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Read Introduction to Colossians


“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”


Paul sent out a warning about false philosophy, and Paul now turns to God’s true wisdom.

“For in Him dwells”

The word “for” continues the thought of verse eight. In Greek, the word “for” means “because.” This word is important because it introduces another reason for abandoning false teaching. Verse eight presents the negative reasons for following false philosophy. This verse gives a positive reason–all the fullness of God dwells in Christ. That is why he is superior to any philosophy or theology. He is all in all. To worship anything else is an error.

The words “in Him” are emphatic in Greek, indicating a mighty contrast between philosophy and the Son. The Son is superior to any philosophy.

The word “dwells” comes from two words: to dwell and to settle down, to settle in. It means to settle down in a dwelling, to dwell in a fixed place. Because the Greek word is a combination of two words, it is an intense term. It has the force of a permanent dwelling. “All the fullness of the Godhead bodily” dwells in Christ as a settled manner. The present tense also indicates a fixed abode. Deity does not come and go in Christ.

Here “dwells” refers to the indwelling of the totality of the attributes and powers of the Godhead living permanently in Christ (cf. 1:19).


Any system of thought that does not orient to the criterion of Christ (v.8) must be wrong for “all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily.”


Any philosophy “not after Christ” (v.8) must be delusive and deceitful because it has missed the central truth of the universe–the superiority of Christ. Philosophers have not been able to come to any certainty about the “why” of things. All they know for sure is that we do not know for sure. A panacea of tolerance is the result of a lack of certainty. The only exception to tolerance is to allow no tolerance for those who are not tolerant! Today’s world-view views anyone with firm conviction as obscurant. Tolerance is very intolerant of those who know what they believe. They have a great deal of certitude in uncertainty.

The reason men believe that it is impossible to come to some universal truth is their own finite creatureliness. It is indeed impossible for the finite to fully comprehend the infinite. If we are to understand the infinite, the infinite God must reveal himself deductively to us through the Word of God. God has spoken to us in propositions. He has given us enough, but not exhaustive knowledge of himself. We cannot know with certainty God or his plans for the universe apart from the Bible.