Today we’ll look at Colossians 1:15, but I’ll read vv. 15-20 in its entirety:
He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
How can we see an invisible God? How can we know Him? How can we see him interact and know His characteristics?
Christ came to earth in bodily form. He was able to be touched, heard, viewed, etc. He was a real person and, at the same time, God. He is the image of the invisible God. He said that if we know him we know the Father. He is the exact representation of God (Heb. 1:3), and the Father’s communication to the world (John 1:1).
We can’t be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1) if we don’t know what he’s like. Thankfully, he has revealed himself to us; as we read the word we know what Christ taught, what he did, and how he treated people.
The second part of v. 15 says that Christ is the firstborn of all creation. Firstborn does not mean that He was created first, for Christ was never created. This was the error of Arius in the fourth century, whose teaching that Christ was a created being was condemned as heresy. The Nicene Creed clarified the biblical teaching against Arius’ heresy. There was never a time when Christ didn’t exist. He has pre-existed with the Father for all of eternity past. Instead, “firstborn of all creation” is a metaphorical illustration of his preeminence over all things.
- Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). How is it different that we are made in the image of God and that Christ is the image of God?
- Are you striving to imitate Christ? How can we know what God is like?
- Do you seek to grow in your knowledge and understanding of God each day, or have you assumed the lie that you already know all about him?
- Why is it important to understand that Christ was never created but has always existed?