Monday, February 6, 2017

Colossians 1:18

In this verse, we find the seventh and eighth identifying marks that Paul establishes. Paul shows Him as the “head of the body”, or the assembly. The Greek word used for he in this passage is emphatical.[1] It signifies that it is He alone, and not anyone else. It is not the angels, in spite of some of the false teaching on angelology. 

The usage of the word for head (Greek kephale) is used in the Scriptures often in a metaphorical sense, the head being the part that provides life while exercising control and direction. Paul uses this concept to describe the relation of The Father to the Son, Christ to the church, and the husband to the wife. In this passage, Paul is giving us an understanding of the connection of Christ with the church – there is an organic relationship where we find this as a living entity, and also figuratively, Jesus Christ is the Lord of the church.

The congregation referred to here is often translated as the church. Paul utilizes a number of different terminologies to bring out varying conceptual thoughts of the church. He calls it “the bride of Christ” (Ephesians 5:22 – 32) or as a building, which could be the foundation or the chief cornerstone (1 Cor.3:11; Eph. 2:20). With the concept of the church being the body of Christ, we can further understand Paul’s speaking of believers being “in Christ” and of Christ being in them.[2]

Paul connects the thought of Christ being the beginning with the statement made in verse 15 by the use of the same phrase “Who is.”[3] In both creation and the resurrection, Jesus receives the titles of “the beginning,” and “the firstborn.” The word beginning (Greek arche) carries the connotations of the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader. It can also be used in relation to that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause, or the first place, principality, rule, or magistracy. So, Christ is not the first in a series, He is the source.

That leads into the eighth identifying mark, that in everything He is preeminent. The word he is again in the emphatic form, designating that it is that Christ alone, not angels, not man, but Jesus only has preeminence.He is first place, He is in a class by Himself, and thus deserves to hold the right to have His Will prevail throughout all Creation. Despite the rebellion of the Angelic forces, even through the rebellion of man, God is moving toward the final outcome that Jesus will reside upon the throne. 

Prayer: Jesus, Lord of all Creation, I bow humbly before You. As the Father has planned, You alone are worthy of the preeminent place. All created beings will eventually bow the knee to You. Some will bow in submission to Your victory. Others will bow in humble adoration of their King of Kings. I seek to bow to You, loving Savior, Lord of my life. I lift Your Name in praise and worship today. In Your precious name, I pray, Amen. 

[1] Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset and David Brown. A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - Volume 3. Vol. 3. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008. Page 442. And, Falwell, Jerry, ed. Liberty Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. Page 2457. 
[2] Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3; and the connecting thought presented by Christ in John 15:1 – 8. 
[3] In verse 15, Paul is referring to Christ in relation to Creation.

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