- Lesson 3 from the BaptistWay Press Connect 360 unit “The Fullness of Christ” focuses on Colossians 1:15-19.
Jesus is God in the flesh, the physical image of God (Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:3). There is no other. Some religions believe that God the Father has a body (e.g., the Mormons), but that belief is false since Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24) and “Spirit has not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). The Greek word for image is Eikon; the English word icon derives from it and means image, likeness, and representation.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate, legitimate image of God, and thus worthy of praise (Revelation 5:12–13). God made us in his image. Additionally, when we give our lives to Christ, we are remade in his redeemed image “in Christ” (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 4:24; Col. 3:10). This truth is both essential and practical. We are remade to be in Christ, like Christ, and empowered to do so with Christ in us as we are in him. If the image of God is so important and set aside as holy, then we must be diligent in our obedience to be all that we can be in the grace that Jesus provides. Our hearts’ desires should be to magnify our God, living as his appropriate representatives on earth, his creation.
Fully God, fully human
The “fullness of God in Jesus” means that Jesus is not like the rest of us, who have a dousing of the divine. Jesus is not just a little bit God or part God. He does not merely represent God or have a lesser amount of God in him. Jesus is not a semi-version of God. All that is God (the fullness) is in Jesus—and more so in the flesh of Jesus (bodily form). God is more than Jesus; he is Father and Spirit, too, but Jesus is wholly God. Jesus is also 100 percent God while fully human. He is not a 50-50 blend, bouncing back and forth between the two. He experienced this world as Creator and the created, as infinite and finite. God was at work in Jesus and through Jesus. Neither aspect of Jesus is diminished. Being human, he identifies with us; being divine, he saves us.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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