A Stunning Revelation That the Body of Christ Must Grasp
Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from Rick Renner’s book Apostles & Prophets: Their Roles in the Past, the Present, and the Last Days.
By Rick Renner
Jesus imparted the divine life of God into the Church’s core when He gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples (see John 20:22). After Christ did this, the Head and the Body were supernaturally connected, and the Church was filled with the life of Christ Himself — “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (see Ephesians 1:23). For this reason, the Church really is the living, breathing Body of Christ in the earth today.
According to John 3:34, when Jesus Himself walked the earth, the Father gave Him the Spirit without measure. But Paul stated in Colossians 1:18 and 19 that now, since Christ “…is the head of the body, the church…it pleased the Father that in him [and in all His Body] should all fulness dwell.”
The words “in him” certainly refer to Jesus Himself, but the subject Paul is discussing in these verses is the Church, the Body of Christ. These verses remarkably mean that as God was pleased to give Jesus the Spirit without measure, now the Father is pleased for “all fullness” to “dwell” inside the Church, the Body of Christ — Head to toe.
The word “all” in the phrase “all fulness dwell” in Colossians 1:19 is a translation of the word pan, an all-encompassing Greek word. The word “fulness” is translated from the word pleroma, the same Greek word we saw in Ephesians 1:23 that depicts something that is filled to the maximum.
The word “dwell” in Colossians 1:19 is a form of katoikeo, a Greek word depicting one who settles down into a home and feels so at home there that he has chosen to take up permanent residency. These three words “all fulness dwell” unequivocally mean:
- God’s Spirit has settled into the Church (the Body of Christ).
- He is pleased to permanently dwell there.
- His plan is to fill it to the maximum with the life of Christ.
This stunning revelation is confirmed in Colossians 2:9 and 10, where Paul added, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him….”
The words “in him” in verse 9 emphatically declare that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Jesus, but the following verse says, “And ye are complete in him….” In that verse, Paul was speaking plurally to the Church, so these words could be better translated, “And you (plural) have been given that same fullness.” Thus, Paul declared that as the Father was pleased to give the Spirit to Jesus without measure, the Father is now pleased to give that same fullness to Christ’s whole Body, the Church” (see Colossians 1:19).
Individually, every believer carries the Spirit within, but when all the members of the Church are joined to become a larger body, all those various portions of Christ are divinely connected. United, we experience a fullness we cannot know apart from each other. God’s long-term plan is for each member to be divinely joined to others and to function as the real, living Body of Christ in the earth with His heart, His pulse, and His hands and feet in order to touch others and carry the Gospel where it needs to go.
But to bring this plan out of the “mystical realm” into reality, something else that’s divine must occur. This God-breathed plan requires the help of the Christ-given fivefold ministry gifts who are anointed to do their respective parts in assembling and building the Body of Christ so that this Body can house the fullness of the Spirit — the fullness of Christ Himself.
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