Our Glorious Reality in Christ
A Glorious Section
If there is one section of the Bible which gives me goosebumps, it is Chapter 1 of the Book of Colossians, verses 13-17. Contained in this section are two things: One is the proclamation of the glorious reality of Christ. Two is the glorious reality of our position in Christ.
The primary motivation for the apostle Paul in writing the Book of Colossians was to combat false teaching arising in the church, a heresy which would eventually come to be known as Gnosticism. Some of the characteristics of Gnosticism were:
The observance of the Old Testament Law.
The requirement of deeper (mystical) knowledge of God.
The worship of angels as mediators to God.
Exclusivism – that only by perfection can a select few truly worship God.
Denial of the deity of Christ.
To counteract the false teachings of Gnosticism, Paul penned one of the greatest proclamations of Christ's deity found in Scripture.
The Glorious Proclamation
Don't forget, the Gnostics were saying Jesus was not God. Paul declared otherwise, and did so magnificently in Colossians 1:15-17:
[W] ho 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.
Unfortunately, some have stumbled over the word firstborn. This does not mean Jesus was born, but rather that He is supreme among all creation; precedes the entirety of creation; and is sovereign and pre-eminent over all creation.
The key phrase, however, is, for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. The meaning is crystal clear. In Genesis 1:1, we read: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. If in Genesis God created the heavens and the earth, and in Colossians we read that Jesus created the heavens and the earth, then the Bible's teaching is unmistakable: Jesus IS God!
And not only did Jesus create all things, but by him all things consist [hold together]. In other words, if Jesus were to remove His empowering hand from the workings of the universe, all things would unravel, turn into chaos, and immediately cease to exist. However, Jesus, as God, has full control over the universe, and because of this, we live!
Our Glorious Reality
Because of this wondrous proclamation of truth – that Jesus is indeed God and the Creator of all things – we can set our every soul's delight on the glorious reality of where we, as believers in the Lord Jesus, stand in Him. Colossians 1:13-14 assures us that: [He] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [transferred] us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
In other words, as human beings born into sin (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6), we were part of Satan's dark kingdom – this world and universe – and thereby destined for eternal damnation apart from God for eternity (John 3:36; 1 John 5:11-12). However, because Jesus Christ is God, and because He died on the cross at Calvary to make atonement for your sins and mine, we have been transferred out of darkness.
This means we have been removed from the sphere of reality in which our destiny would be eternal damnation. Not only have we been removed from this sphere of reality, but we have been reassigned, or relocated, into a new sphere of reality, this being the Kingdom of light which belongs to the Lord Jesus.
In this sphere of eternal light, we have been granted redemption. The image here is of a slave in a slave market, available to the highest bidder. In this case, the slave market is the slave market of sin, and we are sentenced there for life. However, the Lord Jesus, by His substitutionary death on the cross, paid the price for us to get out of the sin slave market.
Not only did He purchase us, but He brought us to live with Him for eternity, basking in eternal light because of the forgiveness of our sins He has granted us.
This is our glorious reality in Christ. May God find us thankful and rejoicing in the marvelous light of this glorious reality!
David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion's Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion's Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.