A Description of the Knowledge of Christ
Tim Temple

Introduction

One of the most outstanding men to ever walk across the stage of human history was the Apostle Paul. He traveled all over the known world of his day. He founded churches in city after city. He wrote to, spoke to, and counseled in person with thousands and thousands of people during his lifetime; and he suffered much persecution and hardship as a result of all of this active ministry. Yet he was one of the most dynamic and committed Christians to ever come along. He was always victorious, regardless of the difficulties of the circumstances that he faced.

The book of Colossians is one of the places where Paul tells us how he was able to do that. It wasn't just because he had a particularly dynamic personality. It wasn't just because he was hyperactive as a child and it just carried over into his adult years. It was, rather, because of, as he states it in Colossians, chapter 1, verse 27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” It was his personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit; it was because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and Paul's having accepted it. It was that presence of Christ in his life, the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life, that enabled him to do all of these things.

We have been looking for several weeks at the ramifications of Paul's statement, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” That statement tells us (Paul was writing to the Colossians and to us) that we can face life in the same way that he did and that we can have the opportunity to honor and glorify Jesus Christ, to become more and more Christ-like, to become more and more holy as God is holy, as we recognize that Christ is in us. That is where the hope of glory is; that is where the hope of being godly is–to recognize that we have the Lord Jesus Christ personally present indwelling us.

In the last part of chapter 1, we saw how that knowledge can provide comfort and stability amid the specific problems of life. In the first verses of chapter 2, which we thought about together in our last lesson, we saw how understanding the knowledge of Christ can keep us from being spoiled through philosophies and vain deceits, as it is worded in verse 8.

In the middle section of chapter 2, Paul is going to describe this knowledge about Christ about which he has been speaking. We have divided this chapter into three parts. First, The Desirability of the Knowledge of Christ , in verses 1-8; then in verses 9-15, The Description of the Knowledge of Christ . Those are the verses that we want to think about today. In verses 16-23, we have The Delusion Concerning the Knowledge of Christ , which, the Lord willing, we will talk about in our next lesson. It is possible to have a false idea of who Christ is and what knowing Him can produce, and so we need to notice carefully the delusions concerning the knowledge of Christ.

Today we want to talk about The Description of the Knowledge of Christ , as we find it stated in verses 9-15. We will read together, beginning with verse 9:

Colossians 2

9For in him [that is, in Jesus Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We will stop our reading with verse 15. Are you familiar with word association games? You may not think of it in that terminology, but probably all of us have been involved in or seen someone else involved in the situation where someone says a word and the other person is supposed to respond as quickly as possible with the words that associate in his mind with that original word. That is somewhat the idea of the verses that we have here in verses 9-15.

Here Paul is giving us some key thoughts concerning Jesus Christ and some ideas that were in Paul's mind through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as the subject of knowing Christ was brought up. Paul thought about “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” These are descriptive phrases and words that came to his mind.

Our study will consist of looking at these key words in this passage which describe what it is to know Jesus Christ, who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us.

The Fullness of the Godhead

The first word mentioned in this passage which could be associated with the name of Christ is the word fullness , in verses 9 and 10:

Colossians 2

9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Notice again in verse 9:

Colossians 2

9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead…

Verse 9 describes that fullness as it relates to Jesus Christ, and verse 10 is going to describe for us that fullness as it relates to the Christian. Notice first that fullness as it relates to Jesus Christ. The New American Standard version translates this verse in this way: “In Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form.” “All the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form.” That is perhaps a little clearer description of the idea of the “fullness of Christ.” In the person of Jesus Christ we have all that we can know about God because He is completely God. In Him dwells all of the fullness of deity.

The Greek text, if we were to translate it directly, says, “In Him all fullness dwells as an organized body.” In other words, we can look at the record of the life of Jesus Christ, not only His person, but the way that He lived, the things that He taught and the things that He did; and in that organized body of activity, that information that we have written about His life and His activity, we can see all of the fullness of deity dwelling in an organized body.

