Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Gospel is not just a ticket out of this world.

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Col. 1:15-20)

All things were created by Jesus. If Jesus were not God himself, then the Bible could not make that claim. The gospel of John says, John 1:3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Now again, there are some fancy word games to explain this away. They say, "Well, God created Jesus, and then Jesus made everything else." The easy answer to that is that "all things" cannot mean "all things except himself." A second issue they have not answered is the simplicity of Genesis 1:1. It certainly does not say, "In the beginning God created Jesus, who then created the heavens and the earth."
If Jesus was not the "first thing created," then what does it mean that He is the firstborn of all creation? In Bible days, the first-born was the inheritor of the father's estate - everything the father had would be given to the son. The same is true for Jesus Christ. He inherited everything. Jesus said, John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand."

Paul writes this letter to defend the Gospel by celebrating and proclaiming the Gospel joyously and with great spectacle. Paul does not hold back, in the early verses he explains how the Gospel has been growing all over the world, he explains that the Gospel was about redemption and that those who in faith receive the Gospel are heirs of the kingdom and they are free of this world and its trappings. He calls them to live in the light of the Gospel, to live righteous lives. You see the Colossians were being challenged in their perspective and Paul writes to keep them oriented in the right direction by giving them perspective from Jesus who is good news. Right off the start this passage declares something most magnificent, Jesus is the image –Jesus is the representation of the invisible God. The text very boldly unites the son to the father, leaving no doubt that in Jesus we saw God. Where once God had only been seen and known in clouds and voices and shadows he is now known in the person of Jesus the Christ. This is phenomenal. Here is the perspective - God is not distant, he is not impersonal but rather he is Immanuel, with us. Not as some cosmic force or essence but as a person, whom we can know. One whom we can relate with, the father has shown himself through his son! This is phenomenal; in Jesus we can know God. Ponder that for a moment. God has in his great mercy come to us to be known through his son Jesus.
Here is the perspective - Jesus who created all things is redeeming all things, that is there is no area of creation which he did not create and which is left untouched by his work of redemption. The physical is being redeemed along with the spiritual. God’s salvation in Christ excludes nothing. Relationships, sex, work, industry, worship, leadership, authority, prayer, community… It is not just the spiritual which is being redeemed but the physical as well. The Gospel leaves no stone unturned, all of creation is being reconciled unto God through Jesus who has made peace through his blood on the cross His Cross. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:19-21 that creation is eagerly waiting for its liberation at the redemption of the children of God.‖ The Gospel is not just a ticket out of this world but rather it is a reorientation, a new life, a new beginning, a new creation in which every area of creation is being reconciled.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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