The Fullness of Time

Jon Williams

            In the previous article we discussed two major themes for the book Colossians: Christ is preeminent and He is the fullness of all things. This is to say that He comes before all things and by Him all things consist; all things are made full or complete (Colossians 1:17, 19). This is illustrated in three relationships mentioned in Colossians 1:18: the church, time and the resurrection. Last week’s discussion was focused on the first of these; how Jesus is not only head of, but also, the fullness of, the church. Now we turn our attention to the next phrase of that verse, “He is the beginning!

Christ is the Fullness of Time

            Time is perhaps the most precious commodity for the human experience. You can always work to gain more money, but not so with time. You can always accumulate more material possessions, but not so with time. You can always strive to receive more stature and renown, but not so with time. Time can only be lost, it can only fade away. As swiftly as a bullet will fly from the barrel of a gun into the heart of a hunted animal, so also, time flies by with rapid speed.  Perhaps the best way to determine what our priorities are in life is to assess what consumes the bulk of our time. School, with its many assignments and required hours of study, can consume our days. Family, with the responsibility to take care of our children and provide for our spouse, can consume our hours. Work, with the desire of a life of financial stability for ourselves and the ones we love, can consume our minutes. Or trivial things, like television, the internet or just personal hobbies, all play a factor into how the seconds in our life are spent.

            Though, in this discussion of where our fleeting hours go, we should not forget the very reason that time exists. Jesus is preeminent over time; He is the beginning! Christ is responsible for creating the universe and winding up its clock (Colossians 1:15-16). However, He also is responsible for time’s continued existence; “all things are upheld by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). That is why He is the fullness of time, because the universe’s minute and hour hands began, and continue to rotate, at His will and obedience. The very reason we have any time to spend is because of our Savior.

            But why does our Lord continue to perpetuate this global clock? Why continue to allow time to flow in a world that is dying both physically and spiritually?

Because of us! Because He “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). For the lost soul that has not been baptized (Romans 6:1-3), or for the Christian who has fallen from God’s grace (Galatians 5:4), this means that Christ is allowing time to stand so that you can have this opportunity to be saved; this moment to embrace the Author of salvation.

And even for the Christian who is living faithful, this means that you should have a deep appreciation for the delay of the Lord. While we long for his glorious return, even praying “come, Lord Jesus,” we must recognize that when we walked contrary to the will of time’s Creator, God forestalled the Judgment with us in mind. The days where we failed to live up to our spiritual potential, Jesus didn’t call a “times up”; but rather, He declared “I will wait for you.”

            How do we spend our time? Do we dedicate any seconds to prayer? Do we devote any minutes to worship? Do we sacrifice any hours for His service? If we appreciate that Christ is the fullness of time, then we ought to strive for filling our time with Christ.