One of the things that we try to keep in mind as we study the Scripture is the background of the people to whom it was originally addressed. Here again we have a little indication of the specific problems in Colosse and the things that the Apostle Paul was trying to combat there. These things, though given under other names in our society, are really still with us. We have talked in past studies about the false teaching of Gnosticism, the idea based upon the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis , the idea that if a person can just know enough about all of the details of the universe, he can in some way get into contact with God. It was a mysterious kind of false teaching about knowledge and about intellectualism and all of that sort of thing. Of course the philosophy—really we could say very accurately, the religion—of Humanism today teaches us very much the same thing, that if we can just know enough about ourselves, if we can just know enough about human achievement, if we can just pull hard enough, we can solve all of our problems. This was the idea that was rampant in Colosse under another name.

Fullness Represented In Christ

The reason that I am pointing this out is that the phrase, organized body , or as we have it in the King James text in verse 9, the word bodily —“In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”—is a translation of the Greek word pleroma . You have heard that word before if you have been studying Colossians with us. You know that the word pleroma means fullness . It means completeness . It was one of the key words in the Gnostic heresy. It was the idea that divinity, deity, was spread out—many powers which together compose the knowledge of God. But Paul is saying here, and he said it several times before in the book of Colossians, that the whole pleroma is represented in Jesus Christ.

We don't need to spend our time trying to learn a diversity of subjects in order to know God. A diversity of subjects has its place, and it is important enough for us to know about various kinds of knowledge. But in order to be in contact with God, and in order to know all that we need to know about God and His revelation of Himself, we do not need to know all of these things that the Gnostics were teaching that they needed to know. Paul is saying that all that may be known about God is shown in Jesus Christ. Everything you need to know about God, you can know by coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the practical application of what Paul is saying in these statements.

The Science of Theology

And thus it is possible, you see, for us to have a science of theology, because, of course, a science is something that investigates specific, tangible objects. There are those today, and there were those in Colosse, those in the Gnostic teaching, who were saying that you really can't know God personally because you cannot investigate Him. You can't really know God in a material and a specific way. It has to be bound up in all of these mysteries and all these pleromas and all of these various levels of deity, they were saying, because God is not a person, God is a Spirit.

There are those today who say, “Well, we can know about God,” but whether they say it or not, whether it is conscious or subconscious, their idea is that God is just a being who dwells somewhere. He is, in the words of one more recent theologian, the Holy other . He is so completely other than we are that it is not possible to really know Him personally. And Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is saying to the Colossians that we can know Jesus Christ personally. We can investigate all about Him because we have the inspired record in the New Testament of His life and His activities. He was a physical Person Who lived on the earth. Though He was God, He took a physical form upon Himself, and we can investigate and subject it to a scientific analysis, and we can have a science of theology. We can know all that we need to know about God through Jesus Christ.

We recognize because He is God, it is impossible for our fallen human minds to really understand all there is to know about God; but the Holy Spirit, Who indwells those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior, enables us to understand all that we are capable of understanding and all that we need to understand, so that as we read in various places in the New Testament, we have the ability, we have the opportunity to be thoroughly furnished unto all good works. We have the opportunity to be mature, stable people as we come to know Jesus Christ as He is revealed in His Word and as that is backed up and verified, if we can think of it that way, by the historical record of Jesus Christ. That's the concept that Paul is talking about here. In Him, that physical Person who lived on the earth in time-space history, we have all that we need to know about deity. That is a very important and practical concept, a very important and practical application of the fact that Jesus Christ was on the earth.

