Holding it Together

Colossians 1:15- 18

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.”

Background:

  • “Three profound and sweeping statements concerning Christ are made. These show his relation to deity (15a), to creation (15b-17), and to the church (18).”  Because of the wrong teaching going on in Colosse, Paul wanted to “affirm Christ’s cosmic significance.”  We often forget the supremacy of the God we serve.  Like the Colossians we can begin to reduce Him to a god we have fashioned in our own mind – we see Him as unable, disinterested, or unwilling to involve Himself in our lives.  These three verses set us straight.  Let’s unpack them a little.
  • Deity: Christ is the “image of the invisible God.” Eikon is the Greek word used for “image” here. It expresses two ideas – “likeness” (like a reflection in a mirror reveals what you look like) and “manifestation” (the nature and being of something actually appearing).    2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan is trying to blind our minds to this truth. “They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”  Jesus is God – the exact likeness.  When we see that Christ is God – it should cause us to turn to Him more than other people, stuff or our own manipulations to guide our lives.
  • Creation: Not only did He create EVERYTHING – including physical and spiritual things – He holds it all together.  As we’ve been traveling out west seeing His amazing creation – I am often awestruck at all that He has made.  However, in spite of all that He has made, it can sometimes feel like things are falling apart in life.  When we focus on the problems, we see them everywhere.  When we realize that Jesus (the God-man who came to earth as a baby and died on the cross for our sin) was there in creation and holding everything together – it changes our perspective.  It grows our faith.  Faith is believing what we can’t see.    I see a lot of falling apart in this world – marriages, health, family, finances, governments.  However, when I see this truth about Christ, I remember that no matter what happens, Christ is holding everything together – including me.  How about you?  Do you feel like life is falling apart today?  Remember that Christ is holding you together.  Dare to put your hope in Him – He never disappoints.
  • Church:  Colossians 1:18 is one of my favorite verses.  I memorized it with my girls when I took them on a Passport to Purity weekend. (FamilyLife)  Its about Christ having “first place” in everything.  He is first in my relationships, my time, my finances, my ….. everything.  How often we include God when we have extra time (which isn’t very often), extra money (occasional leftovers), or when we feel guilty or have a problem.  We might disagree and say, “No He is first in my life.”  However, what do our actions reveal – our prayer lives, our tithing, our service to the church and others, our love for one another?  Though its difficult to measure these things, the statistics from research groups are troubling.  Does Christ have first place in my life?  In yours?  Its a good question to ask ourselves on a regular basis.

Application questions:

  • As you see the supremacy of Christ according to these verses, how does that change your perspective on what you are going through in life right now?
  • Do you feel like your life is falling apart? Or do you know others in that position right now?  How can you see Christ holding it together for you as you surrender your life to Him?
  • Does the way you spend your time, money, and talents reveal that Christ is first in your life?

Prayer:

Adoration: Praise God that He is supreme in His deity, creation, the church, and in everything.

Confession: Repent of ways that you have made God small in your life.

Thanksgiving: Think of 2 ways God has held your life together this week.

Supplication: Ask God to grow your faith to see Him as He really is according to this passage.

 

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