THE FULLNESS (EXPRESSION) OF THE ONE
WHO FILLS ALL IN ALL
Many Christians do not understand what the word fullness means in Eph. 1:23 and 3:19. They think the word fullness means riches. Ephesians 1:23 says 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 means the Body is the fullness, and the fullness is the Body. 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.
THE FULLNESS (EXPRESSION) OF GOD
In Ephesians 3:19 the King James Version says we are "filled with all the fullness of God." The preposition "with" literally means "unto, resulting in." We are filled unto all the fullness of God. We are filled, resulting in an expression of God. Fullness here means expression. Paul said he prayed that the Father would strengthen us with power through His Spirit into the inner man that Christ might make His home in our hearts, and that we might know Christ’s dimensions—the breadth, length, height, and depth—that we might be filled unto, resulting in, the fullness of God, the expression of God (Eph. 3:14-19).
The entire book of Ephesians deals with the church. It is the house or household of God (2:19), it is the Body of Christ (1:23), and it is the fullness as the expression of Christ and of God (1:23; 3:19). According to chapter three, the church can be such an expression, not only of Christ but also of God, when Christ makes His home in our hearts that we may experience His unsearchable riches. While we are enjoying Him in such a way, we are being filled with all the riches of Christ, resulting in an expression of God.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)