It was important, not only that He died for us, and of course that is the basic importance, but that is not the only reason that it is important that Jesus lived on the earth. It is important for this reason too: We can demonstrate all that we need to know about God. We can see in the life of Christ, in the historical record revealed in His Word, all the things that we need to know about the Father. And Jesus said the same thing. “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” He said. “No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten of the Father, He hath revealed Him.” “And so in Him,” Paul said, “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily.” This is the statement as it relates to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Complete In Him

Verse 10 describes that fullness as it relates to you and me, as it relates to the Christian. Notice verse 10 again:

Colossians 2

10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

“You are complete in Him.” It is one thing to know that the Lord Jesus Christ was fully God. We have been talking about that in verse 9. He is all we need to know about God, but it is another thing to recognize that we can relate to that. Because He is fully God, if He is our Savior, He makes us complete in Him. You are complete in Him.

You know, that is a very practical and a very up-to-date statement. People everywhere today, as most of us are aware, are searching desperately for an identity. People travel other parts of the world to sit under the teaching of some particular guru, whether he calls himself that or not. People go to school for years and years many times, not just preparing for a profession but searching for an identity, trying to get it together. They get into a profession, or they get into a hobby, or they get into a sport trying to find themselves, trying to get it together. Here we have the secret of that very up-to-date concept. Are you trying to get it together today? Well, here is the answer right here. “You are complete in Him.” Do you want to get it together about your life? Do you want to find yourself? Here's the answer in Colossians, chapter 2, verse 10. You are complete in Him. Get to know Jesus Christ as fully as you possibly can because you are complete in Him.

I would like for us to think about this from kind of a practical standpoint, from kind of a biblical standpoint, as we think about it practically. I have been speaking generally of finding yourself, but let's think about it from the biblical standpoint, because there is a very important biblical concept that Paul is touching on here concerning our completeness in Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be complete in Jesus Christ? Turn with me to I Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 23, which contains just a little statement made in passing as Paul was concluding his letter to the Thessalonians, a little prayer for them, and yet it is very revealing. There we read:

I Thessalonians 5

23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the last phrase of the verse. “Your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” First, from a general standpoint, let me say that verse 23 indicates that it is possible for God to produce holiness in our lives. Paul was praying for that for the Thessalonians, that God would protect their lives, that God would preserve their lives spiritually, that they would be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Possibility of Victory Over Sin

Notice the way that he has worded it. He is not saying that you be preserved blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, or after you see Jesus Christ, but that it is very legitimate for us to pray that God would preserve us, God would protect us, that God would keep us from sin, even while we are waiting for Him to come back. It is very legitimate for us to pray, as Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, that we would be able to have victory over sin day by day even before the Lord Jesus Christ comes back.

I think that is very important for us to remember because there are many of us who have the idea, whether we state it this way or not, that, “Well, when I get to Heaven then I'll be holy. When I'm in the Lord's presence, then I'll be free of sin. But it is too big a struggle right now. There are just too many temptations in the way, too many things around me.” The Word of God indicates that it is possible for us to have victory over sin while we are waiting for the Lord to return. It is true we will have holiness when we are in the presence of God. John wrote in his epistle in the last part of his life that when we see Him, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. We will have eternity in Heaven free of sin and all of that. Those are wonderful thoughts, but it is also possible for us to be preserved blameless until that time. It is possible for us to have continuing spiritual growth and victory over sin even while we are waiting for Jesus Christ to come back.

Paul has that in mind, but he words it in such a way that he is talking about the whole being. Notice he says, “spirit and soul and body.” Now, Paul's idea here in writing this to the Thessalonians was just to emphasize to them how thorough and complete that victory over sin can be. But in doing that, he points out to us the nature of man or the makeup of the human being, and it is what we might call technically a tripartite being —that man is composed of three parts: spirit, soul, and body, a tripartite being.

The verse was not really written to teach us that fact; it simply alludes to a fact that has already been established: Man is a tripartite being.

