Vs.15 “And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation”
Many Christians believe that God actually came to the earth and had conversations with Adam in the Garden of Eden, (Gen. 2:16/Gen. 3:9-12) while others point to the scripture in Gen. 5:22 that states, “Then Enoch walked with God for three hundred years.” Yet the apostle John gives us clarification in both his gospel account of Christ (John 1:18) and his first epistle (1John 4:12) saying, “No man has seen God at any time.” So how did Adam and Enoch communicate and walk with God? The same way that you and I talk and walk with Him, in the spirit. Unfortunately, far to many Christians see God as the One who has a big stick that He uses for correction and Jesus as the gentle Lamb who loves on us after the whipping. NOT SO! Jesus said to Phillip, “Phillip, he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14) Jesus is not a close resemblance of His Father; He is an exact image of His Father and He is also the first-born of all creation. Many sects take the term “first-born” and use it to convince others that Jesus is not God, but rather, that He is a creation of God and is in fact an angel. Again, NOT SO! Jesus is a part of the Trinity, and in the next verse we will see that with great clarity.
Vs. 16 “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
In case we haven’t noticed, everything evolves and revolves around Jesus. Jesus is clearly the Creator, the One who created the everything from nothing. He created the splendor of the heavens as well as the breath taking scenes of nature. If that were not enough, on the sixth day, He also created life. Science has come a long way in its knowledge of physics and of life itself, but there the natural must yield to the supernatural, because science cannot take nothing and produce anything, especially the gift of life. This verse also reminds us that God created government, rulers, and authorities, but we don’t need to get confused here and think that all rulers and authorities are those whom He has put into place. Too be sure, Old Testament history makes it clear that God did raise up certain men and women and put them in place for His purpose, but it would be foolish to assume that He puts every man and woman into places of prominence and power. God told Samuel to tell Israel that they did not need a king, but they would not listen. They, like us, were given the ability to make choices, and God gave them over to their choice, but they soon found out that God was right and they were wrong. We need to be very careful of what we ask God for, because He may let us have the very thing that we will later detest. Finally, God tells us that all of His creation was made for Him, and that includes you and me. We don’t belong to ourselves, we belong to Him.
Vs. 17 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
One thing is for sure, and that is that everything that moves has a way of breaking or wearing out. Even the things that don’t move have a way of rusting or deteriorating? We try to watch over things to keep them safe and in working order, but time has a way of winning. Thankfully, our earth and the heavens around us do have a watchman that keeps everything in order, and his name is Jesus. Amazingly, we can predict high tides and low tides to the minute. We can predict with great exactness when an eclipse will take place, and we can even navigate using the stars, and it is all possible because God spoke these things into existence and now, “watches over His Word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12). Jesus desires to be more than our watch man and repair man, He desires to be the God of our lives, the Pre-eminent One who has complete dominion of our hearts, minds. and souls. If we allow Him to take His place of pre-eminence, He can hold our marriages together while enhancing our relationships. Just as importantly, He will keep our pathway safe in all that we do.
Vs. 18 “He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead: so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.”
God’s prophets gave us types and shadows of the things that were to come concerning the Messiah, but they did not fully understand much of the prophecies themselves. Paul reminds us of this when he refers to the Church as the “Mystery of the ages.” The Cross won us eternal redemption, but the resurrection of Christ won us eternal life. Our victorious Christ is risen, and now sits now at the right hand of His Father in heaven with full authority over every thing that has a name. He is indeed the first-born from the dead! Some have asked, “but it is recorded that Elijah, Peter, Paul, raised people from the dead, and Jesus raised not one, but three people from the dead. How then can Jesus be the first-born from the dead?” It is true, there are accurate accounts of people being raised from the dead, but today, their bodies all lie in their graves awaiting the call of the Lord to awaken them and meet Him in the air. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God and He is alive forever more. Only He has power and dominion over death, hell and the grave. Only He has the keys to eternal life and only He was willing to die for the sins of the world. For this reason, we can all bow our knees to the Father and give the First Born first place in our lives.
Vs. 19-20 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Because of Adam’s sin, all mankind was separated from God, unable to enter into His presence. God did continue to speak to us through His spirit, His prophets and His priests, but we could not go into the Holy of Holies. Jesus changed all of that by exchanging His righteousness for our sins (11 Cor. 5:21). He did not reconcile Himself to us, but rather, He reconciled us to Him. Before that great exchange took place, there was a chasm between God and us, but the Cross became the bridge that allows us to enter into the throne room of grace and mercy and make our requests known to Him. We no longer need a prophet or priest to make an offering for us or to intercede for us. In simple terms, the war is over between God and those who have received Christ as their atoning Savior. That is the Good News Gospel! Our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. Christ is not going back to the Cross because His children still at times fall short and sin. No, the blood has been supplied, and it is up to us to keep it applied. For many reasons, most of which stem from teaching that it has to be Jesus plus something, God’s children still battle with seeing themselves as righteous and spiritually sinless. That is why the apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:12, “I am writing to you little children because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.: He was not actually writing to children, but he was addressing the maturity level of many in the Church. Dear Reader, you have been forgiven if you belong to Jesus, so enter boldly now into the throne room of grace and receive fully from the Father.
We had intended to finish the 1st chapter of Colossian, but until next Friday, it is time to put this study on pause and let this teaching speak to your heart. Continue to send in questions and prayer request. In Christ, Don & Penny