Christmas season as the rest of the Christian calendar points us not surprisingly to Christ himself. And the Colossians passage quoted below is aptly titled in the NIV, “Spiritual Fullness in Christ.” “In Christ,” whatever and all that means is at the heart of God’s blessing to the world, particularly to his people, the faithful, to all who believe.
Our spiritual fullness is never of ourselves. In fact we are well to be empty ourselves, empty in and of ourselves, which actually is the case anyhow, that we might be filled up to all the fullness of Christ. And actually, being in him means we already are. Our fullness is in and of him, and never in and of ourselves.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” from our Lord, from Jesus Christ himself rings out as true. If we are full of ourselves or somehow think we’re good and ready to go in and of ourselves, that somehow we’ve arrived, then we’re lost as far as the Christian faith goes. No, instead we are always and forever beggars: wretched, poor, pitiful, blind and naked in and of ourselves. We have no life apart from Christ himself. But in Christ we have a fullness which points others not to ourselves, but to him and his work, and to God’s will in him for us as God’s people and for the world. Christ is all in God’s will for the world, and in the end the world is taken up into Christ. Which makes the difference on how we see life, and live now.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.