard of, that which has never happened. In Christ, we have been made unprecedentedly new with a newness that does not grow old.