“He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)Paul wrote the believers at Colossi to address an issue that was troubling the church: syncretism, the watering down of the Christian message through the adoption of human philosophic and/or scientific principles to explain reality. And so, in language that is stirring and emotionally charged, he described for them the fullness of Christ, that is, He is God, eternally existent. This great God is unique and dwells apart from mankind and yet He lives with His people in the church by His Holy Spirit. And He is truly man as well. He God incarnate who gave His life as an atonement for the sins of man.
This assertion of the divinity of Christ and his reality as a human being are meant to counteract false teachings that take Jesus away from the central part of the faith and put the individual human being there. The Colossians needed to be reminded of the truth because some one was telling them that Jesus was not sovereign God but a lesser deity. Someone was telling them that Jesus did not really come in the flesh, that he only appeared to. Denial of either or both of these principles destroys the whole faith for as Paul points out, they contradict the truth of the atonement. For the death of Christ to be efficacious He had to be both fully God and man. In addition this work of atonement is all of Christ. We add nothing to it by following the Law or by good works.