CHRIST AS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD
Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” This is a very great verse in the Bible. All the words used here, such as all, fullness, and Godhead, are very special. The Greek word for Godhead is theotes, which is very similar to the Greek word theiotes used in Romans 1:20 for divine characteristics with only a one-letter difference. Both are derived from the same Greek word. Therefore, the King James Version translates both words as Godhead. Theiotes denotes the divine characteristics manifested through the created things, while theotes denotes the deity of Christ. I have used wood grain as an illustration. The meeting hall in Irving, Texas was built with oak, which is a unique product of Texas. The Texan oak has a very striking grain. It is a distinctive feature of the Texan oak, or we may say, it is a characteristic of the nature of the Texan oak.
Characteristics are always manifested. In contrast, substance is not manifested. Substance is a stronger word than nature because substance has not only the nature of a certain thing but also the very essence of that thing. “All the fullness of the Godhead” is “all the fullness of God’s essence.” Here it is not speaking about God’s intrinsic nature or divine characteristics but the very substance of God. God’s substance is simply God Himself, so we can translate it as Godhead. Godhead refers to God Himself.
Colossians 2:9 says that all the fullness of the very substance of God dwells in Christ bodily. Christ is truly not so simple; all the fullness of God’s very substance dwells in Him bodily. He is all-inclusive and comprehensive. The Son of God’s love, the image of God, the Firstborn of all creation, the Firstborn from the dead, the Redeemer, and the Godhead all are not simple, not to mention the mystery of God. All the fullness of God’s substance dwells in Christ bodily. Hence, Christ is the mystery of God, the story of God.
CHRIST AS GOD AND MAN
Christ is God who became flesh to become a man. His Godhead and divinity are complete, and His person and humanity are also genuine. The title Christ means the anointed One (Dan. 9:26). Christ was anointed by God (Luke 4:18) to be God’s anointed One to accomplish God’s redemption and fulfill God’s eternal plan. God’s eternal plan is for man to be His expression. This requires God to work Himself into man to become man’s life, to be united with him, and to live Himself out from within man. However, because the man who was created for God’s plan fell, God Himself needed to become a man to die and bear the sins for man that He might redeem man back to be God’s vessel, so that God can live in man and be his content and express Himself from within man. Christ was anointed by God for the very purpose of carrying out this plan of God. This is the great, divine commission. This great, divine commission requires Christ to have the dual status of God and man, fully equipped with the divine nature and power and the human nature and character. Hence, Christ needed to be both God and man, to be completely God and genuinely man.
As God, Christ had the divine life and nature and was able to dispense God in His life and nature to man, enabling man to live out God’s attributes to express and glorify God. As God, Christ also possessed the unlimited power of God to do the unlimited work of God and to make all His work unlimitedly effective.
As man, Christ had the human life and nature so that He was the same as man in life and nature. Christ was like man in all respects, except that He was without sin. This enabled Him to sympathize with man and save man (Heb. 2:17; 4:15). Christ as a man with human flesh and blood suffered death through crucifixion, shedding human blood to make redemption for man’s sins. Because of the guarantee of the unlimited power of His divinity, the redemption which Christ accomplished in His human nature and human body had an eternal, unlimited effect, thereby becoming an eternal redemption (9:12). By His resurrection from the dead, the human nature and human body of Christ were uplifted through union with His divine life and nature. His humanity was brought into His divinity, and His human body became a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). Thus, Christ became the Redeemer who redeemed us from sin and the Savior who dispensed life into us. Thank and praise Him! Christ is both God and man; He is the God-man who has become such a complete and wonderful Redeemer and Savior.
(Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)