Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Quick Run Through Colossians 1:15-20

Jesus ministry was set in a time when a “disciple” was a learner who would uproot himself to follow his chosen teacher.  The disciple chose to follow a teacher because he knew who the teacher was, and knew that this particular teacher was one worth following.  That being said, before we can follow Christ, we surely must know who He is, which then allows us to correctly see Him as a teacher worth following.
Colossians 1:15-16 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities.
                What does it mean to be born of a father?  A father does not create a child; rather, the material for making the child is taken from the father and mother, and thus the child is born of his parents rather than being created by his parents.  All of the material that composes the child is taken from his parents.  Paul speaks of Christ being the firstborn to separate Christ from creation, because, while God created us – we are the work of His hands, Christ is of God.  That is to say, Christ and God are same.
                The passage further connects God and Christ when it indicates that it is by Christ that God performed His act of creation.  Here we also see further illustration of our purpose: the passage tells us that it is “for Him” that all things were created.  Verses 15 and 16 connect Christ to God by showing us that Christ and God are same (He is firstborn) and that Christ shares in the glory of God that we were created to magnify (all things were created through Him and for Him).
Colossians 1:17-20- And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And He is the head of the body, the church.  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.
                Laminin is a special kind of protein in our bodies.  It is known as the “cellular adhesion molecule.”  Literally, that means that Laminin is what holds our bodies together. 



Molecular biology tells us that our bodies are held together by a molecule that bears the shape of the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We are literally marked by the cross of Christ.
                Verse 18 tells us that Christ is the head of the body*.  He is the beginning (alpha α), and firstborn from the dead.  Paul sets a differentiation between Christ being firstborn of God and from the dead – while being of God connects Him to God, being from dead separates Him from death, further enforcing the divine nature of Christ.  Finally, verse 18 says that Christ is preeminent.  Seven times in 4 verses Paul enforces the first-ness of Christ.  He takes great care to emphasize Christ’s superiority as one worthy of worship, equal to God.
                Two parts of the nature of God are that He is holy and He is just.  Because of these qualities, we know that sin and God are completely incapable of coexistence; because He is holy, where He is sin cannot be also, and because He is just, He must punish sin.  As a result of the fall, we reside in a state of existence where we are, by nature, sinful.  Because of that, our nature renders us incapable of approaching God – the holy nature of His spirit cannot reside in us.  Christ is, according to Colossians 1:19, one in whom the spirit of God is not only capable of residing, but pleased to do so.  When we come into Christ (through faith) and His atonement covers our broken nature (because of our faith), we become the righteousness of Christ**, thus transforming us into beings in whom the spirit of God can dwell and setting us on a path of transformation into beings in whom God spirit will be pleased to dwell.  The atonement of Christ brings our spirits back into the intimate communion with the spirit of God that I believe man experienced at his creation, before the fall.  Now we see a true picture of reconciliation: God and sin are incapable of coexistence, but God’s son, who is same with God, became an atoning intermediary who settles our feud with the spirit of God. 


*Ephesians 2:11-22- Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands – remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who one were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

**2 Corinthians 5:21 – For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

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