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Truths about the Lord Jesus Christ

By: Scott Morton

Colossians 1:15-18

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

The Apostle Paul is explaining some things here about who the Lord Jesus Christ is to these saints in Colossae. There would have been some struggles at the time of Paul's writing, as there were those who had rejected Him as the Messiah that were being preached to and that were causing problems for Paul in his ministry. This continued rejection influenced many people, which led to Paul having to confirm some of these things for the members of the Body of Christ.

It is unfortunate that this is still going on today. There are unbelievers who still reject who He is, but there are also believers who teach things which attack the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. These things can cause confusion for many people, as these things run contrary to what the Word of God is actually saying to individuals today. Paul is saying these things so there will be clarity and individuals will be able to stand on the truth of the doctrine which is being laid out.

The first thing Paul states is He is the image of the invisible God. This means that the Lord Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation of God. This is clearly seen in some other passages in the Bible as well.

Hebrews 1:1-3

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The author of the book of Hebrews speaks on how the Lord Jesus Christ is the image of the person of God the Father. This passage, along with many of the other ones below, show how each of the parts of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) are actually separate entities that all make up the Godhead. 1 John 5:7 speaks about how these three are one. Some individuals will teach things which will go contrary to this. In order to do that, one has to start explaining away passages that speak about how all three parts of the Godhead are separate from each other.

By stating this, the author of the book of Hebrews is showing how those that see the Lord Jesus Christ are seeing the Father. They are able to function together in the manner of the Godhead and yet remain distinct. This is truly amazing and can cause so much confusion for some.

John 14:6-12

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. [8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? [10] Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. [11] Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. [12] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

The thought process of many is that they want to be able to see God the Father. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking of how they are connected and the issue of seeing one means that one has seen the entire Godhead. This connection is reflected later on in what the Apostle Paul says:

Colossians 2:9

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

In Christ dwells the entire Godhead. There is a connection between them that is reflected in the fact that they are declared one, yet are still able to be seen as distinct. This is why He can be called the image of the invisible God. We are not able to see God the Father. This was true in Israel's program as well, as Moses had wanted to see God and was only shown a fraction of the glory of God.

While we are not are able to see God the Father, there was the ability to see God the Son. He had been seen during His earthly ministry and was seen in the glory of heaven by the Apostle Paul. There is this ability which is part of how the Godhead has a relationship with man. He also had to be seen in this manner in order to be the sacrifice for sin, which is the purpose for His coming.

This coming is why it talks about Him being the firstfruits. This happened in order to take care of the issue of sin:

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. [21] For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

There is a particular order which is given related to the resurrection. The first to experience this is the Lord Jesus Christ. This happened so there could be a victory over death and the issue of sin being taken care of for us. He had to be the first to experience the resurrection so there would be a pattern for others to be identified in.

While there were other individuals who had been raised from the dead prior, there is a major difference. These individuals ended up experiencing physical death again. It was only a temporary solution to the problem of death. What the verse here is speaking of is the permanent solution, where the resurrection takes care of this.

Paul identifies this is for those that are Christ's at His coming. This coming is speaking of the coming for the members of the Body of Christ, the event which is known as the Day of Christ. This is where we will meet Him in the air, receive our glorified bodies, experience the Judgment Seat of Christ, and then will receive the rewards based on the gold, silver, and precious stones which remain. This is for all that are His, which are those who are in Christ. An individual ends up in this condition once they have put their trust in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Romans 6:3-6

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The Apostle Paul speaks here about the reality of the identity we have. The moment we put our trust in the gospel, we are identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what it truly means to be in Christ, as this is how God can look at us, see His Son in us, and declare all of the wonderful blessings which have been given to us to be the reality of who we are.

Acts 26:19-23

Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: [20] But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. [21] For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. [22] Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: [23] That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

This passage shows how the resurrection is a central part of the message which has been given to Paul. He goes back to this over and over, as this is where the victory truly is. This is why there are so many problems for people when they deny the resurrection, as it is key to what the message for this dispensation is.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. [17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [18] And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In our identity that we have, all things have become new. We are identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, which we have seen the Apostle Paul make a reference to many times. This became the reality for us the moment we put our trust in the gospel message.

Our responsibility as ambassadors for Christ is to carry this message forth. We are to be preaching this so there can be reconciliation between God and man. This is why the idea of a ministry of reconciliation and a word of reconciliation is mentioned as being part of what has been given to us. We are to be actively preaching this message to the world, so they can receive the benefits of being a member of the Body of Christ.

The Apostle Paul declares the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Creator. This is something that many people are trying to deny now, as they do not believe in the accounts in the Bible related to the creation. Because of this, they have to be questioning the Word of God, and declaring in their mind that it is a myth. The Word of God produces faith in the life of an individual (Romans 10:17), which is why we know the things written in it are the truth.

