Complete In The Messiah

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: —Colossians 2:8-10

One thing the Greek language of Paul’s day had going for it was versatility, and Paul maximized on the power of the Greek language in his writings. There is one clause in the passage above that cries out for your attention. It was there in verse 10, “You are complete in him.” That is a very serious statement.

It is difficult to imagine a more concrete word...a more definitive word! Nothing lacking, no shortage, no emptiness, no inadequacy, and no assembly required. COMPLETE! Even reading those words in our English language we get a sense of finality, after all, when something is complete it is finished otherwise it would not be “complete.” Even so, the Greek here reaches new heights in giving us an understanding both of the Messiah and of those who have demonstrated saving faith in him.


The Greek noun that Paul uses is "pleroma," (play-RO-mah) and Paul uses it with an unexpected boldness by applying it first to Messiah, and then, in the very next sentence, he applies it to us.

“For in Messiah dwelleth all the pleroma of the Godhead bodily.”

“And ye are pleroma in him...”

Since the fullness of God truly dwells in Messiah, and WE are filled up in Messiah, then the fullness of God dwells in US.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.


Possibly the best literal translation of “pleroma” would be “crammed full.” The Greek word has been adopted into our English language, and at least one dictionary defines it as, “A state of overflowing abundance.”
When no ordinary English word can be found to describe a condition of extraordinary richness and fullness, “pleroma” is used. The ongoing idea of fullness is conveyed by the use of pleroma in the New Testament.

But I have all, and abound: I am full (pleroma), having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply (pleroma) all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:18-19

It is difficult to miss the hominess of the “I am full” in verse 18. The expression is that of a man who has eaten too much! It describes an over sufficient satisfaction, deep contentment, a state of having more than enough; having no further need of anything else.

Just as the Philippians had so richly and bountifully provided for Paul (vs. 14-18) so, in turn, Paul promises that God will provide for them in even greater measure.

We also find other, parallel passages:

Which, when it was full (crammed with abundance), they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. —Matthew 13:48

Every valley shall be filled (pleroma), and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; —Luke 3:5


The phrase, “filled full” is not an overstatement or redundancy. Something can be full, yet not full.
If you FILL a bucket with tennis balls, it is full, yet it is not full.
If you then pour rocks into the same bucket, it is more full, yet not FULL.
Take that same bucket and then pour in sand, and it is full, yet it is still not FULL.
But pour water into that same bucket, and now it may be said to be “filled full,” crammed, replete, with room for nothing else. It is in this sense that Paul spoke to us in Colossians 2:9-10.

For in him dwelleth all the pleroma of the Godhead bodily. And ye are pleroma in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Messiah is "crammed full" of the power, nature, and holiness of Almighty God! And as good as that is, the apostle goes on to declare that we are crammed full "in" the one who is "crammed full" of the power, nature, and holiness of Almighty God! Can anyone make a more powerful or a more direct statement about you as a believer?

But, if it is true that all blessing, authority, provision, fullness, victory, healing, freedom, and so on, are already the full expression of every believer, how is it that so many apparently suffer from an almost total lack of these things?


This “completeness,” like every other aspect of the gospel, becomes real in a man’s life only in conjunction with three other things:
01. It is available in Yeshua alone
02. It must be accepted by faith

There is, indeed, a good reason why I have #3 in all caps!
You will not actually live in that state of being “crammed full” until you deeply believe that "in" Messiah you are, in fact, already “crammed full”; and when you believe it, you will irresistibly, unequivocally, and unashamedly speak it — Matthew 12:34b:

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Hear it...
Believe it...
Speak it...

THAT is the three-fold REQUIREMENT to ACTIVATE the promises of God. While most Christians have little or no trouble with Hearing and Believing, the problem arises in that pesky CONFESSION part.


One problem, it would seem, is that we tend to measure ourselves by ourselves. But the challenge of Scripture is to measure ourselves by Messiah because you are complete ONLY in Messiah. Thus IN HIM, you ARE complete.

It is ONLY through your CONFESSION of these things that they become a reality in your life. A believer’s identification with Yeshua Messiah by faith is both the foundation and the goal of sanctification. The process of translating that identification into the daily experience of ongoing sanctification, however, demands three attitudes of mind and action on a believer’s part (Reckoning, Yielding, and Service). These Paul discussed in Romans 6:5–23.

There is no surer way to increase your bondage to some habit or personal failure than to make it the subject of most of your thinking, talking, and praying.

But once you have confessed your failure (in whatever area(s)) and received forgiveness and cleansing from God, you MUST begin again (or perhaps for the first time) to joyfully, continually, and AGGRESSIVELY confess yourself to be COMPLETE in him. Only then will you bring more and more of HIS righteousness into your life.

You cannot maintain righteousness by focusing on sin or failure.
If you want to remain Christ-like, then you must focus your attention on his excellencies. The more you rejoice in the victory of Messiah, and the more you praise God for making you a participant in that victory, the more that victory will be enacted in your own experience.


The time to begin this exercise of faith is WHILE YOU ARE STILL OUTWARDLY DEFEATED. Remember, you are praising God for what you are IN MESSIAH (Colossians 2:9-10), and that has nothing to do with what you are IN YOURSELF. But such a confession will irresistibly change what you are in yourself to what you are in Messiah.
When scripture declares that:
You are blessed with all spiritual blessings
You are more than a conqueror
You are healed
You have authority over Satan
You are holy, unblameable, unreprovable

Grace and Peace to all.