8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:8-10 (NIV)
You know, most religions are full of exhortations to their followers, full of commands, and full of instructions for living, etc. Christianity is different; for, though it does offer exhortations and commands, its main focus is a Person. Indeed, even the laws and exhortations of Scripture are designed to point to the Person for "the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24 NIV) and "Christ is the end of the Law, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4).
The above passage, Colossians 2:8-10, sets forth a distinction between "hollow and deceptive philosophy" and Christ. It warns believers not to be taken captive to any belief system that does not have Christ at the center, no matter how plausible the arguments or logical the reasoning (Colossians 2:4). And then it provides the reason why we should avoid the empty religions and belief systems of the world, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ."
In other words, the teaching of the world, whether religious or secular, is "hollow" (empty) whereas, in Christ, we are given fullness. Think of it; we are as full of Christ as Christ is of God. Is there any part of God that is missing in Jesus? No, in Christ "ALL the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form." All of Who God is lives in Jesus. Jesus is full of God. And, in the same way, we have been given fullness in Christ.
"Fullness in Christ" is hard to explain, isn't it? It is something better experienced than explained. The word "fullness" means "to cram pack," to "saturate," to "satisfy," to "make complete." It is used in John 12:3 when the woman poured perfume on Jesus" feet "and the fragrance of the perfume filled the house." We can imagine the fragrance seeping into every corner of the house, filling every room, and saturating it with the sweet aroma.
In essence, this is what believers are. We are like the house that is saturated with perfume, only we are filled with Christ. "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:15 NIV).
My friends, you and I work and minister to those who are empty, hollow, looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places, just as we were at one time. One of the best things we can do for them is to show them our "fullness in Christ," to show them that Jesus is our life, that He fills our cup to overflowing, to show them our satisfaction in Him, and then invite them to forsake their emptiness and come and find fullness in Jesus.
If I were to try to describe all that Jesus is to me, I would run out of space before words. He is not only my Savior from sin, my Lord and Master, my King and my God, my Shepherd and Guide, but He is also my Brother and my Friend. The most enjoyable thing about life is that we get to walk and talk with Jesus, to experience His love and His friendship, and to live in all His fullness.
One of my favorite songs describes this "fullness" that we have been given in Jesus. It says-
Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go, no other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad, He's my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, my Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them over and over.
He sends the sunshine and the rain, He sends the harvest's golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, He's my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, and true to Him I'll be;
O how could I this Friend deny, when He's so true to me?
Following Him I know I'm right, He watches over me day and night;
Following Him by day and night, He's my Friend.
Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I'll trust Him when life's fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend, beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy, He's my Friend.
~~Will Lamartine Thompson~~
grace and truth,
team member www.SettingCaptivesFree.com