Today Paul tells the Colossians about the person of Jesus and reconciliation with Jesus. This is the solution to the theological problems that the Colossians was facing.
1. The person of Christ (15-19)
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 fullness dwell;
Firstborn indicates His priority before all creation. Verse 16 provides the reason Christ is called the firstborn in verse 15. Paul’s rationale is this. Since by Him were all things created, the (1) Christ must have existed before the universe, and (2) He must be greater than all He made. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers all refer to angelic beings (cf. Ephesians 1:21, 3:10). “Thrones” refer to angels who sit on thrones as rulers, “dominions” refer to domains or kingdoms over which these heavenly beings reign, “principalities” refer to rulers, and “powers” refer to angelic monarchs who yield regal power. Since Christ created these various ranks of angels, He is supreme over them. Striking a blow to the Colossian heresy advocating angel worship (2:18), this text forbids Christians to pay homage to angels or other heavenly beings created by God.
2. Reconciliation (20-23)
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. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled 22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight: 23 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;
Reconciliation is the act whereby God, through Christ’s atonement, brings men who are at odds with Him back into a peaceful, proper relationship with Himself.
Paul uses the person of Christ to refute the heresies of the Colossian church.
The heresies at Colossae are still in play today. This is why it is vital for us to know who Christ is, what He has done, and to be willing to tell others.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001