The image of the invisible God

The image of the invisible God

You alone are the LORD. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you. – Nehemiah 9:6

Colossians 1:15-19

 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,

 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.

 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ.

From time immemorial, people have pondered where the planet Earth, stars, human life, animal life, and everything else came from. How did it all begin? Who created the heavens and the earth? Religious beliefs throughout the world suggest answers that are often less than stellar. The Scriptures answer emphatically that God created all.

The truth of the Scripture is infinitely layered and progressively revealed through roughly 2000 years. It begins with a simple statement.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In simple terms, God created all that is. God is thought of as the ultimate supreme being. He has created everything with a simple word.

Genesis 1:1 is a one-line summary. It is an introduction to the rest of Scripture where the details are elaborated. For example, Genesis 1 covers the six days of creation. Genesis 2 focuses on the creation of Adam and Eve.

Psalms 33:9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

Isaiah 45:11-12

 11 This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel and your Creator . . ..

 12 I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command.

The three persons of the triune God are seen in the Old Testament. The Son and the Holy Spirit are somewhat veiled and elusive. The majority of the focus is on the Father God who is simply referred to as the Lord, Yahweh, or God.

The New Testament provides more detail. It indicates that the Trinitarian Godhead is a unity of three individual persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

REFLECT & PRAY

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation. – Colossians 1:15

Father thank You for the clarity You have provided regarding the creation and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is marvelous to know and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the visible expression of You the invisible God.

INSIGHT

Something somewhat startling and heretofore unknown is alluded to in John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:2. The Father created everything through the Son.

John 1:3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.

Hebrews 1:2 God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the member of the Trinitarian Godhead that is responsible for the creation and maintenance of all that is.

Colossians 1:15-19

 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,

 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Everything was created by God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Further, the Lord Jesus Christ holds all of creation together. Historically, theologians have referred to Him as the agent of creation. He is the one through whom everything came into existence.

But there’s more.

Colossians 1:15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

What is the meaning of the phrase, the Lord Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all creation? This is not about His physical birth. But rather the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. He is the eternal Son and heir of the heavenly Father. “The use of the word ‘born’ or ‘begotten’ emphasizes the unique relationship between God and Jesus which is best expressed in terms of father and son; unlike all other human beings, Jesus’ relation to God is not expressed in terms of creature and creator” (UBS).

This expression is translated in many ways. The World English Bible (WEB), an updated revision of the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), renders it “He takes precedence over all the created universe.” The New English Bible NEB translates it as “his is the primacy over all created things.” Lightfoot paraphrases: “He is the Firstborn, and as the Firstborn, the absolute Heir and sovereign Lord, of all creation.” The term firstborn emphasizes the position of the Lord Jesus Christ as the heir of His heavenly Father.

The Greek word translated as firstborn is prototokos. Prototokos is derived from protosfirst and tikto – to bear, bring forth. Prototokos is “often used in the literal sense of the first to come from the womb, takes on a metaphorical significance based on the ancient attribution of preeminence to the first to be born” (Moo).

When people seek to know what is God like? The answer is the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 14:9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father.

Paul gets even more specific explaining this truly extraordinary fact.

Colossians 1:15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.

If you want to see the Father, look at the Son.

¯\_()_/¯  

© Dr. H 2022

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