Christ Is All and In All
Colossians 3:10, 11 – “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
This high expression of Christ in his transcendent Excellency also shows the only privileged grouping of people to be “the new man”, wherein Christ is all and in all. There is no privilege in any other grouping of people to commend them to God. People will be what they will in outward respects, what is that to God? The truth of Christ strips away concern in regard to the outward things which divide people and hinder them from the enjoyment of God.
The Church of God is in Christ; God has accepted Christ crucified as full payment for our sins and we have emerged from the grave of Christ in unification with him, seated with him, in God’s hand of blessing. And this is good news indeed, for this is the delight of our Father, even from before all creation this was the delight of our Father’s heart (see Ephesians 1:3-14). God undertook infinite contentment in Christ and his completing the work of our redemption. God is eternally satisfied in Christ. And if what God has made us to be in Christ is the object sufficient for His good pleasure, surely it must be sufficient for ours.
Now for a minute, please play along with me and open your Bible to Ephesians Chapter 2 and see if you can spot these next six truths (See verses 13-18):
- We are in Christ Jesus by his bloodshed
- Christ is our peace
- Christ abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances
- Christ makes ONE NEW MAN from various groupings of people
- Christ reconciled us to God in ONE BODY by his cross
- Through Christ we all have access by ONE SPIRIT unto the Father
Fun stuff, yes? OK, moving on...
Christ is all and in all in our justification:
We are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offences on Calvary’s tree. Then after his death was legally and completely established, God raised him from the dead. The work for us being made right with God is finished. Christ is seated in God’s right hand and we are seated there in him. There is absolutely nothing else that can add to us being right in God’s sight; no good intentions, no things we can do, not even any spiritual enablement. Such are the terms between God and us in the New Covenant. Christ is our righteousness before God (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Christ is all and in all in the point of our peace:
Romans 5:1-2 - “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Christ is all and in all as our mediator:
1Timothy 2:3-6 – “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who would have all men saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and only one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified of in due time.”
Christ is all and in all as our advocate with the Father:
1John 2:1b and 2a, “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins.” He shall forever be our legal representation before God’s throne of justice, and the only satisfactory payment for the penalty against sin. Now I don’t know how far this mind picture of a courtroom scene should go into literal thoughts of the physical realm, but I do know that Christ-sacrificed for us at Calvary is eternally true before God. All blessings from God are because we belong to Jesus Christ the Redeemer. It is as if Christ himself is eternally speaking to his Father, "Father, behold, here is my blood, my merits, my death, all my sufferings, the work of my humiliation. It is for these people, for this particular person, and for that one, yes, for <insert your name>."
Christ is all and in all for our access to God’s throne of grace:
In Ephesians 3:12 we see, “In WHOM we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” There is no coming to the Father except in Christ Jesus our Lord. In a manner of speaking, Christ takes us by the hand and leads us to the Father, and we have confidence in God’s presence because we belong to Christ (see also 2 Corinthians 10:7).
Christ is all and in all in the point of us being children of God:
John 1:12 puts it this way, “But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Galatians 3:26 adds, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 10:11 further states, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Christ is all and in all in our relationship to God...
...as Ephesians 5:30 so intimately puts it with this beautiful figure of speech, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” This passage and others like it include this idea: If someone has a dear friend, and God works within that friend to be an instrument of His love and goodness to them, how much does this endear them to that friend? If the husband is an instrument of good to his wife, or the wife to her husband, if a minister to those to whom he ministers, or them to their minister, how much is this person considered of value to the recipient of their favor? And so it is in all relationships. But even more so in our relationship with Christ, he is not simply the instrument of the blessings we receive from God, but Christ himself is actually the greatest of the blessings. If there were a man alive today through whom God supplied an immeasurable amount of good to the people of world, every person on earth would have his eye upon that man. But there have never been so many riches poured out to mankind as there is through Jesus Christ.
Christ is all and in all in the enjoyment of it all:
The satisfaction of our souls is not in having larger estates, more friends, or greater comforts than others, but we can enjoy them most fully by enjoying them in Christ. In Christ we see the fruit from the new covenant as coming down from the fountain of God's eternal love and grace through Christ. Zechariah 9:11 says, “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein there is no water (blessings).” This deliverance is a type of what we enjoy in Christ. Whatever deliverance we have from evil, whatever good we possess, it is by the blood of the New Covenant. And so it comes evermore so sweetly. There are no people of the world who can enjoy outward comforts with as much contentment as can the people of God! We know that all good comes from God through Christ, and even though outward comforts only last for a short time, there is always much greater things to come.
