Monday, March 1, 2010

Putting Christ First: Colossians 1

Theme: You should put Christ first

1) Reasons

Introduction (1:1-12)

A. Because He redeemed all believers (1:13-14)
B. Because He created all things (1:15-16)
C. Because He sustains all things (1:17)
D. Because He heads all things (1:18)
E. Because He reconciled all things (1:19-23)
F. Because He completes all believers (1:24-2:15)

The letter begins with Paul's prayer on behalf of the Colossians (3-12). He first thanks God for the hope which is laid up for them in heaven (5), evidenced by their faith, and love for other believers (4), all of which come through hearing God's word (6-8; cf. Romans 10:17).

Next, He makes a request on their behalf. This is that they may be filled with knowledge of God's will, in spiritual wisdom and understanding (9). The goal of such wisdom is not just to make them smart, but to enable them to walk in a way which is worthy (of equal weight to our position in Christ (13-22; cf. Eph. 1-4) of the Lord.  

Such a walk includes bearing fruit (cf. Gal. 5:22-23) in every good work (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17), and increasing in the knowledge of God (10). In addition to fruit and good works, spiritual wisdom yields inner strength (the kind that overcomes resistance) from God (11), which results in steadfastness (endurance, or "remaining under" suffering [cf. Job; James 5:11]), and patience ( "long temper"). We owe God joyous (11b) thanks (12), for qualifying us to share the inheritance of saints in light (12b).

God has already delivered believers from the domain of darkness (13). Before we were saved, we lay under the blinding power of Satan (Eph. 4:18; 5:8; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19), and could only walk in the unrighteous attitudes and deeds of darkness (Eph. 2 - 5). God, however, delivers each believer from this realm, and translates him into the kingdom of Christ (Eph. 2:5-7). Our spiritual position is now in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, where God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). Romans 6 says that the Holy Spirit unites, or places the believer into the person and work of Christ. It is on the basis of faith in this spiritual reality (i.e. our death to sin and resurrection to newness of life in Christ), that the indwelling Holy Spirit enables the believer to yield his members as instruments of righteousness to God (6:13).

This letter was written to refute man-made philosophy and "wisdom" which corrupted the Colossian believers. Rather than focus on these heretical teachings, Paul taught the preeminence of Christ as God's complete and all sufficient wisdom to prepare the believer for "every good work" (1:13-2:15). The word "preeminence" means "first place". This means both first in time (cf. Matt. 17:27) and superior in rank or importance (cf. "chief", Matt. 20:27). Rather than earthly things, such as man-made wisdom and religion, then, believers should put Christ first. Chapter one gives several reasons:

Because Christ has redeemed us (1:14). "Redeemed" means the payment of a ransom which effects a release. Christ's death satisfied God's righteous demands against sin ("propitiation"; 1 John 2:2), and gave Him a righteous grounds for forgiving the sinner, thus releasing him from sin's debt (Romans 3:25-26). When someone pays the complete price which releases you from a debt that would have kept you in a world of darkness, sin, and flaming hell for all eternity, this should motivate you to put him first in your life.

Because He created all things (15-16). Christ is God in the flesh (15; 2:9). As an image on a coin represents the likeness of a man, so Christ is the "exact representation" of God the Father (Heb. 1:3). Jesus said that to see Him was to see the Father (John 14:9). This word for "image", here, means the very substance or embodiment of God. That He is the "first-born" of all creation means that He is the creator of all things (spiritual, immaterial, and material), and not that He was the first created thing, something which the context makes impossible, since He created "all things", for Himself, and since He is the one who sustains or hold "all things" (whether material or immaterial) together (17). Christ is the creator of all things, He created all things for Himself, and He continues to sustain all things. This makes Him first, or chief of all.

Because He heads all things (18). Christ is not only the master of the universe He created, and over all spiritual beings and powers (Eph. 1:21), but He is also the head of the church (18), which is His body of believers (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23). God exalted Christ to this supreme headship by raising Him from the dead, and seating Him at His right hand, after He had finished redeeming "all things" (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:20). Believers are a new, spiritual creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), and should put Him first by obeying Him in the way our bodies obey our head.

Because He reconciled all things (19-23). All the fullness of God dwells in Christ, in bodily form (2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16). Since God is holy, and man fails to meet God's standards, man deserves to be separated from God. This is the meaning of the word "death", and includes not only physical separation from our bodies, but also eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (2 Thess. 1:8-9).

To reconcile (harmonize, or unite) man to God, required a substitutionary payment for sin. This was the constant illustration of the OT sacrificial system, where men had to offer a spotless animal as a substitutionary payment for their sin. It pictured the fact that the lamb bore the guilt of the man, and that the man leaned on this substitute to take his deserved penalty. Hebrews confirms that this substitute must be sinless, otherwise its death could only be for its own offenses, and not those of others (Heb. 7:27).

John 1 says "behold the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world". 1 Peter 1:19 says Christ is this spotless lamb of God which cleanses from sin. Only God is without sin, and only God could pay the infinite debt which sin against an infinite God required (Romans 3:23-26). It was necessary, however for Christ to become a man, in order to be able to die, and pay the debt of our sin (Heb. 10:1-10). All the fullness (meaning "complete"[ness]) of God dwells in Christ's fleshly body, enabling Him to reconcile all believers (these are the one's whose faith is evidenced by their continuing in the faith, and being firmly established an steadfast in the hope of the gospel which they have heard: 23) to God (cf. Eph. 2).

Because He completes all believers (1:24 - 2:15). Paul was made a minister of this gospel which is God's wisdom for the total salvation of man. Such wisdom not only frees the believer from the penalty of His sin (Justification: Romans 3), but also from the power of sin in His daily life (sanctification: Romans 6 - 8:17), and ultimately from the presence of his sin nature (glorification: Romans 8:18ff). This is the believer's hope, and is evident when Christ, who indwells the believer (cf. John 14), bears the fruit of love in his life. All wisdom which is necessary to present a man complete in Christ, is found in the gospel of which Paul was made a minister (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Chapter one gives several reasons why you should put Christ, and not human wisdom, first.


ElderChild said...

“Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, Wisdom, .etc.) ;-(

ElderChild said...

Once again, the “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The current “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things", nor do they "love their own lives in this world”.

They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, HE WHO is their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" indeed and Truth!

Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Faith, .etc.)!

“Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of "The Only True GOD" to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

“Come out” from among those who are destroying Creation and perverting that which is Spirit. Be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

“Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the systems of religion. "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those who know not their Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world.......

"religion" is personal(oneself), not corporate.......

Faith will not create a system of religion!

Faith is Family, not "religion", and The Brethren of The Messiah seek and desire that which The Messiah sought and desired above all else:

"Father, not My will, But THY Will Be Done".......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

Truth is forever, lies never existed and never will....... francis

The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


The grand purpose of creation is to bring glory and pleasure to God in Christ (Eph. 1:1-10; Rev. 4:11). The gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for our sins, achieves this goal by magnifying God's grace and mercy towards undeserving sinners. The purpose of faithguard, is to glorify God, by defending and confirming the gospel of Jesus Christ.