Continue in the Faith

Colossians 1:23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister 

‘If you continue …’ One of 1,522 IFs in Scripture and all of them express a condition if one of them does (Deut. 8:19; Ezek. 33:13, 18; John 8:31-36; 15:6, 10, 14; Rom. 8:12-13; 11:23; 1Cor. 3:17; 15:2; Gal. 6:1; 1Thess. 3:8; 2Tim. 2:11-13, 21; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:4-9; 10:26-39; 2Pet. 1:4-10; 2:20-22; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.’ Four conditions for the blessings of Colossians 1:22: Continue in the faith. Continue grounded in the faith. Continue settled in the faith. Be not moved away from hope.

‘Hope of the gospel’ – The hope of eternal life (Acts 23:6; Rom. 8:21-25; Col. 1:27; Tit. 1:2; 2:13; 3:7; Heb. 3:6; 1Pet. 1:5-13).

‘Every creature which is under heaven.’ The gospel is offered to every creature under heaven without restrictions or limitations, but all have not heard of it as yet. The figure of speech, synecdoche: a whole is put for a part, as in Genesis 6:17; 2Samuel 6:5, 15; 1Kings 11:16-17; Daniel 2:37-38; 7:23; Matthew 3:5-6; Luke 2:1-3; Romans 1:8; Colossians 1:23 and Revelation 13:8, 16.

Reconciled

Colossians 1:21-22 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

‘And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled.’ This refers in particular to Gentiles and is similar to Ephesians 2:11-18; 4:17-19. The sixfold former state of gentiles: Uncircumcised (Eph. 2:11); without Christ (Eph. 2:12); aliens to Israel’s blessings; strangers to the covenants; having no hope in God; without God in the world.

‘In the body of his flesh through death.’ No covenant was made without blood (Ex. 24:8; Heb. 9:20), and there can be no remission of sins without it (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11). Christ’s own blood atoned for sin and it alone can redeem if accepted for personal atonement and proper terms are met (Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; John 6:53-56; 19:34; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:9; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:25; Eph. 1:7; 2:13-16; Col. 1:14-20; Heb. 9:12-15; 10:19-29; 12:24; 13:12, 20; 1Pet. 1:2, 18-23; 1Jn. 1:7; 5:6; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11).

‘To present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.’ The purpose of redemption (Col. 1:22, 28; Eph. 1:4; 1Thess. 3:13; 5:23; Heb. 12:14). God appraises man as the highest of creation. Man is worth on an equal basis with Jesus Christ in redemption – as to righteousness (1Jn. 3:7), provision by promise (1Cor. 3:22-23; 2Cor. 1:20; Heb. 8:6), nature (2Pet. 1:4), works (John 14:12), inheritance (Rom. 8:17), sufferings and future glory (Matt. 10:24-25; Rom. 8:18; 2Tim. 2:12; 1Pet. 2:21; 4:1; Rev. 2:26-27; 5:10; 22:4-5).Only through redemption in Christ will the whole creation be restored to original perfection and goodness (Gen. 3:1-24; 6:5-22; Rom. 5:12-21; 8:17-24; 1Cor. 15:24-28; 2Pet. 3:7-13; Rev. 21:1-22:5). No single species has evolved from a lower to a higher plane of life. Redemption is the Greek word lutrosis meaning a ransoming. It is from Lutron, a ransom price of redemption; an atonement; a release on receipt of a ransom price and lutroo, to redeem (1Pet. 1:18; Luke 24:21; Tit. 2:14).

Having Made Peace

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 

‘Having made peace through the blood of his cross.’ Justification is used for the final settlement between people (Job 11:2; 13:18; 27:5; 32:2; 33:32; Pro. 17:15; Luke 10:29; 16:15); of people clearing God of all wrong (Ps. 51:4; Luke 7:29; Rom. 3:26); and of people justifying themselves of all guilt (Jer. 3:11; Ezek. 16:51-52; Job 9:20; 13:18; 32:2; Luke 16:15). Thus, the meaning is clear – to declare not guilty. The justification of man by God simply means that God washes, sanctifies the believer, and declares him no longer guilty (1Cor. 6:9-11; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Acts 13:38-39). God cannot declare one not guilty before he is cleansed from all sin and made holy by the blood of Christ. Sanctification makes the sinner not guilty; justification declares him not guilty. This alone is the function of the blood of Christ: cleaning from sin which makes us holy. Pleading the blood of Christ over us for protection is unscriptural and wrong for protection from God comes from being reconciled with the Father who is the one we have to “dwell with” and “abide under” as commanded in Psalm 91.

