Tuesday, 28 March 2017
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:17
Again, words of concerning the deity of Christ issue from Paul’s pen. There are two clauses in this verse, both of which have the word “He” in the emphatic position. In English, we might say “He and only He.” As “He is before all things,” then nothing in time is before Him. As only God existed before all things, then Jesus Christ is God. He is the great I AM of Exodus 3:14, meaning the Lord, Yehovah, who is referred to throughout the Old Testament. He is self-existent and dependent on no other thing. Thus His claim of John 8:58 is more fully understood –
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Paul’s words here also confirm the words of the previous verse as well which said, “All things were created through Him and for Him.” If He alone is before all things, then He must be the Creator of all things. Only He is a necessary Being; all other things are contingent beings, dependent on Him for their existence and continuation. As only God is a Necessary Being, then Jesus must be God. This is then realized in the words, “and in Him all things consist.” The BLB translates this as, “in Him all things hold together.” Darby translates it as, “all things subsist together by him.”
The words here are restated by the author of Hebrews using the words, “…and upholding all things by the word of His power.” The universe, being contingent, was created by Him. However, it is also dependent on Him at all times for its continued existence. This shows us that He is God, who alone is absolutely necessary; He cannot not exist. All other things could simply not be. But God alone must exist. This is the Being that Paul says that Jesus Christ is. As the Bible teaches that God is also Father and Holy Spirit, then we are again being instructed in the doctrine of the Trinity. This is the inescapable result of accepting the words of Scripture when taken at face value.
Life application: One argument used by cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the Bible never uses the word “Trinity.” That is as stupid as a a football bat. The Bible also never uses the term “original sin,” and yet it is a doctrine which permeates Scripture. The Bible never uses the term “rapture,” but it is a doctrine which is found in several passages. Just because we use terms not specifically stated in Scripture, it does not mean that those terms are not taught in Scripture. Don’t be led astray by nutty arguments that have no basis in reality. Core doctrines can be explicitly stated or implicitly stated, but they remain core doctrines because they describe and explain what the Bible clearly teaches.
Lord God, to You alone be the glory. Your hands have fashioned the cosmos. The stars shine because of the magnificence of Your power. The galaxies spin and gleam throughout the vast recesses of space because You have ordained them to do so. The spider weaves its web because of the wisdom You have instilled in it, and the creatures of the ocean swim about because You have place them there. Everything is as it should be – all because of Your wisdom. To You alone be the glory! Amen.