Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 7, 1952

Christ -- The Fulness Of God's Grace

Roy E. Cogdill

In a previous article I wrote of Christ as the fulness of God's power; not only is that so, but he is also the fulness of God's grace. The very bounty of the grace of God is revealed in him. Paul declared, "It pleased the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell." (Col. 1:19) Again, "for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him." (Col. 2:9) Every requirement for a savior, every need of the soul is met in Christ. There is no insufficiency in him. Well we know that Jesus Christ is a savior in every sense of that word, supplying every need, meeting every demand of the soul of man.

Paul sums up the matter when he says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 1:3) There is not one spiritual blessing to be found out of Christ; in him are all such blessings; in him is everything the soul of man needs or can require. We may find temporal blessings out of Christ, but every spiritual blessing must be sought and found only in him. Again Paul states, "having made known unto us the mystery of his will, that in the dispensation of the fulness of time, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him." (Eph. 1:9-10) It was God's purpose through all ages of the past to gather all things together in Christ, and when the "fulness of time" arrived, that purpose was accomplished. Every purpose and desire God has ever had for the salvation of man, in behalf of human redemption, has been gathered together and summed up in Jesus Christ. He is the sum total of God's provision for our salvation. God's grace is extended in him and through him; redemption is provided in his name. There is salvation in no other.

Christ is God's only approach to man, and God's only avenue through: which man may hope for redemption. Paul has taught, "for there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all." (2 Tim. 2:5) Christ is the one go-between by which God and man can reach each other. God makes himself available to us through Christ; and Christ it is who brings us into the presence of God. There is no other approach from God to us; and there is no other road by which we can approach God. Sometimes some men get the idea that in other relationships, outside of Christ, they can find the blessings of God. They think they may have the blessings of God showered upon them because of their clean, moral lives, their good works to the poor, their fine achievements as citizens of the land. But they are doomed to disappointment. Salvation is only in Christ; spiritual blessings are to be had only through him.

All the morality in the world outside of Christ will not obtain one single spiritual blessing, not one consideration. Moral living, the right kind of conduct, is a demand and a requirement of Christianity; but good living alone, outside of Christ, cannot and will not redeem the soul of man, nor will it bring a single one of those rich spiritual blessings which God has in store for those who love and serve him. There are some men who apparently think that in their human relationships, in fraternal order and organizations, they can fulfill God's requirements, and become eligible for spiritual blessings. They join the Knights of Pythias, or the Masonic Lodge. But the man who conceives of these fraternal orders as providing him with spiritual blessings is deceiving himself. Spiritual blessings are in Christ, and in him only.

I care not what a man may be morally, nor how many lodges he may claim as his own, if he is not in Christ, he does not have, and will not receive a single one of those spiritual blessings which God has provided. For those blessings are in Christ; they are not anywhere else. They can not be had through lodges, fraternal orders, civic enterprises, community projects, or any of the worthy and meritorious acts that men may engage in. Christ said, "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6). If a man tries to come to God in some other way, or by some other means, he is deceived and deluded.

When he gave the Great Commission Christ said, "All authority in heaven and on earth hath been given to me." (Matt. 28:19) He has that authority now... When he speaks he has all authority; that means there is no exception. If Christ has all authority, then no creed or council or religious order of men has any authority. Christ has it all. Therefore, the man who ignores or fails to obey the word of Christ is showing disrespect for his authority. And one does not disrespect Christ, or his word, without disrespecting the God of heaven from whom Christ came.

Finally, Christ is the perfect savior of mankind. All the fulness of God's grace is found in him. He is able to demonstrate for us how God would have us live our lives upon this earth. Not only did Christ give us a perfect teaching, he gave us also a perfect example in his own life. Peter said, "For hereunto were ye also called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should walk in his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously, and who in his own body bare our sins upon the tree." Jesus died for us upon the cross to redeem us; but before that tragic hour he had lived a life that was a perfect example for men of all ages. By the power of his blood he gave himself as a ransom for all, in order to redeem us. And by the power of his life he set forth the example for us to follow.

Christ died for our redemption; he arose for our justification and ascended to God's right hand to intercede for us. John says of him, "My little children these things write I unto you that ye sin not, but if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous..." Thus we have a complete savior—one who died for us, lived for us, and now intercedes for us at God's right hand. Paul would sum it all up by saying, "Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for us." Surely. Christ is our all in all; surely in him we see the fulness of God's power, the fulness of God's grace, and the sum total of human hope.