THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST BEING THE OVERFLOW OF GRACE AND REALITY
Based on John 1:16 we can say that the fullness of Christ is the overflow of grace and reality. God became man and dwelt among us, full of grace and reality. Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. Our receiving is not a once-for-all matter; rather, it is a continual receiving, a receiving of grace upon grace. The phrase grace upon grace in Greek implies that grace is like the rolling waves of the sea that come in wave after wave without ceasing. Beginning from the time we are saved, we receive grace and reality from His fullness, and it is a receiving without end until we grow up to be a full-grown man with the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
God has given Himself to us to be our grace and reality with a goal in view, that is, to produce the church. John 12:24 says, “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This “much fruit” is blended together to become one loaf—the church. God became flesh and brought grace and reality for the purpose of producing the church. The church does not only have the riches of Christ, but it is also the fullness of Christ. The church is the overflow of His riches, and this overflow is His expression.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created male and female according to His image. But in practicality when God used dust to create man, He created only a male, Adam; He did not create the female, Eve (Gen. 2:7). God did not create two people. Later God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He created a female to be his counterpart. How did God create the woman? God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and took out one of his ribs, and He built that rib into a woman. Then God placed this woman before Adam. As soon as Adam saw her, he said, “This is bone of my bones / And flesh of my flesh” (v. 23). The two were a perfect match, so they were joined together to become one flesh. This proves that Eve flowed out of Adam, that she was an overflow of Adam. In the New Testament, in Ephesians 5, Paul says that the story of Adam and Eve refers to Christ and the church. This also tells us how the church was produced: It was by Christ’s “sleeping” on the cross and His side being pierced to flow out blood and water. The blood was for washing away our sins, and the water was for giving us life. Then in resurrection He entered into us as the Spirit and thereby regenerated us. Thus, all of us are built up together to become the church as the counterpart of Christ. Therefore, the church is the overflow of the riches of Christ, and it is the fullness of Christ. The church is the result produced from the riches of Christ, and it is the overflow and expression of Christ.
THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST BEING THE FULLNESS OF GOD
The fullness of Christ is the fullness of God. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” This verse speaks not of riches but of fullness. If we say riches instead of fullness, it is not correct, because all the riches of God have become the fullness of God as His expression. All of this fullness dwells in Christ bodily. Therefore, this fullness becomes the fullness of Christ, and the fullness of Christ is the fullness of grace and reality. These three fullnesses—the fullness of God, the fullness of Christ, and the fullness of grace and reality—all refer to the same fullness.
(Christ in His Excellency, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)