The Function of the Soul

All of us, of course, are familiar with the functions of the body. The body is that part of us which puts into effect the decisions and actions of the spirit and the soul. Let me take just a minute to mention that the word soul here is a translation of the Greek word psuche . The idea behind the word psuche can be remembered because it is the word from which we get our English word psychology , and those things related to psychology. If you understand what psychology is, it will help you to remember the function of the soul. The soul is that part of man which enables him to see things beyond the visual. It is the thing that enables any human being, saved or unsaved, to understand intangible concepts. The fact that a man has a soul is what enables him to understand the concept of God and the concept of outer space and any other intangible thing that you want to mention. This is why a dog, bless his heart, does not understand God. And even though we talk to our dogs, those of us who are dog lovers and dog owners, about a lot of things, probably none of us have had a conversation with our dog about God. We recognize that our dog or cat or other animals can't understand that, and the reason that they can't is that they do not have a soul. They cannot understand an intangible thing. They have instinct, and as they act on instinct, that instinct guides them in areas that deal with the intangible, but they don't understand that in the way that a human being can.

The Function of the Spirit

The spirit of man is that part that enables him to understand God. The spirit is that part of man that enables him to communicate with God. How do we know that and why do we say that? Well, turn with me to John, chapter 3. The Lord Jesus Himself dealt with this issue in a conversation that he had with Nicodemus, described in John, chapter 3. I am sure most of us are familiar with this conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus. It is a well-known story. Nicodemus, you remember, was a prominent Jewish man who came to Jesus at night while Jesus was on earth to ask Him some questions privately. And Nicodemus' basic question was, “How can I get to Heaven?” Now, he didn't word it that way. He worded it in the Jewish concept of things. “How can I know the kingdom of Heaven?” But for all practical purposes, leaving all of the theological ramifications out of it, basically what he was asking was, “How can I get to Heaven?” The Lord Jesus Christ answers him in verse 3 of John, chapter 3. The question itself is not stated, but we can tell from verse 3 that that was what he was asking because of the way Jesus answered. Notice in John, chapter 3, verse 3:

John 3

3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus was asking, “How can I get to Heaven?” Jesus said, “You cannot see the kingdom of God except you be born again.” The phrase, born again , is an overworked and trite phrase in our society today. It has been worked to death for the last four or five years. It has been thoroughly misunderstood. Think with me carefully and recognize that Nicodemus had probably not ever heard anybody say that. He had never heard his Sunday School teacher or his pastor or a presidential candidate or a talk show personality talk about being born again, and he reacted just exactly like you would if you had never heard it before.

In verse 4, he said, “How can a man be born when he is old?” That is a very natural question. “Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? What are you talking about, being 'born again'?” You see, Nicodemus was genuinely mystified by that concept, and so Jesus clarifies His answer in verses 5 and 6:

John 3

5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Think very carefully with me about what Jesus is saying. Nicodemus had a sincere question. “What do you mean, 'be born again'?” Jesus' answer was, “You're born the first time physically.” Notice in verse 5: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That born of the flesh is flesh.”

Spiritual Birth

There is some discussion, doctrinally and theologically, about the meaning of the phrase, “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit.” And there are those who teach that the water referred to there is the water of baptism, that unless you have been baptized, you have not been saved. There are others who teach that water is a reference to the water referred to in Ephesians, which is a reference to the washing of the water of the Word. I believe, in the context of this chapter, that what Jesus is referring to there with water, in this particular chapter, is the water involved in physical birth.

That does not negate the importance of being baptized. Baptism does not provide salvation, but baptism is an important doctrine. Sometimes water in the New Testament refers to baptism. That does not negate the truth of the fact that we are washed by the water of the Word of God and that the term water does sometimes, in the New Testament, signify the Word of God. But in this particular passage, it is simply talking about physical birth. The context is that. “What do you mean 'be born again'?” Jesus said, “I mean you are born the first time with water and all of the things that go with physical birth, but you must be born again.” And how is that? “Born of the Spirit.”