‘To reconcile all things unto himself.’ [Greek: katallasso] change from enmity to friendship, reconcile (Rom. 5:10; 1Cor. 7:11; 2Cor. 5:18-20). God was in Christ, reconciling people to Himself. He does not impute sin to those who have confessed and are reconciled to Him (Rom. 4:7-8). God has committed to the reconciled [us] the word of reconciliation. God has made the reconciled ambassadors for Christ reconciling others by their example (2Cor. 5:20; Rom. 5:10). God made Christ a sin-offering, so that man might become righteous (2Cor. 5:21).

‘I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.’ This will be completed in the Millennium (1Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 20:1-15).

The Head of the Body – Part 2

Colossians 1:18-19 And he is the head of the body, the church [congregations]: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell

Hebrews 10:25 gives the only correct New Testament description: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

There is no difference between Christian congregations and the body of Christ, as is clear from the following in Scripture: “the church, which is His body” (Eph. 1:22-23); “He is head of the body, the church” (1:18); “His body’s sake, which is the church” (1:24).

‘Who is the beginning’ [Greek: arche] beginning, origin, first. The dateless past (Gen. 1:1; Pro. 8:23). That is, the One who began creating all things in the very beginning (1:15-18; John 1:3; Eph. 3:9; Heb. 1:2; 11:3). It could not mean that He was the first to be created by God, for He is an uncreated and eternal being (Isa. 9:6-7; Mic. 5:2; John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8).

‘Firstborn from the dead’ [Greek: aparche] firstfruits; the beginning of a thing. Here it simply means that Christ is the first to be resurrected from the dead to enter into immortality of body (1Cor. 15:51-54).

‘That in all things he might have the pre-eminence’ Christ fills all with His fullness (Eph. 1:23; 3:16-21; John 1:16 Php. 2:9-11; Col. 1:18-19; 2:9; Heb. 1:3; Matt. 28:18; 1Pet. 3:22). The Greek word pleroma means fullness, abundance, completeness. All needs and lawful wants are promised by the His gospel (2Cor. 1:20; Matt. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; John 14:12-17; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26).

The Head of the Body – Part 1

Colossians 1:18-19 And he is the head of the body, the church [congregations]: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell

‘And he is the head of the body.’ Christ is the head [centre or middle point] of Christian congregations (Eph. 5:23). He is the Saviour of it. Christian congregations must be subject to Christ in all things (Eph. 5:24). Christ gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25) and Christ sanctifies Christians with the washing of the Word (Eph. 5:26). Christ cleanses us with the washing by the Word. Christ will receive Christians to Himself (Eph. 5:27; John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Col. 3:4). Christ is making us glorious (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 3:18). Christ is making it spotless, perfect, holy and faultless. Christ nourishes it (cares for, brings up, protects it; Eph. 5:29). Christ cherishes us (fosters, warms in His bosom). We are part of Christ (Eph. 5:30-32; 1Cor. 12:12-13, 27). We are one with Christ (1Cor. 6:17; Rom. 12:4-5).

Christ is the Head, Saviour, Sanctifier, Purifier, Glorifier, Builder, Nourisher, Cherisher, Unifier, Protector, and the Receiver of all Christians (Eph. 5:23-33).

‘The church’ [Greek: ekklēsia] a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): – assembly, congregation. Please note that the King James Version like most English versions changed the word assembly and congregation to church referring to the Catholic structure of serving God through paganism.

