1) Christ’s Relationship to God.
Jesus was God in the flesh. He was the “image” of God, which means “to be like, a replica, expression, or embodiment.” John 1:18 states: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared [Him].” Christ is literally God in bodily form. The Scriptures make it clear that Jesus Christ was Deity, God the Son, Who took on flesh by being born of a virgin.
Verse 15 also states that He is the “firstborn,” which, in this case, refers to the fact that He existed before creation. It also speaks of His authority over all Creation. Christ is the Head of Creation and has preeminence over it. He ranks first in importance and priority. Of course, this designation of firstborn, carrying with it the characteristics of being eternal, sovereign, and superior, can only belong to God. There is no doubt that this passage tells us that Christ is God in the flesh.
2) Christ’s relationship to Creation.
He is Creator of all. Not only is He firstborn of creation, Christ is the Creator of everything that was created. John 1:3 confirms Verse 16 saying, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Also, Ephesians 3:9, speaking of the Mystery revealed to Paul, ends with the statement: “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” It is safe to say that nothing exists in the universe without Christ having created it.
Without directly stating his intentions, Paul is countering false views about Creation that were being taught at Colossae. Greek philosophies taught 3 separate causes: primary cause (plan), instrumental cause (power), final cause (purpose). This one verse says Jesus is all three of the causes – the plan, power, and purpose. Further, Gnosticism taught that all matter was evil, including the human body. The truth is that all things (e.g., angels, humans, rulers) were created by a righteous source with a righteous purpose. Everything was created by Christ for His honor and purpose. As Revelation 4:11 records, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” All things come under His authority.
Christ is “before all things” (V. 17), meaning He was prior, or in advance, to all things. This usually takes into account chronology. Hebrews 7:3 says, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
“By Him all things consist.” All of Creation is held together, or caused to cling together, by His power. Hebrews 1:3 also has something to say about this when it uses the statement, “Who…upholding all things by the word of His power.” Christ is the Creator, Sovereign, and Sustainer of all of Creation.
3) Christ’s relationship to the Body.
He is the Head of the Body. Christ is first over creation, and He is first over the Church. “And [the Father] hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Verse 18 tells us many things about our Head. He is “the beginning,” or it started with the Eternal One. He is “firstborn from the dead.” He is first in order of things and promises others will follow. He is preeminent, supreme, and first in rank.
While Gnostics taught that Jesus was only one of many emanations from God, the Apostle Paul speaks the opposite. Verse 19 says that God was “pleased” and thought it good “that in Him (Jesus Christ) should all fulness dwell.” God was delighted for the sum total of all His divine power and attributes (“all fulness”) to be existant in Christ. The word “dwell” is not just a temporary fullness. It means “to be at home permanently.” Jesus Christ was not just an angel or one of many other lesser gods. He was and is full Deity eternally and permanently in human flesh.
In verse 20 we learn how God the Father used His Son in an amazing way to bring redemption to us. We will talk about this amazing redemption in our next article. For now, please, understand that Jesus Christ, the Creator God, took upon flesh to bring you back to Him. We are asked to trust that He did all of the work to bring salvation to us. We are called to accept this salvation by believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Then, we are placed into the Body of Christ where Christ serves as our all sufficient Head.
If you haven’t, won’t you trust Him today? If you have trusted in Christ alone, won’t you take the time to thank Him for your salvation?
BEREAN BIBLE INSTITUTE
P. O. Box 587
Slinger, WI 53086