Friday, January 13, 2012

4. Colossians 1

(This is the seventh in a series of ten posts counting down my ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. My friend David is also counting down his ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. You can find the corresponding post on his blog by clicking here.)

If I had to choose one chapter to explain to someone who Christ is, I would choose Colossians 1. Just like Christ and the church are counterparts, Colossians 1 and Ephesians 2 are counterparts. Colossians 1 reveals many different aspects of Christ, while Ephesians 2 reveals many different aspects of the church.

After some introductory verses, we get to verses 12-22, which are the meat of the chapter discussing the person and work of Christ. In these verses Christ is revealed as...
  • The allotted portion of the saints (v. 12): Christ is our all-inclusive land and each of the saints has a portion in this land, just like the children of Israel each had a portion of the good land of Canaan.
  • The image of the invisible God (v. 15): No one has ever seen God (John 1:18) because He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16), but Christ is the image of God on the earth.
  • The firstborn of all creation (v. 15): Christ is the creator, but also part of the creation, and in this, like all other things, He has preeminence.
  • The glue that holds the universe together (v. 17): Okay, the verse says "all things cohere in Him", but the Greek word literally means to hold everything together.
  • The head of the body, the church (v. 18): Like the head of a human body, Christ is the one orchestrating the movement of all the members of His body, which is the church.
These verses also reveal that Christ has...
  • Delivered us out of the authority of darkness (v. 13)
  • Transferred us into the kingdom of the Son (v. 13)
  • Created all things (v. 16)
  • Made peace through the blood of His cross (v. 20)
  • Reconciled us to God through His death (v. 22)
But despite all the revelation about who Christ is and what He has accomplished, it is a small verse at the end of the chapter that really catapults Colossians 1 into top four status. This verse shows us that the Christ who we learned so much about earlier in the chapter is not just for our objective knowledge, but for our subjective experience, because he actually lives inside of us! Here it is, verse 27:
"To whom [the saints] God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
This Christ lives in us in our spirit (2 Timothy 4:22), and He is spreading in us by transforming our soul (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18), and He will eventually transfigure our body with His glory (Philippians 3:21). Christ dwelling in us and desiring to spread in us is our hope of glory!


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