The Fullness of Christ!
James Smith, 1842
"It has pleased the Father, that in Him all fullness should dwell!" Colossians 1:19
The concerns of the soul are matters of everlasting importance — and yet they are generally neglected. The language of the conduct of people in general is, 'Let us take care for the body; but as to the soul, its concerns are of small consequence.' My dear reader, has this been the language of your conduct? Are you still indifferent about your soul? or, are you seeking for life, pardon, salvation, and immortality? If you are indeed convinced of sin; if you are fleeing from the wrath to come; if you are searching for wisdom, and seeking for understanding — then our present subject is suited to you.
The fullness of Christ contains all that you can want, desire, or enjoy — and all that God in mercy can give! It is provided for your supply! It is open for your resort — and may be enjoyed by believing.
Do you feel your insufficiency, and inability to think, speak, or act spiritually? In Jesus, there is a fullness of the Spirit; which, when received, works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure; and the Scriptures assure us, "that if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children — much more shall our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit into those who ask Him."
The Spirit, when received, acts as a Spirit of light, of life, and of love; quickening the soul, illuminating the understanding, and elevating the affections. He . . .
enables us to cry, Abba Father!
endears Jesus unto us; and
seals us unto the day of redemption.
Do you find yourself guilty, and condemned by the holy law of God? In Jesus, there is a fullness of pardon — pardon for infinite, aggravated, and innumerable offences; pardon procured by His blood, bestowed in richest grace, and granted to the most unworthy; and concerning the communication of it, we are assured "that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Are you sensible of your unrighteousness, and do you mourn on account of the defects discoverable in your obedience? in Jesus, there is a fullness of righteousness. He has a righteousness to bestow upon sinners, which He wrought out by the labors of His life, and the sufferings of His death; a righteousness which . . .
justifies from all things,
raises above condemnation,
and gives a right to eternal life.
Concerning this glorious righteousness, the Apostle affirms, "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Jesus was made sin for us — that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Are you daily discovering more and more of the pollution of your nature — and proving that in you, that is, in your flesh, dwells no good thing? Then in Jesus, there is fullness of holiness. He is made sanctification unto His people. All true holiness dwells in Him, flows from Him, and dedicates the receiver to Him. In vain do we attempt to produce it in ourselves — Christ is the root, fountain, and ocean of all sanctity; and by union to Him, and through communion with Him — we must receive it, if ever we are sanctified to God. "He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Are you experiencing great spiritual weakness — and have you strong corruptions to cope with, many trials to bear, and merciless foes to face? Then in Jesus, there is a fullness of strength! "He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might — He increases strength." He is the strength or the poor, and the strength of the needy in his distress. He strengthens with all might in the inner man, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. His grace is sufficient, and to those who trust in Him — strength is given them according to their day.
Are you lamenting your ignorance, and incapacity to understand the things of God? Then in Jesus, there is a fullness of wisdom, which is sufficient to make you wise unto salvation, through faith in His dear name. He possesses, and gives liberally the wisdom from above; which is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. If, then, you lack wisdom — ask it of Him, for He gives liberally and upbraids not.
Are you fearful, doubting, and desponding? In Jesus, there is a fullness of love, compassion, and mercy. He can, and does have compassion on the ignorant, and those who are out of the way. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. He will not reject the vilest sinner, despise the weakest seeker, or cast out the most unworthy wretch that is brought to bow before Him! Like as a father pities his children — so Jesus pities all who come to Him.
Are you miserable, cast down, and wretched? Then come to Jesus — there is a fullness of consolation in Him! He gives comfort to the comfortless; raises the downcast; and makes the most wretched joyful. He is the consolation of Israel, and the joy of the broken-hearted! He gives . . .
rest from trouble,
comfort under trials, and
peace in the most perplexing circumstances.
Are you dark, bewildered, and confused? Come to Jesus — He has a fullness of light. He will guide you right, and make you full of joy with His countenance. Those who follow Him, shall not walk in darkness — but shall have the light of life.
Are you hungering and thirsting for satisfaction and permanent peace? Come to Jesus — He will satisfy you early with His mercy, that you may be glad and rejoice all your days. He will abundantly satisfy you with the fatness of His house, and make you drink of the river of His pleasures. He will extend peace to you like a river, and give you peace always, by all means; for He satisfies the longing soul, and replenishes every sorrowful soul.
Are you lost, ruined, and undone? Come to Jesus — in Him there is fullness of salvation. He came to seek, and to save the lost. He saves to the very uttermost — all who come unto God by Him — with an everlasting salvation!
In a word, in Jesus there is a fullness of . . .
All that He IS, and HAS — is for sinners! For sinners whose crimes are like scarlet, and their transgressions of a crimson hue.
To Him all sensible sinners are invited,
by Him all such are welcomed, and
from Him they are supplied!
He possesses all they can need to make them wise, happy, and glorious for evermore. To this fullness, the gospel calls them; there ministers direct them; and "the Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that is thirsty, come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Of all such, Jesus says," If you knew the gift (or bounty) of God; you would ask of me, and I would give you living water."
Come then, you poor, needy, and grace-wanting souls! Come, for all things are ready! Yet there is room! Jesus is exalted as a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins. There is salvation in no other; there is a plentitude of salvation in Him; and salvation in Him for you — if you really feel you need it. Give not way, then, to despondency; no longer indulge unbelief; rise and approach Him; for He kindly calls you.
Reader, are you looking to Jesus? There is life, salvation, and happiness nowhere else; He says, "Look unto me and be saved!" Look wherever else you will — and you are lost. Duties without Christ will damn!
Nothing but an experimental knowledge of Christ, living by faith upon Christ, and looking wholly to Christ — can make you safe, holy, and blessed. May you be led to this fullness, and out of it receive all you need, for Jesus Christ's sake.