Thursday August 6, 2020
God fulfills us by showing us that we are unconditionally, sacrificially, and eternally loved by Him.
To be filled is to lack nothing. Why does the infinite love of God fill us? Everything that God designed humans to need and want are all summed up in His love. The blessings God has given to us are staggering.
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
If every earthly thing were taken from me, the things that God has done for me can never be taken. Peter tells us that they are imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, preserved in heaven.
that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
The NT uses the verb pleroo for the fulfilling of prophetic saying. “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken…” almost all of which are in the gospels.
Christians are described as being filled with joy, peace, and knowledge; and that filling shapes their entire way of life.
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Read the chapter to get a feel for the reason for this joy. They were a light of the gospel to the whole town, and although they were heavily persecuted by evil, selfish people, they spoke and walked with boldness. Convinced of the truth, loved by God, there is no fear in speaking it in the midst of contention.
I think we can compartmentalize doctrines too much and by so doing miss the bigger picture. We know that God loved us so that He died for us. So then His love fills us up to the measure of His fullness.
But we cannot imagine that God views all the things He does for us separately. God loved you vastly and died for you and fills you. He also fills you with His joy and peace and knowledge. He fulfills the Law for you. He fills us with the fruit of righteousness and blessings. And He Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all fill us. God most certainly had this all in mind when He set about to give His only-begotten Son. When He gave the Son, the Father gave the life of His Son which includes all of these and more. He gave His Son so that we could have it all.
When we comprehend the love of God we comprehend, to some measure, the gift of Christ and all that came to us through Him. These gifts fill our lives and leave us in need of nothing.
Therefore, being filled up to the measure of all the fullness of God requires comprehension. How many Christians are there who do not comprehend the love of God for them? Those who don’t keep their distance from God, which is just a way of saying that they stay away from His word, from prayer, from living the Christian way of life. Every believer comes to find out to some degree how flawed they are and to some degree how often they sin. They know their inner self somewhat with its lusts and desires and impulses that are not godly. I say they know somewhat because they don’t know the half of it. Only those who have given their lives over to God understand how bad the self, or the old-self, really is. And perhaps that is part of the motivation to stay away. Distanced from the standard of righteousness and holiness one doesn’t look as bad in their self-consciousness, but sadly it is a very false impression.
The infinite love of God keeps the believer right by His side even when his flesh has taken over. He acknowledges and repents of the sin and returns to his obedience as quickly as he can. He does so with boldness, accepting whatever consequences, and even putting those consequences in the hands of God.
The NT scripture uses pleroo to describe our position in Christ, in COL 2:10, that we are fulfilled or complete.
Col 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
and in Him you have been made complete
It is used of our relationship to the legal demand of the Law.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The requirement of the Law, righteousness, has been fulfilled for every believer. Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses through His death.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.”
It is fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. It seems to state that there is only a segment of the body of Christ for whom the Law is fulfilled, but if the Law is not fulfilled for any man, then he is under it. The key to Rom 8 is that it is describing the type of people we are, or rather the new humanity that we are, and not what we might be behaving or thinking like at any given moment. We are those who no longer walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. It is the design that God imprinted on our new humanity.
This truth is paramount to Christianity. We have been made complete. There is only one life for us, one way, and one truth. Though we don’t always obey that pattern, when we are convinced it is our only way, we will never quit on total obedience to every aspect of it, and in time it will overcome every part of us.
It deserves at this time a reading of one of the most important passages in the Bible. The love of God has made the believer full.
There are two men in view, neither of which are “you.” Yet the key word is “one” used 14 times in all.
We were made sinners by being born in Adam, and not when we personally sinned. In Adam all die, and we personally sin as a result. So, our personal sins are not in view in this passage. “For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners” (vs. 19)
It is extremely important to know that we were all born in Adam’s sin, and as such, born enemies of God and children of disobedience. We could never dig ourselves out of this hole. We were all worthy of judgment. But God loved the world and gave His Son so that we could have fulfillment of life.
Through one man’s sin: death, condemnation, judgment, and sinners came into the world.
Through one Man’s sacrifice: grace, free-gift, justification, righteousness, victory, and eternal life.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned [when Adam sinned] — 13 for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.