Archive for June 27th, 2014


For this post, we will be covering Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

  • He is before all things“:
    • Question: Is this statement referring to God’s supreme dignity or His pre-existence?
      • Answer: The author is referring not only to His dignity, but also to his pre-existence.  Since He is before all things, Jesus Christ is also before time.
    • “He” is in the emphatic position
      • Nothing is before all things, but God alone.  Only one who is eternal can be before all things.
      • John 17:5, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
      • John 8:58-59, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”
      • There is no way one can ignore the pre-existence of Christ.  You can’t just point to his pre-eminence and not include His pre-existence.
  • And in Him all things hold together“:
    • “In Him”:  This is conditional, meaning that life’s existence is dependent upon God.
    • According to the tense of the verb “together,” what He holds by His sustaining power, is still sustained by Christ now; and nothing can remove itself or act on its own will.
    • God is not only the Creator & Founder, but He is also the Preserver of all things.  If Christ, ceased to preserve you, your breathe would be sucked out from your soul and you would return back to the dust where you belong (Job 34:14-15; cf. Ps. 104:29).
    • Other verses to consider:
      • Isa 41:4, “Who has performed and accomplished it,
        Calling forth the generations from the beginning?
        ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
      • Re 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
      • Acts 17:28, “For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”
      • Hebrews 1:3, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
        • The word “upholds” is purposeful.  The verb “upholds” is in the present, active, participle.  That implies that God continues to uphold all things.
        • Implication: Give glory to Him because without Him you are nothing.  You are small before the eye of your Creator.  The fact that we live is a sign of God’s grace and mercy.
    • Colossians 1:17 points not only to the eternality of God, but also to the providence of our eternal God.  In His providence, we see His preservation, concurrence, and His government.  I like how Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology book defines all three words.  For example, for preservation, he says, “God keeps all created things existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them” (316).  For concurrence, he states, “God cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do” (317).  As for Government, He states, “God has a purpose in all that he does in the world and he providentially governs or directs all things in order that they accomplish his purposes” (331). For our next installment, my goal is to go into a little more into depth concerning how the eternal God functions in the area called providence.  I don’t mean to go beyond the scope of our series on Christology called, “Deity and Eternality,” but since notions of providence is attached to Colossians 1:17, I think it will be beneficial to tackle it.  This is a great verse to use in evangelism.  The sinner needs to know how small he is and how great God is in his little world.

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