“He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
---End of Scripture Verses---
Jesus is “the head of the body, the church” (verse 18). The church of Jesus Christ does not have a chief earthly ruler or headquarters. There is no ruling class or committee or governing body that makes policy, determines doctrine or delegates authority. Jesus reigns over His church kingdom seated at the right hand of His Father’s throne in heaven as Supreme Ruler. He has dictated His will and commands to us through the inspired revelation that has been perfectly preserved throughout the ages in the pages of the New Testament.
Jesus is the “firstborn from the dead.” He is not the first person to ever be resurrected from the dead, but He is the only one who has arisen by His own power and authority, and the only one to remain alive and in a glorified form after having arisen. Jesus holds “first place” or “preeminence in everything.” He is God in all “fullness” (verse 19), form (verse 15) and essence. He is the Creator of the Universe, and all things were made “through Him and for Him” (verse 17). He is the ruler of eternity, of all creation and of the church that He purchased “through the blood of His cross” (verse 20).
The Father chose Jesus, and Him alone, to “reconcile all things to Himself” and make “peace” between Himself and mankind (verse 20). There is no other way to an eternity with the Father in heaven than through the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 14:6), and our faith in Him and obedience to His commands. The only way to live with God’s grace and favor, and to have things ultimately end well for you is to give Jesus “first place in everything” in your life.
Please read Colossians 1:21-23 for tomorrow.
- Louie Taylor
The city of Colosse was located in the district of Phrygia in the province of Asia (Minor – modern day Turkey), and it was in close proximity to the cities of Hierapolis and Laodicea, the latter of which Paul wanted this letter read to (4:13, 16). Once a large and prosperous city that flourished because of its wool garment industry, by the time of Paul’s writing in the first century, Colosse was in decline, especially in comparison to its sister cities of Hierapolis and Laodicea.
It is not known how the church began in Colosse but it is unlikely that Paul had a part in its inception because it appears that he was personally unknown to the churches in that area (2:1). Jews from Phrygia were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost when the church of Christ was established (Acts 2:10), so perhaps some of those played a part in converting some of the locals to Christ when they returned home. Epaphras worked diligently to spread the truth with Paul and he was from Colosse (4:12), and he actually preached the Gospel there (1:7), so he may have been instrumental in starting up the congregation.
It seems that the main reason Paul wrote this letter was to warn the brethren to “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (2:8-9). There was an element among the brethren in the region that was teaching damning heresy that may have been a combination of early Gnosticism and old Judaism.
Twice in the letter Paul emphasized that all the fullness of deity dwelt in Christ in bodily form (1:19: 2:9), which is a direct refutation of the gnostic principle that flesh is inherently evil. The Apostle also warned the brethren against the keeping of Jewish holy days which were “a mere shadow” of the truth and substance that has since been revealed in Christ Jesus (2:16-17). Paul wanted these brethren to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that” they would be able to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (1:9-10).
Please read Colossians 1:1-8 for tomorrow.
Have a blessed day!
- Louie Taylor