Colossian 1:15-20 is a perfect description of Jesus Christ (I know we only went to verse 19 this week, but that stops our study in the middle of a sentence):
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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 through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 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.
Have you meditated on it day and night?
Have you memorized it?
Have you shared it with someone?
This name of Jesus Christ is incomparable in power. When we internalize that name we swell with grace, and when we share that name we unleash that power on a broken world.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Colossians 1:19
“The radius of the observable universe is estimated to be about 46.5 billion light-years and its diameter about 28.5 gigaparsecs (93 billion light-years, 8.8×1023 kilometers or 5.5×1023 miles).”
I am not quite sure all that fullness means, but it surely encompasses the unimaginable. Consider for a moment the size of the observable universe. Even traveling at the speed of light for a 100 billion years you would never, ever reach the edges of the observable universe, ever, because it is always expanding. Not to mention all the matter between here and there, and the complexity of life on earth. Now, think on this. The mind and heart behind its creation dwells fully in Jesus. This puts a new perspective on “God with us.”
You want to know what else is impossible? You could never think too highly of Jesus. Ever. Our failure to fully comprehend God, much less a gigaparsec, is not a failure of God’s, but ours, our finiteness, compounded by our spiritual blindness.
The fight of faith is the daily battle to expand our understanding of the true nature of Jesus, to know the one whom he sent. (John 17:3) Paul was convinced this kind of personal knowledge would change everything. It did for him.
Wanna know what God is like? Wanna know His nature and character? Wanna know His heart? Wanna know what pleases Him? Look to Jesus. Jesus makes this crystal clear. Without the life and work of Jesus on earth, we would be left with more questions than answers and more uncertainty than conclusions. But God has made a way for us to not only learn and discover who He is, but to know Him and have a relationship with Him thru Jesus. What love and kindness from the Living God to send His Son so that we might see and sense His glory and mercy!!
One of the false teachings being set forth to the Colossae church was that Christ was something of an angelic, created being. Paul, in our passage, explains that Christ is incomparable…preeminent before all creation…the agent of creation for all things…before all things. Verse 18 is something of a theme verse for this section of Scripture. It answers the purpose for all of these characteristics of Christ…that He will have first place in everything. Christ is fully God and able to meet our every need.
In our modern, hectic, urgent lives, it is easy to forget the fullness that dwells in Christ. We treat Christ as a benevolent provider of our needs or a last hope, ‘go-to’ answer to the crisis times of our lives. Strive to seek Christ first rather than your own resources and knowledge. All the fullness of deity rests in Him…the Creator of heaven and earth. How amazing is it that the God of all the universe, Creator of heaven and earth wants to have a relationship with us?
“He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.”
There’s a way to live such that death will not put an end to life. That way is not a narcissistic fountain-of-youth fantasy (which has no basis in reality), but rather an intimate fellowship with one another through forgiveness, generosity, faithfulness, kindness, humility, and sacrifice. Jesus is the one person in all of history who has lived that kind of life. In the future, everyone will live like Jesus. Or, to put it another way, everyone who has life in the age to come will be alive only because he or she has learned the eternal kind of life. This is Paul’s point, that Jesus is the first of his kind, the first human being who lives the eternal kind of life, and the one—the one—who will teach you to live it.
If you don’t mind, I’m going to continue my train of thought from yesterday’s re:vlog. I have been rolling this turn of phrase around in my head for a couple of weeks now, and I think it beautifully captures an “unknowable” characteristic of God/Jesus. The Word become flesh is something we say a lot, but it should never lose it’s incredible significance. A deity so incomprehensibly vast and great that he breathes the cosmos into existence choose to become completely comprehensible to create a relationship with his creation.
Who would do that?!?!
Never lose sight of what Jesus put aside so that he could create a way for you to commune with him. It should be enough to allow you to give up whatever is holding you back from that perfect communion. He made the invisible visible, don’t you think he can make your burdens invisible?
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Colossians 1:15-19 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Fullness of Christ” a study of Colossians.
We are taught from an early age that the necessities of life are air, water, food, shelter, and sleep. These are the five things that we cannot live without, however, Scripture teaches something different. The Word of God tells us that the necessity of life is a relationship with the Lord, which only happens as described in Colossians 1:13-14:
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Without that redeeming work of God death will not be contained by any amount of air, water, food, shelter, or sleep.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking… Colossians 1:9
Paul’s prayer is rich, but I don’t want to write about its content. What I find compelling is he tells the Colossians in detail how he is praying for them. I think Paul sets a good example for us. We often tell a friend or acquaintance, “I’m praying for you.” That’s a good thing to do, of course, if we actually pray for them, but we don’t often tell them how we are praying; we don’t tell them the content of our prayer. For Paul, and us, telling others how we pray serves a variety of purposes, but mostly it reminds the recipient of the truths and promises of God. When we vocalize our prayers, or tell our neighbor how we are praying, it moves past just providing information and becomes a spoken or written blessing. That is invaluable.
Try it sometime; I will. If you have committed to praying for someone, tell them how you have prayed. It will do both of you good.
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 1:9-14 (day five) “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness”. I had a professor in college who used to say, “You’ll never know how saved you are until you know how lost you were”. According to Paul’s description in Colossians 1, it was a bleak and hopeless circumstance- a domain of darkness.
As teenagers, we used to play a joke on one member of our group every time we would sing Amazing Grace (Not one of my better moments). When we would sing the first verse, we would all pick one person and sing “that saved a wretch like YOU” (all of us pointing at them). It was really funny to me, until one Sunday I was the one who was singled out as “the wretch”. It was a defining moment. Not because I felt picked on or targeted, but because I knew (maybe with greater clarity and conviction) it was true about me. I was a wretch. I needed rescue from the domain of darkness. Even as a nine year old. That’s the good news and power of the Gospel. A reminder of how lost we were will help us be thankful for how saved we are.