' That ye may be filled unto the fulness of God.'

This is the climax of Christian attainment. It is an amazing reach of thought and expression. It is, undoubtedly, the greatest of all the great sayings of the Apostle ; and it is evident that in it even his nervous and powerful language bends under the weight of the Divine idea which he endeavors to express. To be strengthened with the Spirit's might in the inner man is much. To have Christ dwelling in the heart by faith is more. To be rooted and grounded in love is more still. To comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and height of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, is still rapturously more. To be filled with the fullness of God is abundantly more. But to be filled with all the fullness of God---this is a privilege overwhelmingly great for unworthy man.

What does it mean? Look at the standard of fullness. 'Unto'---not 'with'---it is the standard, not the material. God's fullness is not to be poured into us ; we are to be raised toward that standard of fullness, not in one particular but in all---unto the whole fullness of God. It may mean unto the fulness which God possesses ; or it may mean either that the enlargement of our spiritual apprehension is a means toward obtaining all the wonderful goods that God has in store for us ; or it may mean that by it we shall be brought to a height of attainment comparable only to His attainments. No matter which it means. It is enough in either meaning for any Christian's hope. But there is no reason to doubt that it does mean the greatest thing : we shall be filled unto the whole fullness of God. We shall be like Him, and like Him only of all Beings in the universe. It is a giddy height to which our eyes are thus raised. No wonder we need spiritual strengthening to discern the summit of this peak of promise.

Of course it does not mean that we are to be transmuted into God, so that each of us will be able to assert a right to a place of equality in the universe with God. Of course, again, it does not mean that God is to be transfused into us, so that we shall be God, part of His very essence. It means just what it says, that God presents the standard towards which we Christian men are to be assimilated. We are to be made like Him, holy as He is holy, pure as He is pure. Our eyes, even in the depths of eternity, will seek Him, towering eternally above us as our unattainable standard towards which we shall ever be ascending, but we shall be like Him ; He and we shall belong to one class, the class of holy beings. We shall no longer be like the Devil, whose children we were until we were delivered from his kingdom and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. No more shall we be what we were as men in this world, still separated from God by a gulf of moral difference, a difference so great that we are almost tempted to call it a difference of kind and not merely of degree. No, we shall perhaps, be more like God than even the holy angels are. The process of the 'filling' may take long ; it is but barely begun for most of us in this life ; but that is the standard and that the goal---'we shall be filled unto the fullness of God.'

For us there are two conditions---emptiness and faith.

Emptiness.---For a person to be filled with anything, it is plain that, first of all, he must be emptied of all else. So it is absurd for any of us to think of being filled with God's fullness so long as he is under the dominion of any purely earthly or temporal wishes, desires, ambitions, passions, or tastes. The word imply a totality of self-surrender to God. In praying to be filled with God the Father's fullness, we pray that all our powers and faculties, and desires, and energies, and likes, and dislikes may be just what they would be if all our merely earthly desires were taken out of us, all that is selfish, and mean, and bad were emptied out of us, and the vacant space filled up by a pouring in of the character of God our Father.

Faith---' That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.' Faith is the human means through which the heavenly resources are conveyed. Faith is the attitude of receptiveness. Faith pulls up the blind and lets in the light. Faith opens the window and lets in the air. Faith lifts up the sluice gates, and the water from the higher levels flows into the impoverished channels. God provides the light and the air and the water. Faith is the channel by which His gracious gifts are to be received. Now faith implies fidelity. Faith in a Doctor is more than trust ; it is also obedience. A disobedient trust is a monstrosity. If therefore we are to manifest faith in Christ, we must take His counsels, His instructions, His commandments, and trustfully begin to obey them. And what will happen? The very beginnings of trustful obedience open all the pores of our being to the enveloping spirit of God. Even now the Spirit is with us ; by faith He shall be in us. By faith our spirit becomes as absorbent as a sponge, we drink in the riches of His grace. We appropriate the means of our salvation.

In Christ, timothy.