And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23
You probably know that Scripture defines the church as the body of Christ. But did you realize that it defines the body as “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way?” Does He fill you?
Last week we witnessed God perform the miraculous on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-8). God’s glory filled His human temple! And as Jesus filled His disciples with His Spirit, He revealed something extraordinary. He demonstrated the potential of His church.
Dear one, many of us professing to be followers of Jesus Christ live powerless lives marked by defeat rather than living testimonies that display the glory of God. Let me remind you what God spoke through the prophet Malachi,
“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6
Hebrews 13:8 confirms, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Jesus has not changed since the day He gave birth to His church. His church has changed.
Many of us seem to have overlooked an important characteristic of Christ revealed in Scripture: Jesus fills. As you consider the following verses, ask God to give you fresh perspective about why He allowed His Son to dwell within your heart.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
For what purpose did Paul pray for strength and power in our inner being? What desired result will flow from grasping the depth of Christ’s love and establishing our roots there? Verse 19 reveals the divine purpose: that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Dear one, God desires to fill you with the complete measure of Himself. Not just a portion, the full measure. The God who fills both heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24) plans to fill you with the entire magnitude of who He is through His Son.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20
God poured His fullness into Jesus. Now Jesus means to pour that same fullness into us.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
The crowds at Pentecost witnessed Jesus doing exactly what He was made to do, fill every thing in every way (Ephesians 1:23). As the early believers waited in Jerusalem in obedient submission to Jesus’ instructions, Jesus filled His early followers with His Spirit. The Head took authority over His believing body, resulting in a grand display of glory and power.
Remember, Jesus had already breathed His Spirit into these devoted followers (John 20:22). Their faith in Him had already sealed them as His own for salvation (Ephesians 1:13). But what happened at Pentecost empowered them for service in the Kingdom. They no longer simply possessed God’s Spirit; they were filled by Him (Acts 2:4). And that filling empowered them to reveal Christ to a lost and needy world. People in the crowd from every nation remarked, “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:11)
Can you imagine how they must have felt that day? The disciples were no strangers to miraculous power. Jesus had empowered them to heal the sick and cast out demons while He still walked among them (Luke 9:1). But what they experienced at Pentecost was altogether different. As Jesus filled them, they became one with their Lord. They weren’t exercising authority He had given them. This time, He filled them up and took them over!
Do you want to know how the early church differed from much of the church we see today? Jesus filled them. They surrendered to Him with sold-out abandon, relinquishing their own desires to live out the will of God. The result was the very presence of Christ making Himself known through them in unbelievable ways.
Notice the common denominator in each of the following Scriptures.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them . . . Acts 4:8
Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. Acts 6:3
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52
And what distinguished John the Baptist, the man who held the great privilege of preparing the way for the Lord? He was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.” Luke 1:15
Do you want to live out your eternal purpose on this earth? Do you want to leave a legacy that will survive the testing of fire at the end of days? You will never be an effective witness for very long by trying to act like Jesus. Eventually, hypocrisy will reveal itself and send the very people you try to reach running in the other direction.
The hurting world doesn’t need people who occasionally behave like Jesus. It needs Jesus.
Beloved, we need to stop pretending to be like Jesus and let the Son of God within us be who He is. We need to surrender control and humbly invite Him to take His throne. Jesus means to reveal Himself as Lord, not just in heaven, but over the hearts, minds and lives of all who believe.
Let’s surrender everything and allow the King of Glory to fill His house. The world will witness the glory of God transforming hearts and lives, and . . .
. . .the body of Christ [will] be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:12-13