Hebrews 10:25 gives the only correct New Testament description: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

To be continued…

He Is Before All Things – Part 2

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

As God, the person we now know as Jesus Christ had no beginning, was not begotten, was not a Son, and did not come into being. He always existed as God (Ps. 90:2; Mic. 5:2; John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8). But as man and as God’s Son He was not eternal. He had a beginning. He was begotten – at the same time, Mary had a Son. Therefore, the doctrine of the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ is irreconcilable to reason, unscriptural, and contradictory to itself. Eternity has no beginning, so if He has been God from eternity, then He could not have a beginning as God. Eternity has no reference to time, so if He was begotten “this day,” then it was done in time and not in eternity.

The word Son supposes time, generations, father, mother, beginning, and conception – unless one is a son by creation, as Adam (Luke 3:38), and angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Gen. 6:1-4). Time, created, and beginning, are opposites to God and eternity and are absolutely impossible to reconcile with them. If sonship refers to deity, not to humanity, then this person of the Deity had a beginning in time and not in eternity. It is plainly stated in Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5 that God had a Son “this day” and not in eternity. It is stated in Hebrews 1:5-7; Lukev1:35 and Matthew 1:18-25 when this took place. It was nearly 2,000 years ago. It had been predicted that God would have a Son (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Heb. 1:5; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:32-35). This was fulfilled when the virgin conceived “of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:20), not at any other time. To say that God had an eternal Son would mean He had two; but it is plainly stated that Jesus was “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16-18; 1Jn. 4:9).

‘By him all things consist’ – Not only did He create all things (1:16), but all things are held together by Him (Heb. 1:3).

The Image of the Invisible God – Part 5

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

As God, the person we now know as Jesus Christ had no beginning, was not begotten, was not a Son, and did not come into being. He always existed as God (Ps. 90:2; Mic. 5:2; John 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8). But as man and as God’s Son He was not eternal. He had a beginning. He was begotten – at the same time, Mary had a Son. Therefore, the doctrine of the eternal sonship of Jesus Christ is irreconcilable to reason, unscriptural, and contradictory to itself. Eternity has no beginning, so if He has been God from eternity, then He could not have a beginning as God. Eternity has no reference to time, so if He was begotten “this day,” then it was done in time and not in eternity.

The word Son supposes time, generations, father, mother, beginning, and conception -unless one is a son by creation, as Adam (Luke 3:38), and angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Gen. 6:1-4). Time, created, and beginning, are opposites to God and eternity and are absolutely impossible to reconcile with them. If sonship refers to deity, not to humanity, then this person of the Deity had a beginning in time and not in eternity. It is plainly stated in Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5; 5:5 that God had a Son “this day” and not in eternity. It is stated in Hebrews 1:5-7; Luke 1:35 and Matthew 1:18-25 when this took place. It was nearly 2,000 years ago. It had been predicted that God would have a Son (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Heb. 1:5; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:32-35). This was fulfilled when the virgin conceived “of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:20), not at any other time. To say that God had an eternal Son would mean He had two; but it is plainly stated that Jesus was “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16-18; 1Jn. 4:9).

The Image of the Invisible God – Part 4

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

With these facts it is clear in what sense Jesus is “the firstborn of every creature” or of all creation (1:15), and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). All creation came into existence by creative acts, not by a begetting as in the case of Jesus. Even the “many brethren” are not begotten in the sense Jesus was by the Holy Spirit. They were begotten by people, not by God, and were thus brought into the human family, not the family of God. The only way one gets into God’s family is by adoption (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5-6; Eph. 1:5). Jesus is the only begotten Son … the first of all creatures to be begotten of God, the only one of all beings begotten of God, the first and only one of the family of adopted and “created” brethren begotten of God (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), the first begotten of or from the dead, and the firstfruit of the resurrection of all men (1:18; 1Cor. 15:23-33; Rev. 1:5). The body of Christ (consisting of all Christian congregations) is the called-out people of the one who is the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). Adam and angels were by creation, not by begetting (Luke 3:38; Gen. 6:1-4; Job 1:6; 38:4-7).

This refers to the incarnation when the second person of the Divine Trinity took a human body to redeem (Php. 2:5-11; Isa. 7:14; 9:6). It was when God had a Son through Mary (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14). This happened on a certain day: “This day have I begotten thee” (Heb. 1:5-7). Therefore, we cannot say that God had a Son before this time. This proves that sonship in connection with God had to refer to humanity and not to deity.

