We think about the images of Christmas, being a baby, wrapped in swaddling cloth, and laid in a stone hewn manger, but to change that scene a little bit I wanted to look at a passage in Colossians where Paul speaks about this incomparable Jesus Christ. He is the firstborn of all creation. He is the image of the invisible God. What in the world does Paul mean when he describes Christ as the sovereign Creator?
It helps me to think about this passage in perspective that Christ has always existed. He was at creation. In fact, I think He was the Creator. Obviously, God the Father, the Son, and Spirit involved in the Trinitarian creation of all that we see, but Christ we might say as an illustration is the hands on Creator. I think Jesus, according to Paul’s record in Colossians, is the One doing the creation at His Father’s good will.
He is the head of the body as church. He has authority over His church.
In our particular language, it says we believe Jesus Christ leads the local church, so we put Christ as the head of the church. What does that mean? It’s not an organization run by people, it’s an organism run by Christ. Christ is our head. For church leaders, this is a tremulous passage. It’s a dangerous passage as are many, not to take lightly what it means to lead His church. A company can come and go, but to misrepresent or do His church poorly, is very different.
Ephesians 1:22 promotes our view of the local church. The once and future King of all has established an organism called the local church, of which you and I are a part of, lots of different expressions, and lots of different hats, not just fellowship; lots of expressions of His church, but don’t miss the priority over astrophysicists, over science, over space, over thrones and dominions and authorities that we can’t see.
Hebrews 10:24 and 25, Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some. Listen again. Let us consider how to stimulate, it’s the word in Greek (paroxysm).paroxysmos. Come back to that. How to paroxysm one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some.
Consider, think about how to paroxysm the body of Christ to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together as is the habit of some. It’s for our good. It’s for our eternal good. I don’t understand all I know, but I know Christ puts a premium on His church and He’s head of this thing that we call His church.
He’s the beginning and the firstborn from the dead.
He’s the beginning and the firstborn from the dead. Now the hymn changes from the origin of creation to the origin of reconciliation, where moving from how things got started and how Jesus is head and created all, to how Jesus is the one who makes our reconciliation possible. We’re moving from the origin of creation to the origin of how we’re reconciled. Now, beginning means supreme rank. It also means the creative initiative. He’s the one that holds that place. Look at vs 15. First born from creation, vs 18 First born from the dead.
He’s alway existed and created everything and He’s also the first born from the dead. Now, we need to talk a little bit about this. We do know that there were others who rose from the dead before Christ, so He can’t be the first one who was ever resurrected, right? But He is in I Corinthians 15:20, the firstborn to never die again. Everybody else died again. I often make a poor joke of Lazarus thinking Lazarus got a raw deal. He was dead and on his way to glory and God resurrects him and he’s got to die again. That’s a rip off in my book. I want to go. I don’t want to come back after I’ve been there for goodness sakes. Interestingly, we hear nothing about him afterwards. Christ is the only one, never to die again.
He is the fullness of God.
This perhaps is the most important theological term in the list. John Calvin writes, The fullness of righteousness, wisdom, power, and every blessing. Whatever God has, He conferred upon His Son. He’s the incarnation of deity. God did not find a human being and take a pitcher, and pour a little bit of God in and name Him, Jesus. Jesus is the expression of God whose eternally existed, the Trinitarian Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit.
He’s eternally existed and at the proper time, He submitted to the Father’s goodwill to be born of Mary and lived thirty-three years and change on this earth to make reconciliation possible. But He’s always been fully God, and that’s what the song is trying to explain to us. He’s created everything even what you cannot see. Christ’s the Head of the church, the most important organism in the universe we might say. He’s the Supreme God; He’s the first born from the dead; the only One who will never die again;
The incarnation is one of those truths that to be fully God and fully man, we call it an antinomy: two truths that can occupy the same space. How can He be completely God and completely man? He can’t! The way we view it. Both are taught in Scripture.
Reconciliation presumes there’s a hostility between two parties. Reconciliation happens when an offended party has been reconciled too. You see, two men, two teams, two people in litigation, a family dispute, a divorce, the things that happened were not reconciled and the ending is rarely, if ever reconciliation because reconciliation means the one who’s offended is now satisfied. You see, in this equation God is the one offended. We’re not offended by God. God has done nothing wrong. God doesn’t need to be reconciled to us. We have to be reconciled to God and we can’t be reconciled to God.
We can’t do any good deed; we can’t keep the law; we can’t save baby seals; we can’t save the whales; we can’t clean up the environment. There’s nothing we do that gets God’s attention. In fact, reconciliation you notice what Paul says, “is through the blood of His cross.” God says, “I’ve got to send my incarnate Son, fully God and fully man, to die in your place on your behalf, instead of you because you can’t even get my attention to be good enough to beg some interest on my part. I’ve got to do it for you.” The most remarkable reconciliation ever accomplished.
That the One who’s offended, makes a way for the offender to have a relationship with Him. So He is finally the Reconciler. 1) Image of God. 2) The firstborn of all creation. 3) The Creator. 4) The head of His church. 5) The beginning and firstborn from the dead. 6) The fullness of God. 7) The Reconciler. He is a supreme sovereign of the universe. It is the time of the firstborn no matter what the culture, or our experience, or our traditions may try to tell us.
Important Questions to Consider
What is God telling us about Himself and then how do we as men and women respond to the truth God is telling us? But what kept convicting me with this repetition of these Scriptures of the Christ is the sovereign Creator of all, is how little I see Him, and how much I’m obsessed with me. The me, my and I, and my drives me crazy. The all about me never stops.
As I’ve been mulling over this passage again, and again, and again, how do I see Christ as preeminent? How do I see Him as Lord? How do I see Him as the Creator and sustainer of all, even my breath?
In the fullness of time He came, and the time of the firstborn is to put Him as first placed in every thing. It’s a cliche to say “Lord of All” but that is where we’re going and how do you and I keep Him with all that’s going on right now. He’s bigger than you and me. He’s bigger than our problems, fears, and checkbooks. And He loves you.
Did you miss Part I? Listen here.