COLOSSIANS LESSON 3
Learn: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
Colossians 1:17, 18, 19
Read: Colossians 1:1-23
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
1. Going back to verse 13 for reference, who is the “Who” that is spoken of in verse 15?
13 who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: Colossians 1:13-15
2. What is the relationship does person spoken of in verse 15 have to God?
NOTE: “image” Not as man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
3. Use the following verses to explain what is meant by the phrase “Who is the image of the invisible God.”
Hebrews 1:2, 3
John 12:44, 45
John 14:8, 9
4. Who is Christ in relation to his creation? v 15b
5. This phrase DOES NOT mean that Jesus is himself a creature, so what does it mean?
Use the following Scripture to show that Jesus is not part of the creation:
John 1:1-3, 10
I Corinthians 8:6
QUESTION: How then should we understand this word “firstborn” as it relates to Christ and creation? First, it is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us.
6. Explain the concept of the eternity of God using Proverbs 8:23-26 description of God’s wisdom.
7. According to I Corinthians 1:24, who is the “wisdom of God?”
8. Another part of understanding the concept of Christ being “firstborn,” is his position in regards to ALL things. Use the following Scripture to explain this concept:
9. Of course, it is plain to see that if Christ “created” ALL THINGS, then, He himself was not created (though many false religions teach this). What are the “all things” that Christ created? v 16 a, b
10. Why were all things created? v 16c
11. Before anything was created, who was in existence? v 17
12. Scientists that refuse to believe in the Creator are puzzled, and they can not understand how things in our universe hold together and continue to function. What do believers in Jesus know about the stability of the universe?v 17
13. How did Christians receive the knowledge of how the universe is held together?
II Timothy 3:15-16
14. What is Jesus’ relationship to the church? v 18 a
NOTE: Not only a head of government and direction, as the king is the head of the state and has the right to prescribe laws, but a head of vital influence, as the head in the natural body: for all strength and grace are derived from him; and the church is his body.
MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY Acts to Revelation p 753
15. How did the church begin? v 18b
16. Who was the first and only one who rose from the dead by his own power, the first one to be raised from the dead to die no more (firstborn from the dead) ? v 18c
17. What does Jesus being the firstborn from the dead offer to us who believe in him?
I Corinthians 15:20, 23; I Thessalonians 4:16
18. Who has the first place in everything (the preeminence)? v 18d
19. Use the following Scripture to show the pre-eminence of Christ: