May 8, 2015
Colossians 1:16, 17
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord – a very true and often-heard statement of the orthodox Christian faith. But He is more – much more! And our scripture from Colossians 1:16 and 17 succinctly shows forth two of the roles He plays:
…by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is
before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Jesus Christ is Creator and Sustainer of all things!
By what means? God’s spoken word is very powerful. The Bible opens in Genesis 1:1 with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” But in Genesis 1:3 He tells us how: “And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” He spoke, and it happened! As it says in Psalm 33:9, “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, an it stood fast.”
But who spoke? Jesus is identified as “the Word ” in John 1:1 and 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….” And in Revelation 19:13 it is written, “…and His name is called The Word of God.” Jesus was (and is) the exact expression of the mind, the person of God! Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” And Jesus told His disciple Philip in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father….”
So when God spoke in Genesis 1:3, it was the Son, as the creative Word of God, who brought light into being – and all else that was created! As it says in our featured Colossians scripture, “All things were created through Him.”
Just what was created? Again, from Colossians 1:16: “…all things…in heaven and…on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” Obviously, there is the diverse beauty of creation that we can see – the visible. But there is also the invisible – “…throne…dominions…principalities…powers.” I believe the Apostle Paul is referring to the same spiritual powers he designated in Ephesians 6:12: “…principalities…powers…the rulers of darkness of this world…spiritual wickedness in high places.” This Ephesian scripture is a description of Satan’s demonic army, strategically placed to oversee this world system and keep it under the devil’s control (see Luke 4:5-7).
So does that make God the Creator – the Author – of evil? No! All creation was pronounced good in the record of Genesis 1 (see Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). And in Genesis 1:31 it is emphasized, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” But God gave His highest creations, angels and human beings, free will – and both chose to rebel against His rule and authority! (See Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:6; Isaiah 14:13, 14). It is our fault, not His! The amazing thing is that only human beings are offered eternal life by Jesus’ work on the cross – not angels! No wonder it says in I Peter 1:12 concerning “…the gospel…which angels desired to look into.” The implication is that angels cannot fully understand God’s redemption because they will not experience it! “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (II Corinthians 9:15).
But it also says in Colossians 1:16, “All things were created…for Him.” All creation is to bring glory to Jesus Christ! Paul wrote in Philippians 2:9-11:
…God…has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above
every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those
in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God
Are you, by your life, bringing glory to the Lord Jesus Christ?
And then there is what is said in Colossians 1:17: “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” “…He is before all things…” speaks of the Son’s eternal being. But it is the second part of the verse that I want to emphasize: “…in Him all things consist.” The writer of Hebrews puts it this way in Hebrews 1:3: Jesus Christ “…is upholding upholding all things by the word of His power….” He holds all creation together because He has the power to do it, and He chooses to do it!
It is like the words that the old spiritual expresses: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” But it is far more than the whole world! It is the whole of creation – “…all things…that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” And if He would ever choose to open His hand – to follow the metaphor of the old spiritual – and just let things go, all creation would cease to exist, including you and me! But He won’t, the Bible says so!
How powerful is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Much more powerful than we can even imagine! Think of this the next time you come to Him with your needs!