One of the sisters in my local church family said she has never heard a sermon on gluttony. She offered me $100 cash if I would preach one. She’s right. Gluttony is sinful behavior, and yet it is one we rarely (if ever) hear preached about.
To keep my weight under control, I have a personal rule that I don’t eat after 7:00 pm. I don’t like hunger, but neither do I like the sensation of having eaten too much. And I certainly don’t like being overweight. I have been overweight and, to address that, recently dropped fifty pounds. I feel much better, physically.
When eating, there is a point at which my tummy feels just right. I have learned that my stomach shrinks as my portions get smaller, allowing me to eat less and still feel satisfied.
Of course, we are talking about physical fullness. But there is a spiritual fullness, one to which there is no top end. I’ll take as much of it as I can get.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” . . . Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
– John 4:32 & 34, ESV
I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
– Romans 15:29, ESV
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome and spoke of Jesus as “the fullness of him who fills all in all.”1 When Jesus fed the multitude from basically nothing, following that feeding there were twelve baskets full of leftover food.2
When the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing, but then Jesus gave them a miraculous catch of fish, a catch so enormous that it began to rip the nets and sink the boats . . .3
There is an aspect of fullness – spiritual satisfaction – that comes by default for one who is submitted to the King, to Jesus. There is a life of abundance. I’m not talking about the physical riches so many charlatans tout, but a life of inner satisfaction, the experience of one who can sigh with contentment and say with sincerity, “Life is good. I am at peace.”
Fullness. Satisfaction. Contentment.
Consider the fullness expressed in these verses.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
– John 1:16, ESV
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
– John 15:11, ESV
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Romans 15:13, NASB
When writing to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul presented fullness as something of a command, telling the believers to avoid being drunk on wine, but rather, “filled with the Spirit.”4 We know that, as Christ-followers, we are indwelt by the Spirit, but Paul says we can be filled, full of the Spirit. Consider this statement from earlier in that same letter to Ephesus.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
– Ephesians 3:14-19, ESV
Here we have a prayer from Paul, loaded with superlatives, that ends with us being filled with the fullness of God. It’s a beautiful redundancy – filled with fullness.
For in [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
– Colossians 2:9-10, ESV
That is a mind-boggling reality. We are filled to fullness with the one in whom the fullness of deity dwells.
For in [Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
– Colossians 1:19, ESV
Tapping into the resources made available to you, Christ-follower, there should never be a time when your life feels lacking, empty, void. Rather we are filled with such fullness that we press on to maturity, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”5
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.
– John 10:10, BSB
1. Ephesians 1:22-23
2. John 6:13
3. Luke 5:6-7
4. Ephesians 4;18
5. Ephesians 4:13