To be continued…

The Image of the Invisible God – Part 3

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

Eighteen proofs that God can be seen: God has been seen with a body (note, John 4:24). Man was made bodily in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6). God ate food with Abraham (Gen. 18:8). Jacob wrestled with God (Gen. 32:24). Seventy-four men ate with God (Ex. 24:1-11). Moses saw God face to face out of His glory (Ex. 33:11; 1Tim. 6:16), and he saw His back parts when he requested to see His glory (Ex. 33:18-23).

Joshua and all Israel saw Him (Jos. 5:13-15). Gideon saw God (Jdg. 6:11-23). Samson’s parents saw Him (Jdg. 13:3-23). David saw God (1Chron. 21:16-17). Job saw God (Job 42:5). Isaiah saw and described God (Isa. 6:1-13). Amos saw the Lord (Amos 9:1). Ezekiel described God (Ezek. 1:26-28; 10:20; 40:3 with Ezek. 43:7; 47:1-6). Daniel described God, even His clothes, body, and hair (Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6). Stephen saw God and Christ (Acts 7:56). John described God (Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7). All will see God (Rev. 21:3-4; 22:4).

‘Firstborn of every creature’ – Firstborn of Creation [Greek: prototokos] firstborn (1:15, 18; Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:7; Rom. 8:29; Heb. 11:28; 12:23) and first-begotten (Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:5). It is used for Jesus the firstborn of Mary (Matt. 1:25; Luke 2:7) and the firstborn of Egyptians (Heb. 11:28). It means the first one born in the family. It must also be understood in this literal sense in connection with Jesus being the firstborn in God’s family. However, Sonship in this case refers to humanity and not to deity. These facts must be understood in connection with the following: The only begotten of the Father (John 1:14). The only begotten Son (John 1:18). His only begotten Son (John 3:16; 1Jn. 4:9). The only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). This day have I begotten Thee (Ps. 2:7; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5). I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son (Heb. 1:5).

It is used for Jesus: As the firstborn of every creature (1:15). Firstborn from the dead (1:18). Firstborn of many brethren (Rom. 8:29). The Head of His body (Christian congregations) of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). His first begotten (Heb. 1:5-6). First begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5).

To be continued…

The Image of the Invisible God – Part 2

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

He has a personal soul with feelings of grief (Gen. 6:6), anger (1Kin. 11:9), repentance (Gen. 6:6), jealousy (Ex. 20:5), hate (Prov. 6:16), love (John 3:16), pity (Ps. 103:13), fellowship (1Jn. 1:1-7), pleasure and delight (Ps. 147:10), and other soul passions like other beings (Gal. 5:22-23).

He has a personal spirit (Ps. 143:10; Isa. 30:1) with the mind (Rom. 11:34), intelligence (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 11:33), will (Rom. 8:27; 9:19), power (Eph. 1:19; 3:7, 20; Heb. 1:3), truth (Ps. 91:4), faith and hope (Rom. 12:3; 1Cor. 13:13), righteousness (Ps. 45:4), faithfulness (1Cor. 10:13), knowledge and wisdom (Isa. 11:2; 1Tim. 1:17), reason (Isa. 1:18), discernment (Heb. 4:12), immutability (Heb. 6:17), and many other attributes, powers, and spirit faculties.

He has been seen physically many times (Gen. 18:1-33; 32:24-30; Ex. 24:9-11; Jos. 5:13-15; Isa. 6:1-13; Dan. 7:9-13; Ezek. 1:1-28; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4-5) and can be understood by the things that are made. Man is the visible image and likeness making the invisible God clearly seen as in Romans 1:20.

‘Invisible’ [Greek: aoratos] (Col. 1:15-16; Rom. 1:20; 1Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:27). The word means not in sight, unseen, concealed. Invisibility consists more of distance than substance. Cities or other material objects cannot be seen even 48 kilometres away. At this distance they are invisible. Objects concealed are invisible. Anything out of eyesight is invisible. God, angels, and other spirit beings are thus invisible. They can appear or disappear at will. They have been seen with the natural eyes many times, proving that invisibility must be understood with them as with all other invisible things that can become visible.

To be continued…