13. a. Strength through his spirit, power to grasp the magnitude of the love of Christ
b. My co-leader when he is instructing the children. I can sense and hear the holy spirit speaking through him. It is someone who gives up themselves to be filled by the spirit to share the word of God and reveal His love to others.
14. How I underestimate and under utilize God’s power. My approach is to pray to God to have an earthmover standing by just in case my shovel breaks.
“Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”. What an interesting statement. It is easy to pass over because at first glance it sounds common. I’m old enough to remember my dad pulling up to the filling station. ding, ding. The station attendant jogged out and my dad would say, “fill ‘er up with ethyl.” But, wait a minute – while that is where this verse starts, it actually says more. Let’s take a deeper look.
In greek, the first filled is the word πληρόω plēroō, (strongs G4137). This literally means to fill it as full as is possible – that another drop would over flow, that another grain would fall off. Literally that there can be no more.
Now, most of us would look at that and say – filled is filled. Anything over filled is spilled and wasted, right?
But Paul doesn’t go there. He goes on to say filled to all the fullness of God. The second fullness is πλήρωμα plērōma (strongs G4138). In the New Testament verses, this word takes on additional meaning: the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ. In particular, it is the same word used in Colossians 2:9, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”.
See, even in this seemingly simple verse Paul is continuing to emphasize this important message. He doesn’t want us to be filled in accordance with what our earthly selves can hold. He is praying that we are filled to the fullness that Christ in us can hold – He is praying that we are filled with the fullness of the Deity in bodily form – He is praying that we are filled not to the level we can manage but to the level God can manage, not with human limits but with holy limits (are there holy limits or is it limitless?)
But what a contrast that is to how I think – I think that I have a tank that holds a certain amount, just like the tank on our car. Filling it any fuller just would overflow on the ground and be wasted. But I am no longer just me when I am a Christian. I am no longer just me when I am a Christian. (that repetition was on purpose – don’t make me say it a third time :-)). I am the church. I am the body of Christ. I am the body of believers. I am the power, agency and riches of God and of Christ. I am limitless in God’s eyes.
Fill ‘er up! Amen.