And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
I. WHEREIN THE FULNESS OF HUMANITY CONSISTS. St: Paul has been writing of the fulness of the Godhead. He now turns his thoughts to our poor, naked, hungry humanity, and he shows how there is a completion and a satisfaction that may be called our fulness, in some way corresponding to the fulness of God.
1. The full satisfaction of our wants. We are empty, hungry, and needy. We require pardon for sin; strength for trouble, temptation, and toil; light in darkness; innumerable graces for innumerable distresses. Our fulness must be the quenching of the soul's thirst, the satisfaction of the aching void within.
2. The full attainment of the perfection of humanity. We may have every known desire satisfied and may be full up to the measure of our present capacity, and yet not have attained to the fulness of humanity. Our capacity may be enlarged, new aspirations may be inspired in us. To attain to the stature of the perfect man, to he quite like Christ, is to reach our spirit's prime and to have our human fulness. This will be a fulness of knowledge, of goodness, of power for spiritual service.
II. FROM WHAT THE FULNESS OF HUMANITY IS DERIVED. By the word "fulness" St. Paul means that which fills as well as that which is perfected in itself. Christ alone can fill and perfect us.
1. We must find the fulness in Christ. Because he is filled with the fulness of God he is himself a perfected Man and the Source of the same grace for us. We have to learn, then, that to reach our fulness we must have what is in Christ. Perfect humanity is not possible without God. When we become possessed by the Spirit of God we become true men. This true religious life does not make us less human; it perfects our humanity. Not by science, nor by learning, nor by energy in affairs of the world, nor by any purely human effort, though all these things have their missions, but through Christ, we may attain the true ideal of humanity.
2. We can attain to this fulness by personal union with Christ. We must not simply learn the method from Christ, nor seek the blessing as a gift of his, but derive it from close, living fellowship with him. The secret is to be "in Christ," "rooted" as the tree by being rooted in the soil derives nourishment therefrom, and "builded up in him" as the temple stands firm when erected on a solid foundation. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: