Colossians 1 (Post 1 of 3)
Chuck Swindoll says of Colossians, “In this book, the apostle Paul describes Jesus with some of the loftiest language in the New Testament, focusing on Christ’s preeminence and sufficiency in all things.”
What we believe about Jesus matters. A lot. Part of the reason for Paul’s letter the Colossians was to clear up false teachings. Because when our understanding of who Jesus is shifts, it changes everything. Paul wants to be sure we know exactly who this person is that came to earth to save us.
Jesus is one of the persons of the trinity. There is only one God who exists as three persons…the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. These three persons are not just a part of God, but they are fully and equally God. They are not three different roles played by God at different points in time. There has always been and will always be three distinct persons existing in the one God. Modeling community; oneness. They are in full cooperation with one another, testify to each other, and function in different capacities, relating to us in different ways. All while still being fully God themselves. None were created. They were all there from the beginning.
Mind blown? Mine too. It is hard to wrap my head around, but it matters because any lesser understanding of who Jesus is changes everything. He can’t just be a good person or good representative and representation of God, He must BE GOD. And Paul wants to make sure the Colossians – and us – know this.
Paul tells us, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15) as a stand-alone passage might lead us to believe Jesus was created by God, but Paul is quick to follow it with the assertion that, “BY HIM all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM.” (Colossians 1:16)
Chuck Swindoll says, “Paul presents Christ as the center of the universe, not only as the active Creator, but also as the recipient of creation.”
Paul goes on, “And he is before all things…in him all things hold together…he is the head of the body, the church…he is the beginning…he is preeminent in everything.” (Colossians 1:17-18) So. Much. Here. A separate post is coming just on this!
“For in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” (Colossians 1:19) Holiness, wisdom, grace, creativity, authority, power, excellence, mercy, justice, love…all power and attributes. How tightly it all was squeezed into the constraints of human flesh during His short 33 years on earth. And during this time, He completed what He came to do…what was set apart for Him from the beginning. Who He created Himself to be and do. A way to reconcile us back to Himself through the blood of His cross. (P.S. another separate post is coming about the fullness of God dwelling in Jesus.)
We have the power of the Holy Spirit now and the hope for an eternal new dwelling because of the blood of Jesus on the cross. The final and perfect sacrifice all the others before pointed toward. The perfect lamb that was slain so eternal death would pass over us. The great high priest who WAS the sacrifice and who MADE the sacrifice.
Jesus, God the Son – the Redeemer, came to earth in the flesh to carry out the plan of salvation that was created and set in place from the beginning of time. He came to earth, dressed like us, and not only warns us of what to avoid, but teaches us – shows us – how to live. And He didn’t stop there. He took our sins upon His perfect, sinless flesh and died for us so that we could live forever. So we could be children, heirs, saints delivered from darkness and transferred into a new kingdom of light.
Oh God, may we never lose the awe of Your majesty and glory.
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