“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:8–10

The Bible is naturally full of truth which seems hard to grasp and difficult to command. After all, God’s purpose in biblical revelation is to reveal things to us about Himself that are otherwise not discernable from nature or through our native senses. Romans 1:20 teaches us, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” There is enough revealed about the Creator in nature to convict every man for his unbelief but not enough to provide details of saving faith. Natural revelation is pretty straight forward.

The attributes of God that creation reveals are displayed in rudimentary and raw glory. The natural world reveals His power, His greatness, His love of order, His creativity, His wisdom, His immensity, and His genius, just to name a few. These are all impersonal attributes and impossible to be shared with His creation. With only natural revelation available to most of mankind through the millennia, no wonder man-made religions generally share a belief in an impersonal god or gods. It is only through special revelation, God’s direct revelation of Himself in the Bible, that we can begin to grasp attributes of God which He is willing to share with His own—His holiness, His justice, His righteousness, His love, His truth, etc.

It is in the area of special revelation where people who believe in the existence of a divine being begin to quibble. This is to be expected because an infinite God is revealing eternal truth about Himself to finite minds that can only handle so much information within the confines of human language.

Throw into this mix the fact that God has revealed Himself as triune, three-in-one—something that does not appear in nature—and a man’s thinking begins to lose traction. Due to truths like triunity, Spurgeon used to explain that the Bible appears to be full of paradoxes. He said, “And you may depend upon this fact, that paradoxes are not strange things in Scripture, but are rather the rule than the exception.” He also said, “Paradoxes, in spiritual things, are as plentiful as blackberries; in fact, if you cannot believe a paradox, you cannot believe in Christ himself, for he is God and man in one person, and that is a paradoxical mystery.”

Our text in Colossians gives us an incredible insight into the divinity of Christ. He is fully God and He is fully man. We can conceive of Jesus’ humanity because we are flesh. But for the “fullness of the Godhead” to dwell in Him bodily is beyond our ability to grasp. We must simply accept by faith the truth just as God has revealed it.

To the unsaved mind this is an outrageous thought. Even to the religious Jews in Jesus’ day to think such a thing was blasphemy. In fact, just such a thought is what brought the Sanhedrin’s trial of our Lord to its verdict of guilt punishable by death (Mark 14:61f). The fact that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and with that claim He both declared His Messiahship and His divinity.

John 14:1–11 explains the significance of the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Him. In verses 9ff Jesus says, “He who has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

In one of the great eternal security passages, John 10:25–30, our Lord declares, “The works that I do in My Father’s name they bear witness of Me…I and My Father are one.” Such declarations of personal divinity were not unusual for Him as evidenced in the story recounted in John 8. In a running battle with the Pharisees, our Lord states in verse 24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” They could see before them a man but did not recognize that in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt. Not until they heard Him in verse 58 say “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” did they realize He claimed divinity. A similar self-declared divinity is seen in John 5:18, “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”

Jesus Christ is both perfect God and He is perfect man. As Spurgeon so aptly stated, “Do not let us exalt him into only a God-man; for if we do, we shall degrade him into a man-God. He is neither the one nor the other. He is God; diminish not his splendor. He is man, man such as we are; forget not his tenderness.” Trust and obey.