A photo of a serene sunset over a vast ocean, radiating golden hues, capturing the infinite beauty and majesty of nature, symbolizing the fullness of God's creation.

What Is The Fullness Of God?

The fullness of God is a profound and intriguing concept that has captivated spiritual seekers and theologians alike for centuries. At its core, it refers to the totality of God’s being, power, love, and presence.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The fullness of God encompasses every aspect of His infinite nature and perfect character, as well as the completeness of His redemptive work through Christ.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the meaning of the fullness of God in depth. We will examine relevant Bible passages, review theological perspectives, and seek to apply this concept to our lives today.

Defining the Fullness of God

Etymological Meaning

The word “fullness” in the phrase “fullness of God” is translated from the Greek word πλήρωμα (plērōma). This word refers to the state of being full, complete, or the entirety of something. Theologically, the fullness of God refers to everything that God is – His attributes, character, power, sovereignty, and presence.

Use in the Bible and Theology

The concept of the fullness of God appears in several verses in the Bible. For example, Ephesians 3:19 speaks of being filled with “all the fullness of God.” This fullness is linked to God’s love, which surpasses knowledge.

Theologically, the fullness of God also refers to everything that fills the universe. As Paul states in Ephesians 1:23, the church is called the fullness of Christ, “who fills all in all.” This implies that God’s presence permeates all of creation.

Additionally, Colossians 2:9 states that “all the fullness of God” dwells bodily in Christ. This affirms Christ’s divinity and means that God’s entire being resides in Him.

Implications and Significance

The fullness of God is a profoundly meaningful concept for Christian theology. It points to God’s immanence – His intimate nearness to creation. It also affirms God’s transcendence, suggesting that He infinitely surpasses the universe and cannot be fully known.

For the believer, the fullness of God implies that an intimate relationship with Him is possible through Christ. We can continually grow into greater knowledge, love, and participation in God’s fullness. This brings meaning, freedom, and transformation.

Experiencing more of God’s fullness allows us to reflect His light and love to others. As we are filled with God’s fullness, we are able to walk in greater power, holiness, and purpose for His glory.

Old Testament Background

God’s Fullness in Creation

The Old Testament depicts God’s fullness being poured out in the act of creation. When God created the heavens and the earth and all that fills them, His glory and power were on full display (Psalm 19:1). As the psalmist declared, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1). God filled the earth with his divine presence and made humans in his own image, endowing them with gifts and abilities that reflected his fullness (Genesis 1:26-27). Truly, God’s fullness saturates his entire creation.

God’s Fullness in the Tabernacle/Temple

In the Old Testament, the tabernacle and later the temple were viewed as symbolic dwellings for God’s presence. When the glory of God filled these structures, it demonstrated his fullness residing among his people (Exodus 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10-11).

The design of the temple even included imagery of fruitfulness and abundance, picturing the lavish nature of God’s glory and blessings poured out on his creation.

For example, the lampstand in the Holy Place held seven lamps, depicting completeness and fullness of light. The walls of the temple were carved with images of fruit trees and ornamental flowers (1 Kings 6:18,29), representing the fullness of life, vitality, and God’s provision.

So the tabernacle and temple gave the people a glimpse of God’s glorious fullness.

New Testament Fulfillment in Christ

Jesus as the Full Revelation of God

Jesus Christ is considered the ultimate revelation of God in the New Testament. As the Son of God, Jesus perfectly reflected God’s nature and character (John 1:14, Colossians 1:15). Jesus famously stated, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), indicating that He fully reveals who God is.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus demonstrated God’s love, mercy, righteousness, and power through His teachings, miracles, death on the cross, and resurrection. The writer of Hebrews says that while God spoke partially through the Old Testament prophets, His final word is spoken through Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2).

The New Testament presents Jesus as the awaited Messiah who fulfills Old Testament prophecies about the coming Savior (Luke 24:27). In Jesus, the invisible God becomes visible and knowable to humankind (Colossians 1:15).

Salvation through the Fullness of Christ

The New Testament teaches that salvation is found through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. By taking on human flesh, Christ fills the gap between God and man. Jesus’ sinless life qualifies Him to become the perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 4:15).

On the cross, Christ bore the penalty for sin that humankind deserves (Romans 5:8). His death accomplishes what the Old Testament sacrifices could not, namely, the full forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:1-10). Furthermore, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrates His power over sin and death.

According to the New Testament, there is no salvation apart from Christ (Acts 4:12). Only through repenting and believing in Christ can one’s relationship with God be restored and receive eternal life (John 3:16). The fullness of Christ’s redemptive work is what provides complete salvation.

The Church as the Fullness of Christ

The New Testament also refers to the church as the “fullness” of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). This does not mean the church is equal to Christ but rather is filled by Christ who indwells believers through the Holy Spirit.

