Yesterday’s post ended with these words …
But here’s the challenge. Before the overflow can begin, we must be filled to the fullness of God (Eph 3:19). After all, fullness precedes overflowing.
Are we receiving … experiencing the fullness of God?
Consider these words recorded by the apostle John …
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. John 1:14-18 (NASB)
His fullness is to be experienced not only by the individual believer but corporately by the church as well …
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all IN all. Ephesians 1:18-23 (NASB)
And IN the church, He has given the responsibility of helping believers mature to the fullness of Christ to the elders in the church …
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 (NASB)
Now much like the fruit of the Spirit has many character traits (see Galatians 5:22-23), so too the fullness of Christ seems to reveal a number of traits as well.
So what does the fullness of Christ look like in the life of a believer?
The following offers but a brief and incomplete list of how the fullness of God could be revealed IN the believer and IN the church … they would be filled with …
- The Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)
- Love of Christ (Eph 3:19)
- Grace and truth (John 1:16-17)
- The fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ (Phil 1:11)
- Joy (2 Tim 1:4)
- Peace (1 Peter 1:2)
- Comfort (2 Cor 7:4)
- Wonder and amazement (Acts 3:10)
- All knowledge and the ability to admonish one another (Rom 15:14)
- The knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col 1:19)
- Completeness (Col 2:10)
Now I don’t offer this list as something a believer or a church is to strive or work towards. Just imagine, each of those items correlated with a gauge on a dashboard monitoring the fullness of God. If a believer or church has low or no readings on any of those gauges … the ONLY ONE who can raise those gauges is Christ Jesus … PERIOD. And He can only fill or increase them, when we do less NOT more (John 3:30).
Oh Lord, how we long to be a people walking IN the fullness of Christ Jesus!
But not only a people of fullness, but a people of abundant life overflowing with the water of life!