Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 40
Colossians 1:1-16 – Part 2
Now we’re going to go right back to where we left off in Colossians chapter 1 and we were at verse 15. Now those of you who have been with me ever since Genesis, will probably remember that when we talked about God in Genesis 1:1 as the creator of every thing, heaven and earth, I always come up to the New Testament and use these verses in conjunction. So this is nothing new for a lot of you.
“Who (that’s a pronoun, but it refers back to God the Son up there in verse 13. So it’s God the Son, who) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” (or creation)
Now I guess I have to stop. Everybody that knows anything about the Bible at all knows the verse that says, “No man hath seen God at anytime and lived.” And yet we have instances back here in the Old Testament where Jacob actually put up a landmark after he wrestled with God.
“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
So then people think that the Bible contradicts itself. On the one hand it says, “No man can see God and live, and yet Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face.” Well you can go back to Genesis chapter 18 and we know that Abraham set the table of the fatted calf, and what ever else went with it, and the Lord and two angels sat down and ate. Now Abraham wasn’t out in some invisible foggy whatever, but rather the Lord was visible. He was there physically. He ate, and Abraham talked with Him about the city of Sodom and Gomorrah
Now it’s not a contradiction, but you have to understand that God, the invisible triune God, no man has ever seen, how could they, He’s invisible! Plus the fact that if man would have ever found himself in the position to be in the presence of that invisible triune God, he would have never survived. So what has happened? Well the best way I can usually put it, if I can use the blackboard, is that here we have God, the invisible triune Spirit God, but once man filled the scene and would now have to have some way of identifying with his Creator, what did God do? Well one person of the Godhead stepped out and became visible, tangible, over and over, and it’s always God the Son. God the Son is the member of the Trinity that has always been the One to communicate with man, and become the visible manifestation of that invisible God.
So yes, no one has ever looked on the triune, invisible, Spirit God. But when God the Son steps out and becomes visible, and can communicate with man, it’s no problem whatsoever. So it isn’t a contradiction, you just have to understand the circumstances. Now this is what Paul is talking about here in Colossians chapter 1. Let’s look at verse 15 again.
“Who is the image of the invisible God,…”
Now we’re going to take this slow. God the Son is the image, and what’s an image? Something that you can see, it’s not something out there in enigma or in a semi-state. An image is something that you can see with your own eyes. All right then God the Son is the visible image of the invisible God. Do you see how plain that is? God the Son stepped out of that invisible Triune Godhead and in the person of the Son He became visible, He became tangible, and He walked among men all the way into the Old Testament.
So whenever God appeared, like speaking to Moses out of the burning bush, although in that instance He didn’t appear visibly. But Moses certainly heard Him speak, and so who was it? God the Son! I don’t call Him Jesus back in the Old Testament because the Bible doesn’t, but He was God the Son! When God appeared unto Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, who was it? God the Son! And as I’ve already rehearsed, when Jacob wrestled with the man until the breaking of the day, who was the man? God the Son! And then He would just simply go back up into the Godhead. Now continuing on in verse 15.
“…the firstborn of every creature:”
He was before anything that ever appeared. Now that’s his eternalness again. God the Son was just as much from eternity past as God the Father and God the Spirit. We’ll be looking at that, if not in this lesson, then the next in chapter 2:9. But for now I want you to see that God the Son, whom we now know as Jesus the Christ is the visible manifestation of that invisible God. Now the other thing that you always have to remember is that whenever God the Son stepped out of the Godhead, He lost none of His deity. Remember that. He did not lay aside a portion of His power or deity, but He was always God! So just because He became visible, and appeared in Bethlehem in the virgin birth, He never stopped being God. Now at that time He laid aside His glory, because He could not have co-habited with mankind in all the glory of the Godhead. But other than the glory that he laid aside, He never stopped being God. And of course He never exercised it until He began His earthly ministry.
Now you’ve got to stop and think, had Jesus of Nazareth been anything less than God, and once He understood that He could control the elements, He could raise the dead, He could heal the sick, would have He ever limited it? Would you? Would we have limited it once we realized that we had this kind of power? Why we would have used it to the extreme, but you see, He didn’t. See, He always kept it under perfect control. When He was manifesting Himself from His humanity side, He never let His deity interfere. So always remember that it was because of His deity that He could control His power instead of taking advantage of situations. Now verse 16. This visible manifestation of the invisible God is the same God of Genesis 1:1. And you know what that verse says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Well this is the same God that we now know as Jesus the Christ.
“For by him were all things created, that are created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, (including the spirit world of angels and demons) whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, (righteous or evil) all things were created by him, and for him:”
They’re for His pleasure, and everything that God ever created is under His control and it’s to establish His Sovereignty and it’s all been done for His own pleasure. And no one dare question it, because He’s Sovereign. Now let’s go back and compare some more Scriptures with this. We haven’t done this for a long time so I think it’s appropriate, but rather going from Genesis to Colossians, we’ll go from Colossians backwards. Our first stop will be in John’s gospel, chapter 1.
You’ve always got people who will say, “Well this is Paul who’s teaching Christ was the Creator.” But when they say that, remember Paul agrees with every thing in Scriptures. He never contradicts anything. Now there may be instances where it may seem that Paul contradicts, but he doesn’t. Remember, Paul is teaching in the Church Age dispensation, and as a result we also find that God’s program for this age has changed, because now we’re under Grace rather than Law. But here we’ll see that Paul and John agree completely that Jesus Christ was the Creator.
