And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. - John 1:16
As we enter Advent 2020, we would do well to remember that what we received with the coming of Christ to our world is fullness. He came when time was full to bring us the fullness of God’s grace by taking upon himself the fullness of God’s wrath toward sin (Gal. 4:4; Rom. 5:9). Everything was as it should be when the Christ-child arrived in Bethlehem. There was a “fullness” to time. And from that Christ-child we receive every good thing. It is a beautiful picture. Jesus Christ, who “fills all things in every way (Eph. 1:23),” gives to us abundantly out of his fullness, and all believers are immersed, as it were, under the flood of his mercy and grace.
God does nothing halfway. What he has done has been done completely. Christmas Day brought with it the fullness of God’s grace, mercy, and judgment to a waiting world (Mark 5:19; Luke 2:14, 6:36; John 1:16, 9:39). When Christmas Day arrives this year, Lord willing, and after we have opened our gifts and thrown away the wrapping paper, all the fullness of what we celebrated continues, and will continue, throughout eternity.
You have likely been to an auction at some point in your life where the auctioneer began selling things by the box in order to speed things up. It becomes an all or nothing venture. You do not get to pick and choose what you want to bid on in the box; you buy it all and take it with you, whether you want it all or not. In a similar fashion, we receive the fullness of God in Christ when we commit our lives to him. We get the whole package: grace, mercy, love, discipline, correction, hope, trials, struggles, healings, and infirmities. It is not a “you pick” occasion, it is a “count the cost” occasion (Luke 14:25-35).
I have found that there is no better way to live life than as a follower of Christ, but I have also found that I have been forced to deal with some unpleasantries in life as a result of my walk with him. I also find myself disciplined occasionally by God for things that non-believers never seem to be disciplined for, simply because I am his son. It is all part of the package, part of the fullness of God for which I rejoice in my better moments. Jesus took on fullness too, taking upon himself my sin in full, and paying the debt for that sin in full as well. In truth, I get the better end of the deal. You do as well if you are a follower of Christ.
So, here’s to fullness this Advent season. Fullness of time, full grace, full redemption, full pardon, and a full life filled with both joy and sadness, receiving and taking away, comfort and discomfort — all giving way to an eternity filled with every good and pleasant thing, with the fullness of God always before us, time without end. Amen.
Grace and peace,