Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

May 16, 2005


This morning I am thinking about the Scriptural term "fullness." I don't have much to say about it yet, except that it is a marvelous term. We find that Paul uses the term, among other places, twice in Ephesians (3:19, 4:13), twice again in Colossians (1:19, 2:9), and that John uses it in the first chapter of his Gospel (1:16). It is a daring word to use of a believer. In fact, Matthew Henry says, "It is a high expression: we should not dare to use it if we did not find it in the scriptures."

And it is a word well-worth our attention. The Greek word (pleroma) in the NT context is said to refer to "the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ" (more here).

Fullness. Let's dwell on this for a time. Let's grow in our understanding of this "high expression." Lord help us to understand the fullness that you give us in Christ.


Blogger Phil W said...

This is tied to how the Lord emptied himself to become a man, isn't it? A greater sacrifice than we can understand.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Pleroma was a favorite word of the full-blow, second-century Gnostics who used it to describe their pantheon. I suspect the doctrine of the Gnostic pleroma had already made its appearance in Paul's day, and that he used the word (especially in Colossians) to show what true fullness is. I love it.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

That's interesting, Milton, and sheds some light on Paul's (and probably John's) use of the word. I'm going to do a little more research and will, I hope, have more to say on the subject. Thanks for adding another piece to the puzzle!

3:36 PM  

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