Epistle To The Colossians
(and to those at Fletcher)
Colossians 1:4 -- We have heard of your trust in the Messiah Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people.
This is how St. Paul commends the Christians at Colosse; can others say the same about the Christians at Fletcher?
Colossians 1:5 -- the confident hope that you will receive what is stored up for you in heaven.
What is stored up on Heaven for Christians?
Colossians 1:13 & 14 -- [The Father] has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. It is through His Son that we have redemption -- that is, our sins have been forgiven.
If you are trusting in any other means of forgiveness of sins, then you are trying some method other than God's methods. The world's "religions" will always come up short.
Colossians 1:15 -- He [the Son] is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation because by Him all things were created -- in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities -- they have all been created through Him and for Him.
A few years ago people were saying that Jesus is just a "window" unto God. St. Paul didn't say that. He said that Jesus is supreme over all, that Jesus was/is the Creator of all things.
Colossians 1:17 -- He [Jesus] existed before all things, and He holds everything together.
Jesus has existed before everything, He is the Eternal. And it is in Jesus that all things concist (hold together and have their being). Ever wonder about the power of the atom; the electons rapidly spinning around the nucleus ... yet they don't fly apart. How is it that the molecules hold together? What is the "source" of so much power? It is Jesus who "holds everything together".
Colossians 1:18 -- And He [Jesus, God's dear Son] 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.
If it is His Church, then He is (or should be) the Head of it. Though He, in His glorified Body, is physically in Heaven, interceding for us; but in a sense the Church is His body here on Earth.
Jesus, "Who is the beginning". Not just that He existed "in the beginning"; rather, that He is the beginning. As in Revelation we read that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the A and the Z; and in Hebrews 12:2 we read that Jesus is the "Author and Finisher" of our Faith.
Not only is Jesus the Beginning; but also He is "the firstborn from the dead"; He is the first to Rise from the Dead. Jesus is the firstfruits of the Resurrection (I Corinthians 15:23). The Old Testament Festival of Firstfruits ... the first of the harvest was the promise of more similar to come. Christ, the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, the First to rise from the dead. The promise of more, similar, to come -- when those who belong to Jesus will also rise in glorious Resurrection bodies when He comes again.
Jesus, Who created all things;
Jesus, the Author of our Faith;
Jesus, the first to rise from the Dead;
Jesus, Who will come again
and summon us (our bodies) to rise --
made like Him, like Him we rise.
"that in all things He might have the preeminence.", that He might have "first place". That was the motto of Arizona Bible Institute.