Word Wednesday

Word Wednesday: All the Fullness of Christ/ Pleroma

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“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ who is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians  2:9)

I enjoy the Bite of Bread, the short weekly Bible Reading Plan I post every Monday. I know that for many of us, that’s all we have time for in the morning and a little bite to chew on all day is better than no spiritual breakfast at all. You know they say that the morning meal is the most important for our bodies. I believe that our spirits need nourishment before the day runs away with us too.

But lately I’ve missed reading big chunks of Scripture. And so the other morning I read Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse. And I cried. I’m not sure why, but I found myself reading the book outloud and weeping toward the end.

That morning I needed a change. So, rather than sit in the same spot I sit everyday, I moved my “quiet time” over to the corner of our dining room table where a window gave me view to our back yard. The morning sky, soft and full of promise, beckoned my spirit. I lit a candle and began to read.

If your morning ritual has become static, shake it up. Find a new spot and intentionally read something different than your normal routine. If you have enough time for more than a Bite, feast on the four short chapters of Colossians or whatever the Lord leads you to.

Rabbit trail. Sorry.

Back to the “fullness” of Christ, the phrase from Colossians that always intrigues me.

Sometimes the ancient Greek word reveals a deeper meaning than our English can convey, thus Word Wednesdays. I’m such a word nerd. But today we need to do more digging. We will get to “fullness” in a moment, but in this case, more than the Greek is essential to understand Paul’s words. We need to understand why he used these words.

One of the false teachings was gnosticism. “Gnosticism” comes from the Greek word gnosis which means knowledge. The gnositics believed that knowledge was the only requirement for salvation because all the “secrets of God” were in the mind. They also believed that nothing holy could live in our flesh and so the body of Christ was spirit rather than body. By doing so they were denying the human yet God form of Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection.

So that is why Paul writes, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness of Christ. . . ”

“Fullness” is translated from the Greek word Pleroma which means ” to make full, fill, fill up.”

glass of water

The glass is not half full nor half empty in Christ. Every ounce of Jesus was man filled completely with God. Please read that again. Jesus was God poured into a man. He was both victorious and susceptible to death at the same time.

It’s beyond comprehension.

But there is more to Paul’s words, . “. . .  and you have been given pleroma in Christ.”

Don’t read that too fast either. We gloss over it so quickly.

[tweetability]We have been given the fullness of Christ.[/tweetability]

It’s hard enough to try to wrap our minds around Jesus as both God and man, but it’s even harder to think of our earthly bodies somehow being filled with Christ–mostly because we know how very human we are All. The. Time! Right?

Are you filled with Him today? Am I? Yes. We who believe are filled with Him.

 

But I know that I do run on low or empty somedays. Usually it’s the days or weeks when I’ve been too busy to spend time at the corner of my dining room table, candle lit, morning welcoming me, and Bible read out loud. That’s what fills me with Him again.

What fills you up?

With purpose beyond today,

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4 thoughts on “Word Wednesday: All the Fullness of Christ/ Pleroma

  1. I liked “Don’t read that too fast.” I slowed down and read it all again.
    Fast is overrated when it comes to savoring His Word. Thanks.

  2. Thank you so much for the “Bite of Bread” this Wednesday morning. The Word of God is always refreshing early in the morning…as David said, ” Early will I seek thee…” The Word of God sets the tone for the rest of the day. You explained the text with clarity in how we are filled with Christ the day we believed. I am reminded to go back to the book of Colossians and re-read for Spiritual guidance and edification. My heart is filled even now as I respond to your message. Please pray for me to continue to grow stronger in the Lord as I pray for you and your ministry.

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