Green pastures – Part 3
The Beginning And End Of History
Text: Colossians 1:15-23
The letter of Apostle Paul to the Colossians was written to refute false teachings, just as there are many of such in our days. The devil, the master trickster, uses difficult times as this to sponsor erroneous doctrines into the lives of men, seeking to derail them from the path of truth. He knows very well that if a man could miss his way, he would definitely never get to his destination. Paul didn’t state specifically what these heresies were, other than they pertained to who Christ is. What greater attack could be sponsored on our faith than creating a false view of Jesus Christ? That is why our understanding of Jesus Christ must be guarded jealously. Paul sets forth with the deity of Jesus in Colossians 1:15–16, His superiority and authority from verses 17 to 23 and proclaimed His sufficiency for our salvation and spiritual growth in Chapter 2, verses 6 to 15. Probably, there is no other passage in the New Testament that contains more concentrated doctrine about Christ than Colossians 1:15–23. Here, Paul affirmed four things about the identity and authority of Jesus Christ-
• He is God. (15)
• He is the Creator and Sustainer of all creations (16–17)
• He is the Head of the church, His new creation (18)
• He is our Redeemer and Saviour. (19–23) From this same passage, I want to share with you the revelation of Jesus Christ that I got recently. Jesus Christ is “THE BEGINNING AND END OF HISTORY.”
(A) Jesus Christ: What A Mystery.
Ephesians 3:3-5 and 1 Timothy 3:16 affirm among many other passages the mystery embedded in Jesus Christ whom I love to call, Jesus, the Christ. In Colossians 1:15-18, Jesus Christ is,
• The Image Of The Invisible God-15a- There is a distinction between image and likeness. Likeness represents superficial resemblance, as when two leaves from the same tree are said to be like each other; image indicates resemblance by participation in the same life by reproduction of essence. Likeness is that which is superficial and partial, image is that which is essential and exhaustive. Our Lord is the exact representation of God. Whatever glory dwells in the Eternal Father is eternally imaged in His Son. Even before His incarnation, He was the image of the invisible God as the Word (Joh 1:1-3) by whom God created the world and by whom God appeared to the patriarchs. Therefore, He is “the image of God, “before the incarnation, in the days of His flesh, and also now in His glorified state.
• The Firstborn Over All Creation-15b-16. This does not mean the first in rank among created beings, but He was begotten before any created beings. So “the beginning” does not mean the first member of a series, but the power, which causes the series to begin. The root is the beginning of flowers, although we often think the first flower is.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory) Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.