“In the beginning (the same three words of Genesis 1:1) was the Word, (notice the Word is capitalized. The other word I like to use here is the Communicator.) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
You know we have some groups that just can’t buy this so they have twisted their writings and have made Jesus Christ something less than God. But while we’re on that subject let’s look real quick in the Book of Titus to show you they’re wrong there also. I think I used this in a lesson or two back, but it’s also very appropriate here. If you have someone come to your door and they try to tell you that Jesus was not God, that He was a prophet or something less than God, and was not the Creator God, then this is the best verse I’ve found to confront that. All the other verses that prove that Christ was the Creator they’ll twist and try to get around it, but on this one they can’t. I mean you just can’t get around this one. Here Paul writes the following.
“Looking for that blessed hope, (that’s exactly were we are in the Church Age right now. And what’s the blessed hope?) and the glorious appearing (the Rapture) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”
See you just can’t get around the fact that Jesus Christ is also the great God. I’ve showed them the verse back in Isaiah chapter 9, and they’ll say, “Yeah, but that’s the mighty God, that’s not the Almighty God.” They’ll just use any little thing to wiggle around it, but this verse in Titus, you can’t argue with. Because we’re looking for the great God, the Creator God, the God of the universe, and who is it? Jesus Christ! Now back to John’s gospel chapter 1.
“The same was in the beginning with God. (He’s always been! He’s from eternity past the same as the other persons of the Godhead) 3. All things were made by him: (just like Paul says in Colossians. Everything that was ever created was created by God the Son.) and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Whether it was heavenly, invisible, dominions or powers, regardless, everything was made by the Word. Now who’s the Word? We find that in verse 14.
“And the Word was made flesh,…”
Do you see that? The Holy Spirit never took on flesh, God the Father never took on flesh, but God the Son did, and so here’s the evidence.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,…)”
What’s he talking about? The Mount of Transfiguration when Peter, James and John went up into the mountains with Christ, and what happened? He shown like the sun, and Peter, James and John witnessed that, and that’s what John is referring to in verse 14.
“…and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Well I’m not going to take you all the way back to Genesis, as you all know that very first verse. But instead let’s turn ahead to Hebrews chapter 1, and just notice how all these verses fit. John says, “The Word became flesh, and nothing was made without Him” Paul says in Colossians “Christ is the visible manifestation of the invisible God, and by Him all things were created.” Now here in Hebrews, and I think Paul wrote this Book also as the Lord permitted Him to write half of the New Testament.
“God, (this God right here as we have it outlined on the blackboard. This whole Triune God in His invisible Triune makeup) who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. (Old Testament) 2. (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,…”
Do you see that? In other words, when God the Son was manifested in the flesh and He begin to reveal things that all the Old Testament had been talking about merely in a latent form, now here He is in fulfillment of it all.
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom (speaking of God the Son) he (God) hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”
Now you can’t get it any plainer than that. I had a gentlemen one time ask the question, “Who in the world is Jesus Christ?” At the time it shocked me as I thought, how could anybody even think such a thought. But now I know this is a question that more people should be asking. Who is He? He’s the Creator of the universe, He is all Sovereign God of everything, and yet He’s the One that went to that Roman cross. As I stated over and over, those Roman soldiers who put the nails through His hands were His created beings, He made them, and let them do that to Him. Now you see this is all part and parcel of what Paul is trying to get across to us, is who Jesus Christ really is. And if we understand who He really is then we can understand how that by the death of the cross, He could by his own volition pay the sin debt for every human being that’s ever lived because He’s God.
No human could have ever done that. See this is what puts Christ head and shoulders above all other religions of the world. None of their leaders could have ever done what Christ did, they could have never died for the sins of mankind. They could never even scratch the surface of what the Creator God Himself has done. This is where our faith then becomes, not a blind faith, we know what we believe. We know it was the Creator who purchased our salvation. It was the Creator who took on human flesh, made of flesh and blood so that He could become the supreme sacrifice and fulfill the demands of that Holy God, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” See how it all beautifully fits together? Now finishing verse 16 again in Colossians.
“…all things were created by him, and for him:”
It was for His pleasure, they’re His. Let’s turn to Acts chapter 2 and look at another good one. Here Peter is preaching to the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23. Him, (Jesus of Nazareth) being delivered (up to the cross, not by the Roman decree, not by the shouts of Jews to crucify Him, but when was He really delivered up to be crucified? It was) by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,…”
It was long before anything was ever created, it was way back in eternity past, when the determinate counsel or the meeting of the minds again of this Triune Godhead came together, and what determination did they make? We’re going to create the universe, and in one little tiny corner of the universe, we’re going to create a planet. And on that planet we’re going to create a race of humans. We’re going to let them start absolutely sinless, we’re going to put them in a perfect environment, but they’re not going to be satisfied, and they’re going to rebel, they’re going to sin. But we’re going to come right back with a plan of redemption, and One of Us, One of the Trinity, is going to be the Redeemer. One of Us is going to go down to that little planet and take on flesh, and blood, and we’re going to go to a cross, and be lifted up and crucified so that we can purchase the salvation of our created beings. And who was the One in that Trinity that went? God the Son! Because God planned it that way from start to finish. Nothing caught God by surprise, it was all in the blueprint, and when the fullness of time was come as it says in the Book of Galatians. I used that verse when I shared the Christmas story with my Oklahoma classes, rather than the Bethlehem story.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman made under the law.”
Why? To purchase man’s salvation!