Christ in the Bible: Colossians

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Try it for 30 days FREE. As mentioned in the introductory material to this commentary, these false teachers apparently represented an early system of Gnosticism that would eventually take two forms, one ascetic some type of religious self-denial and the other licentious lacking moral restraint.

This philosophy included a Greek form of dualism that believed all matter was evil and that only pure spirit was good.

Epistle to the Colossians

The ascetics taught that the way to overcome the body, which is evil, was by self-abasement and severe treatment of the body. The licentious group taught just the opposite—that since the body was evil and only matter, it didn't make any difference what you did with it, or they would advocate that unbridled licentiousness was the only way to rid the body of its evil. From the standpoint of Christology, or the doctrine of the person of Christ, there were also two schools of Gnosticism that later developed.

First, there was docetism , a form that derived its name from the Greek word dokeo , which means, "to seem to be. In other words, He only seemed to be as far as His body was concerned, and this meant He only seemed to die on the cross. This form clearly denied both the person and work of Christ. The second school can be called Cerinthianism from it founder, Cerinthus. So both systems ultimately denied that it was the God-man, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.

As John teaches us, this is nothing less than the spirit of Antichrist. Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either.


The person who confesses the Son has the Father also 1 John By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, that you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world 1 John The plain teaching of Scripture, a truth backed up by the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus, is that without the incarnation there is no salvation and Christianity is just another religion.

We could not die for ourselves or for anyone else because of our own sin, which is the case for all humanity with Jesus as the one exception. Thus, in the person of Jesus Christ and by means of the incarnation, Jesus Christ, the God-man Savior and our sinless substitute could and did die for mankind. As man He could die as our representative, and as God He could give us both eternal life and perfect righteousness. The truth of who Jesus Christ is according to the Bible has never been more important than it is today.

There are those today who claim they believe in the Christ and that He is the way of salvation, but their concept of who Christ is falls into the category of Antichrist and is a modern day form of Gnosticism. Operating on the delusion that all people can reach godhood, many today believe that Christ exists in every person and that He is simply waiting to be discovered. Christ has become a generic term for whatever god one wants to believe in. Interest in Christ is on the rise. A recent article in U.

In fact, interest in Him seems to be increasing right along with the proliferation of new species of privatized religion.

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Christ is being redefined to suit the syncretism of our times…. The baby in the manger touches even the most cynical soul who has long since given up on religion. The secularist who is bent on reforming society quotes selected verses from the Sermon on the Mount with reverence. And the religious types use Him as their example of humility, sacrifice, and basic goodness.

Naked Bible Podcast 230–232, 235–237 — Colossians (Part 2)

He is worthy to be spoken about in hushed tones. He is, say some, the first among equals. Yet in all this He is often dammed by faint praise. Since Christ said that the world would hate Him, we can be quite sure that when the world loves Him it is because they have made Him into something He is not. The biblical Christ cannot be dismissed; He stands in our path forcing us to make a decision, either to the right or to the left.

In His presence neutrality is impossible. The babe in the manger quickly grows to become God, the King. Lewis Johnson introduces his comments on this portion of Colossians with the following comments, which are very fitting to the focus of these verses. But there arose a lashing storm which churned the little sea into wet fury, and soon the boat and its occupants were in danger of being swamped.

Be still! Mark — Heb Thus, in one respect at least we may be thankful for heresy, because the church of Jesus Christ would be impoverished substantially if it did not possess this significant testimony to the pre-eminence of its Redeeemer.

7. The Supremacy of the Person of Christ (Col. ) |

In verses , Paul highlights several unique characteristics that qualify Jesus Christ to be the preeminent one who has supremacy over all things cf. He is: 1 the image or likeness and manifestation of the invisible God, 2 the Firstborn or Sovereign over the first creation, 3 the Creator architect, builder, and goal of the universe, 4 the Sustainer of creation, 5 the Sovereign or Head of the new creation, the church, 6 the Firstborn from the dead, and thus 7 the Preeminent One of all things. Salvation, of course, is dependent on both the person and work of Christ, thus, in verses , Paul highlights the work of Christ as the Reconciler of all things, the one who makes peace.

It presents the supremacy of the person of Christ in relation to God vs. From the accounts that have been preserved of the teachings of Cerinthus and other Gnostics, it seems clear that the Gnostics taught that the world was created not by the Supreme God, but by an inferior power. This was because,. Therefore, God could not have created the physical world, because good cannot create evil. A lesser divinity, called by the platonic term Demiurge , committed the mistake of forming the world, in which souls as divine sparks are imprisoned and asleep… While Paul was not writing against full-blown Gnosticism as it would later develop, it seems clear that he was dealing with an insipient form that was mixed with certain Judaistic elements.

Thus, the apostle asserts that Christ is nothing less than the exact and unique image of the invisible God. As Lightfoot shows, an image can be two things that come together in each image. An image can be a representation ; but a representation, if it is perfect enough, can also become a manifestation.

To see what God is like, we must look at Jesus cf. John ; ; ; Heb. And the description of God as invisible the emphatic adjective aoratou , clearly shows both aspects of representation and manifestation apply here.

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  8. The very nature and character of God have been perfectly revealed in him; in him the invisible has become visible. They would say that He is only the first created being, but this is totally erroneous for a number of reasons. Johnson has an excellent summary of the reasons such a view is false.

    First, it is inconsistent with the context cf.


    He existed before all things; in fact, He is the creator Himself. Jesus of Nazareth was not a newcomer at Bethlehem. Second, it is inconsistent with the rest of the New Testament, which often affirms His uniqueness and responsibility for creation cf. Third, the word prototokos has two connotations perhaps derived from the fact that protos may mean first in time, or first in rank; cf. In view of the statement of verse eighteen, that He has become pre-eminent in all things, it seems probable that Paul has the thought of sovereignty primarily in view.

    Paul, then, effectively counters any claim of the heretics that Christ was only an angelic emanation from God and part of the creation. Thus they suggest that Christ created all other things after He was created! In the Old Testament a firstborn child had not only priority of birth but also the dignity and superiority that went with it cf. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. Three prepositional phrases are used to describe this relationship.

    If we take the en in the local sense and not the instrumental sense, this tells us that the Son is the place where the eternal plans and ideas of creation have their abode. As Johnson explains,. Several steps are involved in the construction of a substantial building. First, an architect is obtained to design the building and prepare plans and specifications in accordance with the expressed desires of the owner. Then the plans are submitted for bids by builders or contractors, and a builder secured. After the completion of the edifice, it is occupied by the owner and devoted to its intended use.

    Our Lord is not only the builder of the universe; He is also its architect and owner. All things have been created in Him the eternal plans for the creation abode in Him , by Him He acted as builder and for Him the creation belongs to Him and is to reflect His glory. Before the indescribable majesty of the eternal Christ we are constrained to respond reverently,. How great Thou art! The relationship can be shown as follows:. Good or bad, all are subject to him as Creator. As seen later in this epistle, the false teachers were attempting to influence some of the Colossians to engage in the worship of angels Col.

    Paul has described Christ as the architect, builder, and goal of the created universe, but what is His place in relation to the present? Verse 17 describes this in two ways. First, He has temporal priority to all things created vs. Have you seen Abraham? The Jews then picked up stones to stone Jesus, which was the normal punishment for blasphemy in the Old Testament.

    This attempt to stone Christ shows they believed He was committing blasphemy and understood He was claiming to be God. Jesus Christ is not some lesser created being who later created the universe or matter, but the eternal God Himself who existed as the I Am before anything was created.

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