This is to add on my previous post on our Colossians study.
For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Col 1:19)
For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (Col 2:9)
The fullness of God – something that is incredibly difficult to be described precisely in our own language. I am not attempting to describe it, but to share how I think we can actually experience it.
Consider Paul’s writing in Ephesians 3:16-19,
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to comprehend how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Do you think Paul wrote these words before having experienced Christ’s love or after having experienced Christ’s love?
It sounds like a stupid question since the answer is obviously after. But many times we have got the order wrong. My point is, merely knowing the scripture in your head doesn’t actually equal experiencing His fullness in the spirit.
Paul’s prayer is not just for us to memorise about the width, length, height, and depth of God ‘s love, but to actually comprehend it – and the reason? So that we can be filled with the fullness of God!
I think this is why sometimes we can find ourselves, or many knowledgable preachers or teachers who although seem to be able to hit every doctrine right, demonstrate very little joy in singing songs of praise. Or perhaps, when they listen to others’ vulnerable sharing, they give little grace and show little compassion.
Or sometimes, in doing our own Bible studies, we tend to drill hard on getting the knowledge right, and yet, we have not learned from Paul to pray to not just grow in knowledge, but to actually comprehend the fullness of Christ by pursuing love that goes beyond knowledge. This goes beyond dead words. (Although our experience shouldn’t contradict the Word.)
Knowledge + love (that surpasses all things) leads to fruit-bearing. The letter (whether you believe it is primarily talking about the O.T law or not the same principle applies) kills; the spirit gives life. Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The fullness of God comes from not just knowing the scripture word by word, but actually comprehending it, grasping it, experiencing it through and in and by the Spirit with this love that surpasses knowledge.