LINK: Colossians 1:15-29
Who is this Jesus?
- the image of the invisible God - We can't see the spirit being of God, but Jesus came in flesh and could be seen, heard, touched, etc. He is not only like God; He is God.
- the firstborn of all creation - refers to His rank as of first importance
- the creator of all things - not created, but the creator - Notice the purpose of all creation is for Him, not for us.
- He comes first and holds everything together - Scientists can't explain what holds matter together, but Jesus, the Creator, holds all of creation together. And one day He will destroy it all. No one else has such power over creation! He demonstrated this power multiple times as recorded in the gospels.
- the head of the church - Jesus himself is the ultimate authority for the church. No one else is the head. No pastor is the head. Billy Graham is not the head. The pope is not the head. Paul was not claiming that authority, and neither did Peter. No other person is the head. The church belongs to Jesus, and He is the head of it.
- firstborn from the dead -Jesus is the first to have been raised from the dead with an incorruptible form. God raised others from the dead, even before Jesus, but all of them had to die again. They did not receive an eternal body at that time. Jesus was raised with a glorified body. And one day all believers will be raised and receive new bodies as well.
- reconciles - Through the blood Jesus shed on the cross, man can be reconciled to God and have peace with God.
- makes us holy and blameless - Through Jesus and his death on the cross, we can be forgiven and are seen by God as clean.
- I used to be God's enemy but am now reconciled and no longer hostile to God or engaging in evil deeds.
- God makes known to me the riches of the glory of Christ.
- Applying the wisdom of God to our lives makes us grow to maturity in Christ.
- We serve God by the power He gives us; and what a mighty power that is!
I have had to read this verse repeatedly and study it to figure out what it means, so I thought I'd clarify it here.
(His saints) to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Basically what Paul is saying is that as Gentile believers, they receive the same riches of glory as Jewish believers. The mystery is that God would unite Jews and Gentiles by offering the same salvation to the Gentiles as to the Jews. God chose to include Gentiles in His plan. All believers, whether Jew or Gentile, have Christ in them as a mark of the glory they will one day receive, and are in the process of gaining that glory even while living this life.
No matter how "good" I thought I was before I was reconciled to God, the fact is that I was His enemy. In reality I was hostile toward God. But through the cross of Jesus, He made the way for peace between me and Himself. Now I can be presented before God as holy and blameless and beyond reproach. . . . if I continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and don't move away from the gospel. I must keep the faith!
It amazes me the changes God performed at that point of reconciliation! He now considers me as holy, set apart for His purpose. He sees me as blameless, without sin. I am without reproach, so nobody else, even Satan, can accuse me of anything. For my part, God's great desire is that I keep strong in my faith in Him. I must continue in it. God's not after a one-time event but is after the ever-increasing faith of my heart trusting in Him.
What are you doing to be firmly established and steadfast in your faith? How are you growing toward maturity in Christ? First, you must spend time with God, both in His word and in prayer. If you need help in this, seek out a godly "mentor," one who can disciple you, encouraging you and holding you accountable to growing in your faith. I have a "growth partner," and it is one of the biggest blessings in my life to know that she and I can spur one another on to growth.
Father, thank you for the reconciliation you provide through Jesus and his blood shed on the cross. May I continue to grow in faith daily and to love and serve you with all my heart. Amen.