V1414in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.. All the previous blessings have become possible through the Lord Jesus Christ. You are delivered from the domain of darkness only by salvation. Salvation is not only a mighty act, but it happened only by paying a ransom. The Lord Jesus paid this ransom on the cross with His blood (1Pet 1:1818knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,). He gave His life (Mt 20:2828just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”). Thus you are His property now (1Cor 6:2020For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.). So if we do things for the benefit of our own selves, then we actually rob Him because we belong to Him entirely.
Another magnificent result of the price He paid is that all your sins are forgiven. I wonder if you ever realized this. If not, that’s a pity, because, though you are free, the burden of sin could sometimes weigh heavily down on you; and you might be going about with remorse in your heart. But cheer up. The blood of Jesus Christ has solved the problem already. Your sins are forgiven; they are gone and they have disappeared from the sight of God. He no longer sees them or thinks of them. Do you doubt this? Then listen to what the Scripture testifies: “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1Jn 1:77but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.).
Redemption and forgiveness are granted by God but caused by Christ. Any annoying question that is shot at you or demands an answer can now be dealt with adequately. I am thinking of the people who make your right to the inheritance a matter of dispute. Sometimes you might feel that you are incapable of enjoying the relevant blessings. Then you should say – certainly with humility, but with joy and assurance – that you are saved and have received the forgiveness of sins.
Now your relationship is fully with His beloved Son. When you thank the Father you spontaneously talk of the Son (Jn 5:2323so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.). If the Father is the source of every blessing, then the Son is the channel through Whom all the blessings come to you. The Son has executed all the plans of the Father at His own expense. Now it is all about worship. Thank the Father Who is the source of every blessing! Thank His beloved Son Who is the channel through whom all blessings have become accessible to you.
V1515He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.. Who is this beloved Son Who has made these blessings available to us? Here the apostle presents the Lord Jesus not only to refresh your heart, but also to fill it so that there is no room for anything else. His presentation is in the following sequence:
1. Who Christ is in Himself;
2. what He is in the works that He accomplished;
3. what He is in His own.
“He is the image of … God” and that means He is the representative of God. Only He can be this because He is by nature God. This nature comprises the complete equality of the Son with the Father in His essence, in His nature, and in His existence as the eternal One (Jn 14:99Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and [yet] you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how [can] you say, ‘Show us the Father’?; 1:1818No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained [Him].). Only through Him we can know God.
He is also the “first born of all creation” (cp. Rom 8:2929For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;; Heb 1:66And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”; Rev 1:55and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—). This does not mean that He was the first created being. It describes the preeminence of the Son Who is exalted above everything. This refers to the order of ranking. You see this also with Solomon. He was not the first born son of David (1Chr 3:11Now these were the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn [was] Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second [was] Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelitess;); nevertheless he was called the firstborn (Psa 89:27).
The Lord Jesus is not a created being but He is over all created things and beings. He is the Creator indeed. He is the Firstborn, because He created all things. When the Creator by being born as a Man enters into His own creation, He cannot be anyone other than the Firstborn. He is the Lord of all creation.
V1616For by Him all things were created, [both] in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.. Although there are three Persons in the Godhead, creation is attributed to the Son (Jn 1:33All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.; Heb 1:1-21God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.). Everything in heaven and on the earth so in the whole universe both in its visible and invisible forms owes its existence to Him.
The thrones, dominions, principalities and powers appear to be references to various angelic powers (Eph 6:1212For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].; 1Pet 3:2222who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.). However impressive the angelic world may be, the glory of the Son Who created them is infinitely greater. The whole angelic world is called to worship Him and is created to serve Him (Heb 1:6-76And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”7And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”).
He made them in His own strength (“by Him”). He did it personally (“through Him”) and He did it for His own glory (“for Him”). He is the beginning, the means and the end of creation. This excludes the worship of anything or anyone else.
V1717He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.. The words ”He is before all things” expresses that He is the eternal Son, the eternal Being; He was there before creation. He has an eternal pre-existence. He stands outside of creation; He does not belong to it; He Himself is not a creature. He also reveals the fact that He sustains everything by His own power (Heb 1:33And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,). He not only called everything into existence but the current existence owes itself to Him. Planets traverse their prescribed courses only because He guides them and upholds them. Should He withdraw His hand for a moment, this would simply mean the end of the world.
V1818He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.. After speaking of His glory as the Head over all creation, Paul says that the Lord Jesus is Head from another point of view (verse 1818He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.). One can say that as He is the Head over the first or old creation, He also is the Head over the new creation. Head symbolizes authority and dominion as well as life and growth. This also applies to the new creation, the church, which owes its existence to Him. He is the church’s beginning and its origin (Rev 3:1414“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:). In the absolute sense He is the beginning of everything, while and because, He Himself is without beginning.
However there is a big difference in the way the first creation originated and the way the second creation came into being. The first was created by the Word of His power (Gen 1:3,6,91,11,14,20,243Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.6Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”11Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, [and] fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;20Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”24Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.; Psa 33:6,96By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
9For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
). In order to become the head of the new creation he had to become Man and go through death to resurrect from it.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was the new beginning for God. Thus the church, called here the body, emerged. We can compare it with how Eve was built from Adam. God put Adam in a sleep of death. During this sleep of death God took a rib from his body and formed it into a woman. When Adam saw her he said: “This is now the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:21-2321So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.22The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
). Paul applies this to Christ and the church (Eph 5:3030because we are members of His body.). The church is the body of Christ and Christ is the Head. He directs His body and gives it what it needs.
The Lord Jesus has the first place not only in the first or the old creation, but He also is the Head and the Firstborn in the new creation. In the new creation He is the “firstborn from the dead”. This does not mean that He was the first to be resurrected from the dead. People had risen from the dead earlier. But even here He is the Firstborn because He has the priority over any other who has risen from the dead or shall rise.
He is the First because by His resurrection He is alive for all eternity (Rev 1:1818and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.). By His resurrection He entered into another world which is now open for others. All who believe in Him will follow His resurrection. The special feature of this position is that by His resurrection He takes the first place in all things as Man.
As God He has the glory of the Creator. But He became Man in order to pass through death as a man. As Man He is risen from the dead and as Man He has ascended into heaven. He became Man in order to remain so forever. That does not lessen His glory but makes it greater.
V1919For it was the [Father’s] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,. This is evident in the words “for it was the [Father’s] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (verse 1919For it was the [Father’s] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,). In the Lord Jesus – He is meant by “in Him” – dwells the triune God with joy. This was so when He came to the earth as He did the work of God, and as He returned afterwards to heaven. God is revealed in all His fullness without limitation, in the Person of Christ. In Him the triune God is involved with the new beginning. How great is His glory!
Now read Colossians 1:14-19 again.
Reflection: What are the glories of the Lord Jesus Christ you have discovered in this passage?