IV. THE FULLNESS (EXPRESSION) OF HIM WHO FILLS ALL IN ALL
[The church as the Body of Christ is the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:23 says that the church “is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.’’ Grammatically, “the fullness’’ is in apposition to “His Body.’’ This indicates that the Body is the fullness and the fullness is the Body. The Body of Christ is His fullness. The fullness issues from the enjoyment of the riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). Through the enjoyment of Christ’s riches, we become His fullness to express Him.
This fullness is the fullness of the One who fills all in all. Christ, who is the infinite God without limitation, is so great that He fills all things in all things. Such a great Christ needs the Body to be His fullness for His complete expression.]
[Many Christians do not understand what the word fullness means in Eph. 1:23 and 3:19. They think the word fullness means riches. Fullness does not mean the riches. In Ephesians the unsearchable riches of Christ are mentioned in 3:8. We must differentiate between the riches and the fullness. The United States has supermarkets full of the riches of America. The riches of America are its products, but the fullness of America is a husky American. This fullness is the expression.
The fullness comes out of the riches. However, if we do not eat and digest the riches, we may have them without having the fullness. The riches issue in the fullness through eating and digesting. If we do not eat and digest the riches, we shall remain skinny and short. In like manner, the church is not only the Body of Christ, but also the fullness, the expression, which issues from the enjoyment of the riches of Christ.
This fullness is the expression of the very One, the universal Christ, who fills all in all. Colossians 3:11 says that Christ is all and in all. All, both times in this verse, refers to people. In Ephesians 1:23, however, the “all in all’’ which Christ fills is something universal. Christ is unlimited (Eph. 1:23; 3:18). The dimensions of the universe are actually the dimensions of Christ. How long is the length? How high is the height? How deep is the depth? How broad is the breadth? No one can tell. The dimensions of Christ in Ephesians 3:18 are unsearchable and unlimited. These dimensions are the description of Christ.
Christ fills all in all, and we the church, by enjoying His riches, eventually become His fullness. If I had only a head, without a body, I would have no fullness. This fullness is my expression. We must realize that the church as the Body of Christ is Christ’s fullness as His expression.]
(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)