He clarifies that in verse 6: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh. You were born the first time physically, so you are a human being. Flesh out of flesh. But you must be born again spiritually. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

What this is saying is that being born physically is not enough. When a person is born physically, he is not complete. When he is only born physically he is not complete. When a man is born physically he has a body and a soul. He has therefore the ability to understand intangible things. He has the ability to understand the concept of God. He has the ability to understand mathematical formulas and scientific formulas, and all of those things that we think of as making a person a complete human being, but he is not complete because he has not yet been born again spiritually.

In Romans, chapter 8, we have another little phrase stated in passing: “That the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” The spirit is that part of the human being with which God communicates, and until your spirit has been born, you are not complete. There are millions of people all over the world today who outwardly would appear to be complete people, but they are really only two-thirds of what God has made it possible for them to be. When we see an individual who only has two-thirds of his physical functions operating properly, we think of him legitimately as a handicapped person. We are becoming more and more educated in our society, and very well that we are, to not feel pity and to not look down on the handicapped. But we recognize God has blessed those of us who are not handicapped physically in many ways that those people do not enjoy. And we think of the person who does not have all of his physical capacities as a handicapped person.

But there are millions of people going around who are operating on only two-thirds capacity. They are spiritually handicapped, because they have not been born spiritually.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, who were believers in Jesus Christ, and said, “I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless.” You see, they were tripartite beings. Their spirit had been born, and they were able to communicate with God and God was able to communicate with them because not only did they have a body and a soul, but they have a spirit also.

That is the background of what Paul has in mind as he writes to the Colossians in Colossians, chapter 2, verse 10. “You are complete in Him,” not just that you are satisfied and happy and finding some fulfillment in life because you go to church every Sunday or because you read the Bible every day or because you pray or because you belong to this Christian organization on your campus or something like that–nothing as shallow as that. Literally, you are a complete person when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior in a way that you have never been complete before. You've only been operating on two-thirds capacity before you accept Jesus Christ as Savior, but now, because of His coming into your life, you are complete; you are a whole person. You now have the ability not only to understand the theory of God but to understand God himself, to communicate with God, to have Him communicate with you. You are complete in Him.

Let me say that you will never be complete, you will never be a whole person until you accept the fact that Jesus Christ died in your place, paid for the sins that you have committed, and the only way you will ever be able to understand God or communicate with Him is by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf. The only way that you will ever be a complete person is to recognize that we are born spiritually when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. That was the message of Jesus to Nicodemus, and it was that concept upon which all of these statements in the other parts of the New Testament concerning our completeness are based. So you see, being born again is a very realistic thing. “Ye are complete in Him.”

I trust that there would not be a person in this room listening to these concepts, listening on tape, who would leave this study an incomplete person. My invitation to you, my admonition to you, is even right now to recognize that Jesus Christ died for you, and that accepting Jesus Christ as your personal sin bearer can remove that guilt between yourself and God, can remove the condemnation that you face because of your sins, can give you peace with God, can give you the ability to know God personally, to communicate with Him. You are complete in Jesus Christ when you accept Him as your Savior.

As we go back to Colossians, chapter 2, you can see why Paul refers to Jesus Christ and the knowledge of Him with the response fullness , the word association fullness .

Christ, the Fulfillment of the Symbol

Let's notice another word which can be associated with Christ. Here in Colossians, chapter 2, in verses 11 and 12, is the word fulfillment . We are only going to talk about these briefly, because to discuss them in detail would take more time than we have to commit to the study. Notice in verse 11 that we have a reference to circumcision, and we have a reference to baptism in verse 12. Now without taking time to read these verses in their entirety, let me just summarize by pointing out that each of these things is a reference to an ordinance that involves an action, and each of these had an external practice familiar to the Jews, familiar to us. Circumcision referred to a cutting of the physical flesh, and to the Jews it symbolized a putting away of the flesh and the symbolism of the sin that is involved with human flesh. Baptism is the picture of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. So these are outward things that picture a spiritual truth. They are actions that symbolize a relationship.

