Sunday, 15 March 2015

Jesus is fully God

There are many Bible verses that stress the deity of Jesus. Jesus reminded his disciples that those who saw him saw the Father (John 14:9). The apostle John writes that he and his fellow-disciples saw the glory of the Unbegotten Son when they saw Jesus performing divine actions and heard him teach profound truths – they realised that he gave out of his fullness to them and to others (John 1:14-16). Paul begins his letters by stating that Jesus is as much the source of grace and peace as is the heavenly Father. The first chapter of the Book of Hebrews highlights several ways that reveal Jesus is fully God. In the Book of Revelation, the river of life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). We should approach these verses with admiration of and dedication to Jesus.

Paul reminded the Colossians that in Jesus all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Col. 1:19). Why is this the case? Out of many possible answers we can select three suggestions.

First, Jesus has this fullness in order to achieve great purposes. After all, his actions are divine actions. Paul has already shown in this chapter of Colossians that Jesus, before he became a man, had created all things and upheld all things. After he became a man, without ceasing to be God, Jesus has this fullness in order to be head of the church (as Paul states in the previous verse), and he has this fullness in order to be the Reconciler (as Paul mentions in the next verse). So Jesus has the fullness of God in order to accomplish great things.

Second, Jesus has the fullness in order to bring pleasure to God. Here we have a reference to the eternal purpose of God – he does what brings him pleasure. When he was on earth, Jesus always did what pleased the Father, even when living as one who was also a real man. And Jesus will continue to please the Father throughout the endless future because of the divine fullness which dwells in him.

Third, Jesus has the fullness in order to help empty sinners. This aspect is seen in the connection of this verse to the previous one which says that Jesus is the head of the church. He possesses all that God has in order to bless sinners whom sin has emptied of all capabilities and resources. As the apostle John wrote, ‘We have all received out of Christ’s fullness.’

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