A Study of Colossians 1:13–19
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: 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 1:13-19)
Yes, over the past few weeks I have had a lot to say regarding this passage of Scripture. It is quite likely never enough will be said about the exalted state of our wonderful Lord and Savior.
The passage leads to this point—that in all things He might have the preeminence. This is the place of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Father’s estimation. It very well should be the place that He holds in ours as well. Notice that His place of preeminence defines what this fullness that dwells in Him is. The Father estimates the Son to be worthy of first place in everything. That is the fullness that resides in Christ.
Let us go back to everything that the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle to write about describing the first place, the preeminence of Christ throughout this passage.
- He has preeminence in the heart of God, as His dear Son, or the Son of His Love—vs.13
- He has preeminence in the kingdom of God, that is all that God is sovereign over, in that it is His Kingdom. It is the kingdom of the Son of God’s love! He is King—vs.13.
- He has preeminence in redemption as the Redeemer, and the price. We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins—vs.14.
- He has preeminence over all of creation, in that He created all things. This is His place as the preeminent one in the first creation—vss.15-16.
- He is preeminent in all the workings of the universe: by Him all things consist—vs.14.
- He preeminent in the new creation, the body, in that He is the head and the beginning of the new creation of God—vs.18.
- He is preeminent over death in that He us the victor, and all resurrection can only take root in Christ—vs.18.
So this is just the beginning of this wonderful epistle of the fullness that is Christ. He completes all. We will see in the next chapter that it is in Christ where the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily. Imagine, the fullness of the invisible God dwelling in a body—a Man’s body. But this is the second Man. He is the Lord from Heaven. We will see too that because the fullness or the completeness of the Godhead dwells in Him, and because the believer is in Him, the believer is complete in Him. No good works, religion, or anything else can add to the completeness that is found in Christ.
Do you need love? The completeness of the love of God is IN CHRIST!
Do you need righteousness? The completeness of the righteousness of God is IN CHRIST!
Do you need life? Eternal life, the life of the Eternal God is IN CHRIST!
Whatever it is that we may think is our greatest need, all fullness dwells in Christ. If you have Him, or better still, He has you, all that you need you already have.
The fullness described in Ephesians 1:23 states that the church which is His body is the fullness of Him who fills all in all. It is the body that He is Head over. The people of God are special to Him. This is how the relationship of Christ to the church which is His body is described:
…Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Now, we must be careful here not to confuse this with any religious organization, nor the sum-total of all the so-called Christian churches, for this assembly is the one new man which is made up of members who are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). These are they that have heard the gospel of their salvation (Ephesians 1:13) and believed on Him who was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).
To the individual Christian, Paul writes:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
As members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Ephesians 5:30), we are in Christ and called to a holy calling to represent Him. The wonder of it all is that He owes to mankind absolutely nothing, yet by grace has provided reconciliation to the world (all the world is savable, and there is not one person that cannot be saved), propitiation toward God on our behalf, and salvation to all who come to God by Him, hearing the word of truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and rose again from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and He will save you, and you will be complete in Him.