Christ is All!

I am borrowing the title for this article from Dr. David Bryant, a prayer leader in New York.

Dr. Bryant is a dynamic man of prayer and a profound lover of God.

Paul’s hymn in Colossians presents extremely valuable truths about Jesus.

Colossians 1.15-17 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,

For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers — all things have been created through him and for him.

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Who is God and what’s on his mind?

A 1970s-era rock song asked the question, “Who is God, and what’s on his mind?” The singer wasn’t able to answer his son, who asked the question.

Paul answered with the words “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God.” If you want to know who God is, observe Jesus.

Powerful spiritual leaders have the habit of reading portions of one of the Gospels every day. Dallas Willard memorized large portions of the Gospels. Why?

They have this practice because the Gospels reveal God through Jesus’ actions, attitudes, and teachings better than any other place in the Bible.

God’s Firstborn

At face value, verse 15 presents a problem as it reads, “the firstborn of all creation.”

In AD 325, the Arian heresy denied that Christ was truly God and taught that he was a created being.

I don’t know if the wording in Colossians added to the confusion, but I’d like to attempt an explanation of what it means.

I think we are better served to see “firstborn” as a designation that Jesus is the creator of a new race of people, not as being a created being like the rest of humanity.

The genitive case in Greek often denotes possession. As the Agent of creation, Jesus the created universe to be his possession.

This seems to fit with verse 16, “for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created.”

The early church labored over issues like the one I am attempting to discuss. They arrived at a statement of faith that took place at the Council of Nicea. Their statement is called the Nicene Creed (AD 325).

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

I am grateful for their labor and the insight they provide into the nature of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I hope my explanation is helpful and not confusing. If you have questions, please email me at the address listed below.

Comfort and Courage

The next description of Jesus’ authority should comfort and give his followers courage.

As the Agent of creation, Jesus has complete authority over “things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers — all things have been created through him and for him” (verse 16).

I recently read of a young Ph.D. student from Saudi Arabia, who has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for posts on Twitter that she re-tweeted.

This mother of two is the victim of an oppressive regimen. She is representative of multitudes of men and women whose lives are uprooted and oppressed by the powerful.

If the face of such evil power, Christians can know that the One who is the Creator of a new race of people (that is, people who live in the kingdom of God) has authority over all human and demonic powers.

The woman in my illustration is a Muslim. Let’s pray that she experiences God’s love to such a degree that she can connect with his power and comfort in her disturbingly unfair situation.

Just as we can be free from the adverse effects of those in power, we also can be free from inordinate respect for power.

The One True power is held in the hands of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are our power and comfort.

Who is God and what’s on his mind? Jesus answers the question. Let’s give him our ultimate allegiance.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. You will appreciate Rudy’s insights.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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