SEVERAL THINGS THAT JESUS IS IN COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1
This is one of the great passages on Christ in the New Testament: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, 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. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 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 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
He is the Deliverer in verse 13. It says, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.” The words “hath delivered” (rhoumai) mean “to draw to one's self, to rescue, to deliver.” It is an aorist middle indicative. The aorist tense is a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever. These Christians had been delivered by the Lord at a point of time in their past (time of salvation) and that point of time was divorced from time and was perpetuated forever. The reason being we received God’s quality of life at the point of salvation and it is forever without ever being threatened with extinction. The middle voice means that Jesus did this for Himself. He is benefitted by the action. He gains a bride. Amen.
He is the redeemer in verse 14. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” The words “we have” is present active indicative. It means we continue to have in the present tense the redemption spoken of here. This does away with the thought that we will finally be redeemed. It means that we already have redemption right now and if we have it now then, if we do not have it forever, God would have to abandon us somewhere in the future. He has promised not to do this (Rom. 8:35-39). This redemption is obtained “through his blood” and man’s works do not even enter the picture. And in redeeming us we obtain “the forgiveness of sins.”
He is the image of God in verse 15. The verb “is” is a third person singular of the to be verb esti and is a present indicative. What significance does this have? Well it simply means He is and not He was. What Jesus was He has continued to be. The word “image” (eikon) is the word from which we get our word icon. This word represents what was forbidden by the Lord. Exo 20:4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” If man could make His image He would be under human control. That is also true with the incarnation. The greatest Servant is still apart from man and is only subject to man in the areas where He is the Redeemer. Jesus is the “image” of the invisible God. God’s invisibility has become visible in the person of Jesus. John 14:9-10: Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.” The invisible God is seen in the person of Christ. No where else. Jesus is the exclusive representation of the invisible God. This same word for image is found in Col. 3:10 and Rom. 8:29 and is not the same word as is found in Heb. 1:3. I give you this for your study.
He is the First born of every creature in verse 15. Jesus is the first born of a new race. 1Cor 15:44: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Why the first man Adam? Because there was no man before him. This ends any controversy about a preadamic race. Why is Jesus called the last Adam? Because He is the Terminator of the adamic race. “Flesh and blood can not enter the kingdom of God.” (1Cor 15:50). Jesus is called the “last Adam” but He is called the “Second man.” (1Cor 15:47). Why is this? Because He is the “First born of every creature.” Just as Adam stands as the first of his race, Jesus stands as the first of a new (created in Christ) race. He is the “Second man” in relation to the first man but not the last man. He stands as head of a new creation of men called “brethren.” Rom 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
This study will be continued tomorrow. It is just too big to do in one study even when covered briefly. May the Lord bless this to our hearts.