On a recent broadcast of the “In Touch” TV program (www.intouch.org), I heard a song entitled “God Of The Ages”. It is a beautiful, Scriptural song (it is based upon Colossians 1:13-20) declaring our Lord as the God of the Ages. You can hear it at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwIUlXdXquI
Let’s take a few minutes to see what these verses of Scripture teach us about our wonderful Lord and Savior!
Col 1:13-20 (KJV)
13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: 15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. 19) For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell; 20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.
IN CONTEXT, PAUL IS SPEAKING OF THE SON OF GOD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
13) … his dear Son:
“dear” – agape – beloved, self-sac love
Christ is described here as the Son, who was loved with a self-sacrificing love by the Father. We should be loving and sacrifice for Him as well.
Matt 10:37-39 – He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
The following verses explain the Son’s work and person, helping us to see the need to love Him sacrificially as well.
Why should we love and place him first in our lives?
1. HE IS THE REDEEMER…
14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
“redemption” – ransom, price of deliverance; “forgiveness” – freedom, deliverance
It is through this Son of God that we can deliverance from the penalty and dominance of sin in our lives. Once we are delivered from sins dominance, we experience a new freedom to serve and glorify Him in our lives.
2. HE THE REVELATION OF GOD…
15a) Who is the image of the invisible God,
“image” – representative, reflection; “invisible”- unable to be seen; “God” – One deserving our worship;
This same Jesus is both the representative and reflection of God given to mankind. This Great God that we cannot see with our eyes, can be clearly seen in the person of the Lord Jesus.
3. HE IS THE CREATOR/SUSTAINER AND, THEREFORE LORD OVER ALL…
15b – 18) the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
“firstborn” – Preeminent One brought forth, Honored One; “creature” – created One; “thrones” – sovereign, kingly power; “dominions” – governrnents; “principalities”- chief in rank; “powers”- any controlling force; “consist”- set together, put on exhibit, arranged and displayed; “head” – to seize, to control; “body” – from “saved”, healed, whole, sound; “church” – called out assembly; “beginning” – first in rank, place or order; “firstborn”- first, foremost One that is brought forth, honored; “preeminence”- first in place, One with most influence;
The Son of God is described as the “firstborn” meaning He is One that proceeded from the Father as the One with a position of existence, privilege and authority over all creation. He is the One to be honored and the One holding a special position with God the Father as the very Son of God.
He is the Creator of all things in heaven and earth, those we can see and those that are spiritual in nature.
With being Creator comes authority… and example of this is when my wife paints a picture. She is the creator of that picture, therefore she has authority over it. She can do with it as she pleases. She can hang it, sell it, hide it, or destroy it. She, as Creator has the ultimate authority over it.
In this same way, as Creator Christ is the ultimate authority over all authorities in this world… the sovereign reign of kings; all other human governments; those holding the highest positions in military; government; social and business areas; and finally, any controlling force in the world is under the control and authority of Christ.
All creation was formed by Christ for the use, control, pleasure, and glory of Christ.
Christ existed before all created things, has set all things in order, holds all things in order and has put it on display for His honor and glory.
He is the One with absolute authority over all believers and His local assemblies. He is the first One in order and the One from who all creation comes. He was placed in this very honored position with the express purpose of ruling over all.
4. HE IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD….
19) For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;
“fullness”- totality, completeness
To avoid any confusion, God has made it plain that Christ was not simply another created being that was placed over all creation. Christ is God Himself, and this is why He has the ultimate authority over all things.
In Christ we have the totality, or the completeness of God. Christ is God Himself, come to earth to save His people from their sins.
5. HE IS THE SAVIOR/PEACEMAKER…
20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.
“peace” – harmony, tranquility; “reconcile”- to bring to same level, to bring into agreement
At the beginning of this text, we saw that Christ was the Redeemer and Liberator of sinful mankind. Here we are brought full circle.
Christ is pictured as the Savior and Peacemaker of sinful man which is the direct result of His ministry as Redeemer. Christ, who is God Himself, came to the earth and died on the cross. His payment made on the cross was the basis of the redemption that He gives to His people. Once the payment is applied, the sinful man experiences forgiveness, liberation and peace.
Paul began with the teaching that we are to love and sacrifice for Christ based upon His work of redemption on our behalf, we now are reminded of this once again…
So why are we to love Him and place Him first in our lives?
- He is the Redeemer
- He is the Revelation of God
- He is the Creator/Sustainer and Lord over All
- He is the Only True God
- He is the Savior and Peacemaker
For those who have received the Lord’s gracious offer of salvation, let us serve Him with our whole heart realizing what a great Lord we serve.
Now that we have seen how our Great Lord has made the way for the salvation of sinful mankind…. Our need is to accept this message by faith and turn to the Lord to receive forgiveness and spiritual life.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.