The Bible makes it clear that there was a creation event and the Lord Jesus Christ was responsible for the creation. The following are just a few passages which reinforce this:

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Ephesians 3:9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Psalm 33:6-9

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. [7] He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. [8] Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. [9] For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Hebrews 1:1-3

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 1:8-10

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. [9] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. [10] And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Revelation 4:11

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

These passages show how it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is involved in the work of the creation. These events were done for a particular purpose and He was involved in the entire process. This is important to note, as some attempt to lessen who He is, as they state He was created during this time as well or that He is lower then God the Father and would only have been watching these events as they unfolded.

The question some might ask is these passages do seem to imply the Lord Jesus Christ is lower than God the Father. They state how God the Father created everything through the Lord Jesus Christ, which they would say indicates this fact. The Bible is clear in the definition of who God is (three in one). The Bible also clearly indicates how the Godhead is united in purpose, but each part of the Godhead has different responsibilities. The Lord Jesus Christ had the role of being active in the creation. There is no ranking order; this is how the Godhead functions.

As the Apostle Paul continues to describe things of the Lord Jesus Christ in our original text, we see he shifts into some things related to the governmental positions which are set up in the angelic realm. These positions can be seen in a couple of other passages as well:

Ephesians 1:18-23

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. [11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

These passages show how there are a number of positions which are in the heavenly places which the members of the Body of Christ are having battles with currently. These positions are also things which have been promised to us. These will be given to us when we are at the Judgment Seat of Christ and receive the rewards which are given out at that time. This is when we will fill these things and we function as His inheritance. This is the preeminence which is given in these positions.

These positions can be laid out in an order which shows what can be attained to by the members of the Body of Christ:

Principality: This position refers to the highest rank or authority. It would be the equivalent in our line of thinking to the leader of the country. This position is found in Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16.

Power: This position refers to the idea of a ruling authority which has been given a designated position. This position is found in Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16.

Might: This position refers to an individual who has been given the right to exercise some level of authority. This position is found in Ephesians 1:21.

Throne: This position refers to an individual who is the seat of authority over a local, geographic region. This position is found in Colossians 1:16.

Dominion: This position refers to an individual who has been given lordship over a particular area. This position is found in Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16.

Spiritual darkness/light: This position refers to an individual who is functioning in the role of an emissary or ambassador. This position is found in Ephesians 5:14 and Ephesians 6:12.

Spiritual Wickedness: This position refers to someone whose role it is to cause deception. This position is found in Ephesians 6:12. It is apparent that the functioning of this position will change during the dispensation of the fullness of times.

Every name that is named: This position refers to a worker who is performing their job. This position is found in Ephesians 1:21.

These positions are laid out in a manner where every member of the Body of Christ is going to be placed into one of these positions at the Judgment Seat of Christ. For those who have nothing remaining and are still saved, yet so as by fire, they will be placed into the every name that is named position. This is the glorious thing about knowing we have the guarantee of our salvation (Ephesians 1:3). There is nothing which can prevent us from being in at least this position.

Our performance on earth impacts whether we are building gold, silver, and precious stones. This determines which of the other positions we are going to be placed into. We all have the opportunity to get to the principality position, which is where we know the Apostle Paul is. He speaks about how he finished his course (2 Timothy 4:6-8) and knows he has a position in the heavenly places waiting for him. Paul has laid out the pattern for us and we are responsible to function in a manner where we could get to this same place.

The Apostle Paul also speaks about how the Lord Jesus Christ is before all things. This is the position He has and the Bible confirms this position:

Hebrews 1:1-3

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The author of the book of Hebrews speaks on how the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who made everything in the universe. As a result of who He is, including the fact that he is the express image of God the Father, He is above all of the things which have been created. He will be ruling over the, which is exactly what Paul has been speaking of.

Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? [2] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, [3] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. [4] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. [5] Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. [6] Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. [7] I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [8] Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. [9] Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. [10] Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. [11] Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. [12] Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

This Psalm looks at some things related to the rulership over the creation, especially as the earth is heading into the kingdom. The people on the earth as a whole will be attempting to reject this idea at first. In order to get this to the place where the Godhead has planned, there will be a rule with a rod of iron, punishing those who are disobedient. This is the demonstration of being before all things.

The good news for us in the Body of Christ is that He has a completely different position. Paul identifies in the original passage that He is the Head over the Body. This is a position Paul brings up several times in the book of Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:20-23

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 4:14-15

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Ephesians 5:23-24

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. [24] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

The Lord Jesus Christ functions as the head of the Body of Christ. He has the position of authority in the Body to where all members are to be subject to. This occurs as we allow the doctrine to dwell in us and guide what we do during our daily walk. The members of the Body of Christ become conformed to his image and prepare for the positions of authority which are promised for us in the heavenly places. This is something which never could have been said to Israel.

The Apostle Paul gives us the doctrine we need for our lives today. This should impact all areas of our life. It includes how we are to look at all things, including who the Lord Jesus Christ is. It is only by understanding this doctrine that we can truly have an impact on our lives.




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