Today we’ll look at Colossians 1:18, 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.
Christ is the head of the church (v. 18). Just as we need our physical head to direct our body, so we need to be guided and directed by Christ. Our physical body is absolutely dependent on our head, so the body of Christ is absolutely dependent on him. A body without a head dies, and so the church dies if she doesn’t hold fast to the head. Thus we see the sovereignty of Christ over the body, and we also see the dependence of the body on him. This verse shows us that Christ is the one and only true source of life for the body (see 2:19). For the church to grow, she must hold fast to the head.
Christ is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might be preeminent. Christ says that he is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 22:13). In the beginning, he was there and, as we saw in the past verse, all things were created through him and for him. In the end, he will return and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
- What are some practical ways that we “hold on to Christ”?
- Do you believe that the church’s only hope for spiritual growth is our dependence on Christ? How are we in danger of depending on human methods in the church today?
- Are you prepared to stand before Christ on the day of judgment?