Colossians #3: Col 1:15-20
Colossians 3: Col 1:15-20 (MSG)
Welcome to session 3 in our study of the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in the city of Colossae. We know that all of Paul’s letters address various issues that poised a potential problem for people seeking to live their lives to the full through faith in Jesus Christ. The Message is the good news of the gospel that proclaims that God sent His Son to be atonement for our sins, sins that caused and propagate an estrangement between Him and all of humanity. It is by faith in Jesus' sacrificial death that reconciliation is found through the forgiveness of sins and adoption into God’s family.
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
That’s a head full and it is meant to be. There were some sophisticated thinkers in the congregation. Was Jesus a phantom, an angel, a prophet, a teacher, just a man, an emanation of God? Paul magnificently answers the question.
When asked “Who is this Jesus?” Paul answers that when you examine the character, the intent, and the behavior of Jesus you gain an understanding of what God is like because Jesus is God. This revelation updates all other visions of God. You can’t see the Father, if I were a scientist I might say God’s physicality is interdimensional, which I think the scripture means when Jesus declares that God is spirit (John 4:24). But when you walk with Jesus, you know that this is what God is like. Jesus manifests the attributes of God because that is who Jesus is. It is in Jesus that God can be known. The invisible God self-reveals in Jesus.
John 17:20-23 (NIV)
“… I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity…”
is material. All matter is inherently evil. God could not do evil, therefore some lessor being hostile to God created the material planes of existence. This of course is part of Gnosticism well-rooted in the culture. No wonder some people choked at the idea that God would incarnate, put flesh on, become human. Paul says this is exactly the case. Everything in existence has Jesus as its origin.
Paul tells us that Jesus is Creator and that Jesus is the sustainer. Verse 17: “He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.” Jesus is not a created being, not an emanation of God (a Platonic thought), which would have been a cultural popular way of thinking of Him. Jesus is present before the beginning. It is Jesus who holds creation in order. [[(Wisdom Pr 2&8, Word (Logos) find their incarnation in Christ. Question: Does Ruach, the Spirit of God find incarnation in Christ also?) ]] “'For in him we live and move and have our being'” (Acts 17:28 (NIV). Jesus is the power that holds creation together, He is the sustainer of all things (Barclay). Jesus is with you all the time, for He is within you, not as a judge, but as encourager and advocate, as the one who empowers you (1 John 2:1-2). Consider that when you willfully choose not to do God’s will not only do bad things happen, but your emotions tank, you feel bad, the reason why just might be because of the tears of Jesus inside you.
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”
(Phil 2:10-11 (NIV). The second coming brings the Garden in Eden, righteousness, being rightly related, in harmony, fitting together becomes the way we will live. Everything will be fixed and fitted, the price for this total makeover has been paid in blood, the blood of this same Jesus who is God in the flesh.