As Christ’s spiritual body, the church derives its life, gifts, and direction from its head, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18). The church exhibits Christ’s fullness by displaying His attributes in its worship, ministry, and gospel mission.

For example, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) demonstrates Christ’s character through the church. As the church grows toward maturity, it increasingly reflects Christ’s fullness (Ephesians 4:13-16). The church is the means by which Christ continues His mission on earth until He returns.

The Holy Spirit empowers the church to carry the gospel worldwide and serve as a tangible manifestation of Jesus’ life and ministry (Acts 1:8). But since the church exists as both divine and human, it is not a perfect representation of Christ.

The church progresses toward Christ’s fullness as it submits to His lordship.

The Fullness of God in Christian Spirituality

Growing into God’s Fullness

Christians believe that God calls people to grow into His fullness (Ephesians 3:19). This is the process of sanctification, where the Holy Spirit works in believers to renew them and make them more like Christ. As we grow closer to God, we become filled with more of His graces, virtues, and gifts.

Popular writers like A.W. Tozer have encouraged Christians to pursue the “fullness of God.” He wrote, “God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship.”

As we worship and commune with God, we are transformed by His Spirit and filled with more of His presence and power for ministry.

Theosis and Partaking of the Divine Nature

The concept of theosis, or deification, is prominent in Eastern Orthodox teaching. This is the belief that through God’s grace and our spiritual discipline, we can partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). As we are filled with more of God’s energies, virtues, and gifts, we are divinized.

The goal is not to become God in His essence, but to share abundantly in His divine life by grace. Eastern Orthodox scholar Dumitru Stăniloae explained: “The love of God implies the desire to allow the loved one to enter into perfect communion with oneself.”

As we open ourselves to God in love, He fills us more with Himself.

Being Filled with the Fullness of God

Paul prays that Christians would be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). But what does this mean? Different theological traditions articulate it in different ways. Pentecostals see it as empowerment by the Spirit with supernatural gifts for ministry.

Contemplatives like Thomas Merton view it as profound inner transformation whereby we radiate God’s presence to others. Theosis proponents see it happening as we share more deeply in God’s perfections by grace.

In various ways, Christians believe that through faith and spiritual disciplines we can be filled with God’s fullness – His love, joy, peace, power and virtues. As Tozer said, we must decrease so that He can increase in us (John 3:30).

Our life’s goal is for His life to be perfected in us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Implications for Life and Worship Today

Marveling at God’s Complete Nature

When we ponder the fullness of God’s nature, encompassing His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and infinite love, it can only inspire a sense of awe and wonder. As Ephesians 3:19 states, God’s love “surpasses knowledge”.

Just think – the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the universe loves us! This truth should move us to heartfelt worship and praise for His glorious, incomparable being.

In addition, meditating on God’s complete attributes promotes gratitude and peace as we realize we can fully depend on Him to meet our every need (Philippians 4:19). We can trust His perfect timing and sovereignty over all things.

What comfort to know He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28)! This recognition ought to ease anxiety and shape how we walk through life’s joys and trials.

Depending on Christ’s Finished Work

Since Jesus declared on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30), we can rest in the sufficiency of His atoning sacrifice. Unlike other man-made religions striving to earn righteousness through good deeds, Christianity centers on Christ’s completed work as the sole basis for salvation and right standing before God.

What freedom to recognize our justification comes not by personal effort but by God-given grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)!

This truth also liberates us from condemnation over sins and failures (Romans 8:1). As believers, when we stumble, we can return to the cross and receive God’s infinite forgiveness, mercy and transforming power through Christ’s already finished work.

Yielding to the Spirit’s Transforming Power

Since God’s Spirit indwells believers (1 Corinthians 6:19), we can yield to His sanctifying power to become more Christlike. As we surrender areas of personal darkness to the Spirit’s light, cooperating with His transforming work, we’ll manifest more spiritual fruit like love, joy and peace (Galatians 5:22-23).

We’ll also receive empowerment for righteous living and godly service (Acts 1:8).

By believing Scriptural truths regarding the Spirit’s sanctifying presence, we can confidently access His supernatural help to overcome entrenched sins, walk in holiness and fulfill our calling and purpose. As we submit to the Spirit’s work in us, He brings God’s fullness more into view.


Exploring the fullness of God invites us into deeper intimacy with our infinite Creator. As we seek to understand all that God is, we stand in awe of His glorious transcendence.

Even more amazing, through Christ, we have access to the very life and power of God at work within us, gradually transforming us to reflect His likeness. By yielding ourselves completely to the Spirit’s work, we can experience more and more of the unspeakable fullness of God in our daily walk with Him.

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