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Bible: What Does Colossians 1 Teach Us About the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Creator?
The Apostle Paul
Timothy with His Mother
The Epistle to the Colossians
Paul’s epistolary greeting to the Colossians varies little from what he has used in other addresses:
(1) He identifies himself (“Paul”), his divinely appointed role (“an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God”), and his companion (here, Timothy) [v. 1];
(2) He names the recipients of his writing (“saints and faithful brethren in Christ”) [v. 2]; and
(3) He prays that God’s grace and peace might rest upon them (v. 3).
The Colossians’ faith in Christ and their brotherly love have led the apostle and Timothy to thank God for their salvation and to pray continually for their spiritual growth (vv. 3-4).
They intercede for them because the Colossians, having heard the gospel and truly received God’s grace, share the same certain prospect (“hope”) of heaven as they do, and are growing in their understanding of the truth (vv. 5-6).
[Acknowledging this church’s growth in grace as their sacred responsibility to encourage, Paul and Timothy regularly brought the Colossians’ needs before God’s throne.]
Besides benefiting from Paul’s apostolic ministry, the Colossians have also sat under the teaching of Epaphras—apparently the founder and pastor-teacher of the church there—who has preached “the word of the truth of the gospel” to them, and has told Paul about their Spirit-motivated love (vv. 7-8).
Paul reiterates that he and Timothy continually petition God to enable the Colossians to understand God’s will fully in their mind, so that they might conduct themselves properly as His people (“walk worthy of the Lord”) [vv. 9-10a].
This quality of life fully pleases God (cf. Heb. 11:6), because it consistently produces spiritually beneficial results (“being fruitful in every good work”) and increases their knowledge of God (v. 10b).
It also spiritually empowers believers so that they can joyfully endure trials (v. 11), resulting in their giving of thanks to the One who has made them acceptable as His heirs along with those holy ones already dwelling in the glory of God’s kingdom (v. 12).
Jesus, the High Priest and Creator
The Creator of All Things
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Obstacles to Belief
What holds you back from believing in the Son?
Not only has God qualified believers to gain a share of heaven by sending His Son to pay their purchase price (“redemption”) with His own bloody death through which He forgave them of their sins, He has also rescued them from the spiritual darkness of Satan’s realm and transferred them into the glorious kingdom of His beloved Son (vv. 13-14).
As the exact duplicate of God the Father’s invisible essence, the Son possesses all the rights of ownership over all creation (v. 15).
Christ acted as the Agent through which the universe in its entirety (including the hierarchy of angels, mankind, plants, animals, inanimate objects, etc.) came into existence, and has Himself created all things for His own glory and purposes (v. 16; cf. John 1:3).
[The text indicates that Christ is both the Creator (“by Him all things were created”) and the Agent of creation (“All things were created through Him and for Him”].
As the pre-existent Creator, the Son exercises His omnipotence in preserving His universe intact (“all things consist) [v. 17].
[He holds all the subatomic particles in their places.]
Concerning His relationship with redeemed humanity (the Church: those called out [ekklesia] of the world), Christ serves as their leader and holds the distinction of being the first one physically resurrected from death (v. 18).
That Christ should fully embody all the powers and attributes of God pleased the Father; He desired to make peace with His universe (“all things”. . . “things on earth or things in heaven”) through the bloody, sacrificial death of His Son (vv. 19-20).
[What link exists between Christ being fully God in the flesh and His reconciling the world to Himself?]
As an example of people whom God has now reconciled through Christ’s ransom payment, Paul chooses the Colossians-- individuals whose minds once stood estranged from God because of the evil deeds formed there (v. 21).
Christ made peace with them so that He could bring them before the Father as perfect and acceptable beings (v. 22).
Paul adds a necessary admonition that in no way minimizes the sufficiency of God’s grace in salvation in the Colossians’ lives, yet demands from them loyalty to the revealed truths which the apostle and others have preached to them (v. 23).
[Christ will present obedient Christians as blameless, but disobedient ones He will censure.]
As Christ’s representative, Paul considers it a privilege to continue the Lord’s sufferings for the Church’s sake (v. 24).
[The apostle’s afflictions show what Jesus would have suffered had He continued serving them on earth.
One must note, however, that they do not contribute to Christ’s finished work of redemption.]
He reiterates that he became a servant of the universal Church after receiving a divine commission (“stewardship”) to preach the Lord’s message for the new dispensation (v. 25; cf. v. 23).
Paul calls this message a “mystery”—that is, doctrine once hidden, but now disclosed to the apostles by special revelation—and indicates that it involves Christ indwelling His Church (vv. 26-27; cf. Eph. 3:1-7).
Depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul seeks to attain the ambitious goal of preaching Christ—the truth about His divine-human Person and His finished work of atonement—with the hope that everyone who hears his voice will eventually come to know the Lord and grow into a mature believer in Him (vv. 28-29).
© 2013 glynch1