Colossians 2:9 teaches that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus bodily. Does this mean that all of God is in Jesus? What about God’s omnipresence? Does this mean that God did not live in heaven when Jesus was on Earth? Ephesians 3:19 says that Christians are filled with all the fullness of God. Is this the same as all the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Jesus bodily? What is ‘all the fullness’ of the Godhead?
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The fullness of God referes to His attributes, power, and character (Bernard, 2001, p. 216). The term ‘all the fullness of the Godhead’ doesn’t refer to all of God. For example, it doesn’t refer to the omnipresence of God. It would be impossible for the omnipresence of God to dwell in one place. The omnipresence of God still filled the universe while God was manifest in flesh. All the fullness of the Godhead refers to the diety of Jesus. Anything we can find in scripture about the diety of Jesus is included in the fullness of the Godhead since all the fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus bodily.
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Word, Logos in Greek, is God’s thoughts, plan, mind, reasoning, center of concousness, central point that God works from, talk from, and sits on the throne. The Word is all the fullness of the Godhead. Jesus is the Word made flesh- all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Jesus is all that we need.
Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are complete in Jesus.
Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Jesus is all that we need. We are complete in Jesus because He is all the fullness of God. This means that all of the attributes of God, His power, strength, character, etc, are all in Jesus. Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and Word are all in Jesus. Not as ‘persons’, because God is not made up of persons, but as attributes of the one God. Jesus is not God the Son manifest in flesh. Jesus is God manifest in flesh.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Colosians 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:16 explain Colosians 2:2.
Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
The mystery of God is that God was manifest in flesh. Colosians 2:9 explains the deity of Jesus, that he is the fullness of God manifest in flesh. God was made incarnate. In other words, Jesus is the incarnation of God. Not a second person within the Godhead. If Jesus was the second person within the Godhead he could not have been all the fullness of God and all the fullness of the Godhead could not dwell in Jesus because this would mean that Jesus is three ‘persons’ manifest in flesh.
Colosians 1:19 tells us that the Father was pleased that all the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus.
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
If all the fullness refers to ‘persons’ then the other two persons should have also been pleased.
These verses are clearly talking about the deity of Jesus, but this doesn’t mean that the omnipresence of God was placed into the body of Jesus. The omnipresence of God will always be omnipresent, but the attributes of God’s character was in Jesus because Jesus is God manifest in flesh.
Ephesians 3:19 is a little different in that it does not refer to the fullness of the Godhead.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
We have the fullness of God in us because we have Christ in us because he is the fullness of God (Bernard, 2001, p. 219). This does not make us God manifest in flesh. The Spirit of God does dwell in us, but we are not God. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He was God. We have God in us. We cannot claim that when you have seen us you have seen the Father. Jesus could say this because he was the Father manifest in flesh.
John 14:8-9 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead incarnate. He is all that we need. He’s our Creator, our Savior, our Father. Jesus is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Bernard, David K. (2001). Oneness of God, The
Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press