The Fulness of the Gospel
NCW 16, February 1995
Q. What exactly is meant by the "fulness of the Gospel"? Mormons claim that they have the fulness and therefore they are the only true church. Their scriptures [Doctrine & Covenants] say that the Book of Mormon is the fulness of the Gospel, and in another place that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the fulness. I find this very confusing.
It is confusing! Because the Bible nowhere says that the "fulness of the Gospel" is a book at all. This is what Paul says:
We understand clearly here that to have the "fulness of the Gospel" is to have the Word of God in its fulness. This is a mystery, reserved first of all for Jewish Christians and then made worldwide knowledge. What is this mystery? The mystery is that Christ is in believers. Christ -- and Christ alone, is the fulness, He being, of course, the incarnated Word (John 1:1). This fulness in us gradually brings us to perfection as we are obedient to it, so that we may possess the fulness of life.
"I have become [the church's] servant by the commission God gave me to present you to your the Word of God IN ITS FULNESS -- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has made known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone PERFECT IN CHRIST. To this end I labour, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me" (Col.1:25-29, NIV). "For in Christ all the fulness of Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given the FULNESS in Christ" (2:9-10). Jesus says: "I (Jesus) I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:8, NIV).
It is quite obvious that no book or religious system can ever possess the "fulness", because the fulness is Christ Himself. The Bible can possess the reflection of the fulness, much as the moon possesses reflected light off the sun, but it is not the fulness itself. It is but a tiny fragment of the mind or heart of God, and even then it is not God Himself, just a representation in words. The real life is the Word of God within -- the indwelling Christ.
Beware of any church which claims that it has the "fulness" because that is impossible. Only if every member of that church has obtained perfection in Christ can it be said to possess the fulness.
This page was created on 1 May 1998
Last updated on 1 May 1998
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