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Christ Assembly │ Trinity │ The Deity of Christ

Father, Son, Holy Spirit: One God,

Three Divine Persons

Part Three

The Deity of Christ

Colossians 1:15, Page 1841

       I have heard from people that they want to see God right now, and if He would appear in front of them (at their command), then they would believe.  For those people, they claim that seeing is believing.   Jesus faced a similar question from one of His disciples: “Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.'”  Jesus had a simple answer for Philip: “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?  The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:8-10, page 1684).  Today, we will study the Bible so that we can learn more about the deity of Jesus and what it means to see God.

Colossians 1:15, Page 1841

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” 

      The Image of the Invisible God.   Just as Jesus explained to Philip, so Jesus now uses Paul to explain how Jesus is the image (“εἰκὼν“) of the invisible God.   When we see Jesus, we see the Father.  Humans always tend to think in physical terms, and not see the spiritual dimensions of anything.  Yet, Jesus teaches us about seeing the spiritual things.   Jesus told us that the things we see are temporal (“πρόσκαιρα“), but the things which are not seen are eternal (“αἰώνια) (2 Corinthians 4:18, page 1808).  In Colossians 1:15, page 1841, Jesus emphasizes a profound point with His declaration of Himself as the image of the invisible God. He wants us to know that we can see God in the flesh by seeing Him, and He performs that acts of God.  In John 14:8-10, page 1684, Jesus not only told Philip that Philip had seen God by looking at Jesus, but Jesus further explained to Philip that the works that Jesus did testified of God the Father present within God the Son (John 14:11-15, page 1685).  In Colossians 1:15, page 1841, Jesus will now explain that Jesus does the works of His Father, and then looks to the work of creation.  As a side note, this same pattern of seeing into the spiritual world includes looking at the works of a man.  To understand who you are spiritually, take a look at the works you are doing (3 John 1:11, page 1911).   So as you go through your life today, you can watch the works of people and get a very good idea of what they are like spiritually (1 John 3:10, page 1906-1907).

        The Firstborn of Creation.   Many people who deny the deity of Christ point to Colossians 1:15, page 1841, and try to prove that God created Jesus, calling Him the firstborn of all creation.  They overlook: (1) other passages that help us understand this passage; and (2) the meaning of the term “firstborn” (“πρωτότοκος“); and (3) the context of Colossians 1:15, page 1841.    Please take a moment and turn to John 1:1, page 1563.  We see there that the Word was with God and the Word was God.  In John 1:14, page 1564, we see that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld the glory as of the only begotten (“μονογενοῦς“) of the Father, full of grace and truth.  Some Bible scholars tell us that this term “only begotten” does not speak of physical birth, but rather means “unique” or “one of a kind.”  So the phrase means the unique Son of God, the one and only Son of God.  Now turning to the meaning of “firstborn”, (2) above, Bible scholars also tell us that the term “firstborn” means to “have a unique relationship,” and refers to relationship with higher or better status.  Colossians 1:16, page 1841, corresponding to (3) above, helps us understand the nature of this unique relationship enjoyed by Jesus.  He stands as the “firstborn” of creation, not because Jesus was created first, but rather that He created all things and has a unique relationship to the rest of creation as the Creator of all creation.  In summary, I also do not discount the fact that both John 1:14, page 1564, and Colossians 1`:14, page 1841, may both be speaking of the incarnation of Christ, meaning that John speaks of Jesus and only begotten in the sense that Jesus was made flesh and dwelt among us, referring “only begotten” to His birth in the flesh, and then “firstborn” as unique to the rest of creation.  In no case does the Bible teach that Jesus was ever created or born in the sense that He came into existence.  We find no mention of any “mother” of Jesus, except Mary the wife of Joseph, and she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20, page 1502).  Jesus became flesh, and dwelt among us, as God in the flesh, full of the glory of God and the truth of God, because He was, and is, and will always be, God.

       So we learn more about the deity of Jesus today.

    ●  Jesus is the image of the invisible God, so that we see God at work in Jesus, and speaking through Jesus throughout the Bible.

  ●  Jesus is the firstborn of creation, meaning He has a unique relationship to creation, because He is the Creator of creation.

   ●  Jesus created each one of us, and we should adore Him as our Creator. 

Application for Today

        As I live today, I will be pondering my Creator, and His works as the bodily representation of the invisible God.  I will worship Him, and give Him glory in my heart as God who took flesh, and dwelt among men.  As my Creator, He knows all about every one every thing He created.  I can trust Him with everything I face today, and He will take care of me today and forever.  In Christ, I look forward to a great day today.  Are you looking at the Creator today?

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