January 18

Ephesians 1:9-10 (NLT)

“God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan (dispensation): At the right time (fullness of time) he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.”

Now Paul begins a more detailed explanation of the secret of God’s plan, and in this chapter he is thinking particularly of the future aspect of the mystery. Chapters 2 and 3 will add further light on the present aspect of the mystery.

The time which Paul has in view is indicated by the expression, the dispensation (administration, Gk., oikonomia) of the fullness of the times. We understand this to refer to the Millennium, when Christ will return to the earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. God has a special economy or plan of administration for the final era of human history on this earth.

The plan is “bring everything together under the authority of Christ”. During the Millennial Reign, all things in heaven and on earth will be summed up in Christ. The Savior who is now rejected and disowned will then be the preeminent One, the Lord of all, the object of universal worship. This is God’s goal—to set up Christ as Head over all things, heavenly and earthly, in the kingdom.

Verse 10 is sometimes used to support the false doctrine of universal salvation. It is twisted to suggest that eventually everything and everyone will be restored and reconciled in Christ. But that is quite foreign to the passage. Paul is speaking about universal dominion, not universal salvation!

V10, “the fullness of time”. This does not refer simply to the future. Christ has already come to bring redemption and adoption (Gal 4:4). By virtue of His death and resurrection, He has already assumed headship over the church, and, though behind the scenes, He already rules the universe (Ac 2:32- 36; Col 1:15- 20).

Still, a future emphasis dominates. The visible unity of the church is a foretaste of Christ’s eventual visible rule over all things. This is why Paul stresses the unity of Jew and Gentile in the church (vv.11-14; 2:11-22), and the practice of love among Christians (Eph 4:2, Eph 4:15; 4:32-5:2, 21-23). The theme introduced here in vv.9-12 is expanded in Eph 3:2-12.

Life Application

Wow! Can’t wait. It’s going to be so cool! So glad I’m on the right side!

Colossians 2:9-10 (NLT)

“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete (filled) through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

It is marvelous to see how the Apostle Paul constantly brings his readers back to the Person of Christ. Here he gives one of the most sublime and unmistakable verses in the Bible on the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Note the intended accumulation of evidence as to the fact that Christ is God. First of all, you have His deity: ” For in Christ lives all the fullness of God.” Secondly, you have what someone has called the amplitude of deity: ” For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” Finally, you have what has been called the absolute completeness of deity: ” For in Christ lives all the fullness of God.” (This is an effective answer to the various forms of Gnosticism that deny the deity of the Lord Jesus—Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unity, Theosophy, Christadelphianism, etc.)

Vincent says: “The verse contains two distinct assertions:(1) That the fullness of the Godhead eternally dwells in Christ…; (2) The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him… as one having a human body.” Many of the cults mentioned above would admit that some form of divinity dwelt in Jesus. This verse is identifying all the fullness of the Godhead with Him, in His manhood. The argument is clear—if there is such a sufficiency in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, why be satisfied with teachings which slight or ignore Him?

“You have been filled in him”, v10. In this remarkable statement, Paul affirms that believers share in Christ’s power and authority over every rule and authority by virtue of their union with him. Here is the main theme of Colossians. The divine “fullness” is in Christ (v.9), and believers are “filled in him.” Hence, they have everything they need in Christ. They do not need any other teaching. The term head is clearly used here with the sense of “authority over”. This would have been an encouraging and helpful teaching for the Colossians, who clearly continued to live in fear of the demonic realm.

Life Application

That word “complete or fullness” literally means to “cram”. You and I as born-again believers in Jesus Christ have been…crammed, jam-packed with all of who God is. Yah, heavy duty stuff, hard to wrap our heads around, but the truth non-the-less. Ask the Spirit of God to show you what this means and once fully understood, how it can and will affect your everyday life.