Filled With The Fulness Of God

W. Terry Varner
February 23, 2014

Paul prays for the Christians in Ephesus “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith . . .[and] that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). This prayer is one that all Christians should desire. Some of how this occurs is as follows:

Our life here and now. The abundant life of which Jesus speaks in John 10:10 begins when we surrender ourselves to Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Jesus emphasized this in the parables of the lost coin, pearl of great price, the hidden treasure, and rich farmer. Isaiah focused on the life of the Christian by prophesying, “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it . . . but the redeemed shall walk there: and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:7-10). Oftentimes the Christian seems to forget that the benefits given to us as God’s children do not begin with nor wait until the grave. Let us live the Christian life now so as to enjoy the eternal benefits of heaven; i.e. let us truly be disciples of Christ.

The life of discipleship. Christian discipleship is not a dry lifelessness. Christian discipleship is an “abundant life” (John 10:10). God delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt and all of its horrible pain. However, not too long after being delivered from Egypt and on their way to the Promised Land, they began to grumble, saying, “Wherefore has the Lord brought us unto this land . . . were it not better for us to return to Egypt?” (Num. 14:3). This does not sound like an abundant life. When Christians forsake their discipleship, it is no small wonder that some declare spiritual bankruptcy. Too many give up having found the commandments of the Lord too demanding and the liberty in Christ too exacting. We need to learn and live positive Christianity and help fulfill our Lord’s words, “That they [we] might have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).

Discipleship involves drawing near to God. Genuine discipleship is designed by God to satisfy man to the fullest of measure. Discipleship was not designed by God to deplete every good measure and to bring us to the lowest ebb. Children of God, Christians, are to “sing unto the Lord a new song” (Isa. 42:10). “You shall have a song, as in the night . . . . and gladness of heart” (Isa. 30:29). Paul reflects on the presence of Jesus within the church, “I will declare Your name to my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise to You” (Heb. 2:12). Peter states that both the angels and the old prophets desired a fuller knowledge of the mystery of God (1 Peter 1:10-12), but the Christian knows the unspeakable joy in his life; consequently, he is the salt of the earth and the light to the world (Matt. 5:13-16).

The disciple of Christ must live in Christ. Jesus makes this clear. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, hears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is clear, apart from Jesus we are doomed to defeat. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:11-13).