What Paul is saying in these verses is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of what those things picture. Knowing Jesus Christ brings to fulfillment that putting away of the sinful flesh. Knowing Jesus Christ brings fulfillment, being a part of His resurrection from the dead, and so he is saying in those verses that fulfillment is a word association picture of the knowledge of Christ. Isn't it a blessing that we can have the fulfillment rather than the picture of these things? We who know Jesus Christ personally have the fulfillment of all of the symbolism of both the Old and the New Testament.

Forgiveness In Christ

Finally, a third word which can be associated with the knowledge of Christ and which can describe the knowledge of Christ, is the word forgiveness , as described in verses 13-15. It is introduced in verse 13. Notice:

Colossians 2

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

That verse speaks for itself, but it is illustrated, I think, very eloquently in verses 14 and 15:

Colossians 2

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

You see, it was the custom of the Roman Empire to write out the nature of the offense in capital punishment and tack it to the cross of the man being executed. This is what he is referring to about the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. This is what Pilot did with Jesus when he wrote, “This is Jesus King of the Jews,” and tacked it to the cross. You see, technically the offense that He was crucified for, from the Roman legal standpoint, was the offense of being a king against Caesar. That was the offense that the Jews used. That was the loophole in the Roman law that the Jews used to get Jesus crucified. Of course, their heart intent was that He was claiming to be the Messiah, and they didn't believe that and they were rejecting Him. But the legal loophole in the Roman legal system that they used was that He was claiming to be a king, and in the Roman system at that time in history, there could be no king but Caesar. So Pilot wrote, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” That was His offense. He was being crucified because He was a king, and there could be no king but Caesar.

That is what Paul is talking about when he says that there was a handwriting of ordinances which was contrary to us. God took the writing of our sins, the things that warrant our eternal punishment, our eternal death and separation from God. God took those things and nailed it to the cross of Jesus Christ, the handwriting that was against us.

Completeness of Victory Over Sin

It could be that the handwriting of ordinances is a reference to the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments can be said to be against us, because nobody could ever live up to that code. In fact, that is the purpose of the Ten Commandments—to show what we have to do if we could live up to the holiness of God. And so that was against us. But in the death of Christ, our sins, the handwriting that was against us, was nailed to His cross, and we are forgiven for our sins on the basis of what He did. So forgiveness is a beautiful word association picture of knowing Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul goes on to say, the victory that resulted from the death of Christ and the forgiveness of our sins thwarted Satan so much that it spoiled principalities and powers, according to the last part of verse 15. The phrase, principalities and powers , as we have mentioned before, is a reference to Satan's forces.

This, too, is a Roman custom. When a Roman emperor would conquer another nation, there would be a great victory parade, and they would lead captives through the streets–the military leaders of the conquered nation. That is what Paul is saying here. Christ's victory over sin was complete. God has made a show of Satan and his forces openly, and will continue to do so until that day when He does it physically, when He does it for all to see, openly and physically. That's what was accomplished in the death of Jesus Christ.

To come back to the subject at the beginning of the passage, remember that Paul is talking about the description of the knowledge of Christ. The tragedy of all this is that although the things that we have been talking about today are true—that in Christ there is completeness, in Christ there is fulfillment, in Christ there is forgiveness—there are many people in the world today who don't really understand that. In fact, there are many Christians in the world today who don't really understand these concepts. I wonder, as we conclude our thinking, are you aware of all that you have in knowing Jesus Christ? Wouldn't it be a shame to know about Jesus Christ but not know Him for Who He really is, to know Jesus Christ but not know all that is available in knowing Him? It would perhaps be like being closely acquainted or closely related to a very wealthy individual, but not knowing that that wealthy individual is just waiting for you to ask him to give you whatever you want. From a human standpoint, that would be a very sad thing for most of us. I guess there are some who may be wealthy enough that it would not matter, but that is the way that it is with Jesus Christ, and Paul is describing all the things that are ours in Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

Don't make the sad mistake of not knowing all that is yours in Him. You're complete in Him. He is all that we need to know God fully.


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