Truth in Christ is the standard for how we are to value things. As far as we see anything of Christ, his work or the results, we prize it suitably. In all we enjoy, we look for how much we see of Christ in it. Let our delight and esteem be formed and carried outward by what is true in Christ, and no farther; in regard to ourselves and to others; in regard to thoughts, words and deeds; even in regard to physical possessions. Though it seems that God Himself has given you a large estate and honor in the world, if it has not Christ, it is worthless. We thank God for God, and we thank God above everything else for His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. For without Christ himself, and him crucified, we would have remained dead in trespasses and sins. What would have become of us had we never heard about Jesus Christ? Blessed are the ears which hear the things we hear. Blessed are the eyes which see the things we see. Oh, how we can delight and take contentment in him who brings the treasuries of grace from the bosom of the Father unto us.
Christ is all and in all - God fills all:
Ephesians 1:19-23 - “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe; according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And [God] hath put all things under his [Christ] feet, AND gave him [Christ] to be the head over all things to the church, which is his [Christ] body, the fullness of Him [God] who fills all.”
Christ is the means of conveyance of all good which God has for us. He is the chief part of the mind and counsel of God. The promised gospel in the Apostles Paul’s writings is that which reveals Christ as our all and in all. And in those writings of Paul we find 1Corinthians 3:21b -22, “all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours.”
Now mark these words from verse 23, “All are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.” God is the principle of all good. And all good comes from God through Christ. Please also notice what verse 23 does not say, “All is yours because you are God’s; you own an interest in God, therefore all is yours.” No! All things are yours because you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. It’s kind of like this: God is the Fountain of all good, and Christ himself is the cistern from which pipes converge to every believer. Faith sucks at the mouth of the pipes and draws from the cistern that which comes from the fountain. The Father fills the Son with all good and so it comes from the Father, through the Son, by faith unto the soul and body of every believer. Here are a couple of other notable points, from Ephesians 2, which come to mind along these lines: without Christ = without God (verse 12), and made nigh by the blood of Christ (verse 13).
We are the church, which is his body:
Groupings of people are very often described and explained in the Bible with figurative language. In regard to this phrase “the body of Christ,” the analogies and metaphors used to describe it are very simple and obvious; however, we do well being careful not to take them farther than the author intended; for example, a metaphor compares things to other things, metaphors show similarity between the things being compared, but metaphors never make the things being compared identical on every point. The similar and emphasized points of a metaphor used in the Bible are recorded and explained somewhere in the Scriptures themselves, usually in the immediate context; for example, “ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Is this literal language? No, it isn’t. The immediate context (1Corinthians 12) makes this verse a very obvious metaphor and also explains the meaning. We are not the literal physical body of Christ. We have been unified with Christ on many points, but not on every point. I am not Jesus, neither are you, nor are we collectively. We are like him (1John 3:2). “We are as he is,” in several ways, but even when he returns, “we shall be like him.” We are not him, we are not identical to him; we are like him in the ways the Scriptures say we are.
Setting our affections on the things above:
Colossians 3:1-2 – “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated in the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
These verses instruct us to set our affection on “things which are above, where Christ is seated in the right hand of God”. The right hand of God is His hand of blessing. Christ being seated denotes that the work is finished. "The things” are those things true of us in our unification and identification with Christ. These point are emphasized by the remainder of the verse, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." These are the eyes of God. As Ephesians 2:4-9, puts it, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Not of works, lest any man should boast."
We will be content to the degree we are accepting and trusting the good news from God about His Son Jesus Christ Lord, and thereby the things which are also true of us in our unification with him, even if this were all we had. How could this be true? Even if we currently lack friends, estates, outward comforts, we know that in Christ "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). If we lack something we need, shall not God supply it? "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2Corinthians 9:8). God fulfills these promises to us in Christ and through Christ. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)
All that is Christ, he himself, his accomplished work, our position and identity in him, and the rest of the benefits; these will stand forever; dependency on anything else will not.