Christ in Creation and Redemption
“Christ Himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for His own use and glory. . . . It was through what His Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to Him – all things in heaven and on earth – for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by His blood.”
Colossians 1:16, 20
Across the years, I learned the value of seeking advice from folk who knew what they were talking about. I got my first bicycle on my ninth birthday. I had the measles, so my mom wouldn’t let me ride it for a few days. It wasn’t long before I had my first flat tire. I knew that if I learned how I could fix that flat and others that might happen along the way. So I went to Larry Fallin’s Flying A gas station and had him teach me how to do the job. Early in our marriage, I realized that we needed to learn about doing our banking correctly, especially when borrowing money for something like a car. Before then, I had been able to scrape up enough cash to purchase the cheap car or two that I had bought mainly for me. So we went to a banker, Bill Greaby, a member of Faith’s dad’s church. He showed us how to obtain reliable loans for big-ticket purchases and not to borrow beyond our means.
Too many folks never learn the ropes of getting along with and in this world that we so fortunately have been given to live in. “Christ Himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth.” For me, among other things relating to salvation, it just seems right to find out what the Creator says we need to do to live rightfully in this world He made. He gave us an instruction manual making it clear on doing this. All we have to do is to regard it highly. It is, in the end, fairly simple. Joyce Meyer makes this observation: “The resurrection life available to Christians does not guarantee you will never have problems, it simply offers us a place in Christ to rise above the storms in life because we know that Christ is our head and He is in control of everything” (Colossians: A Biblical Study, p. 64). So as Larry Fallin sold me a tire repair kit for my bike tires, early on my mom (Florence) got me a Bible to go along with myself working my way through this world.
Jesus the Creator knows intimately about what we can’t see and what’s behind everything we can see.
He has a grasp upon kings and kingdoms, rulers and authorities, and all that eventually points to “His own use and glory.” This doesn’t mean I can stick my head in the sand and ignore the currents and cross-currents of this world. For instance: Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics Commission recently mused that too many evangelicals had become apocalyptic rather than focusing on the Apocalypse. There’s a danger of becoming too political in a mean-spirited way. The result is that many with a conservative nature –which is not wrong in itself– who are not church participants at all but like the conservative evangelical “feel” are identifying as “evangelicals”! We who are truly evangelical need to get back to focusing on the basics of our owner’s manual as it relates to Christian experience and Christian living. This we can do confidently. Mrs. Meyer writes: “The devil will not succeed in thwarting God’s plan, because it has already been completed in Christ. Everyone is not living in its fullness, but it is a finished work” (Ibid, p. 67). So our major task is promoting God’s long-range plan for those He created.
Paul goes on to say (v. 20 above) that God has cleared a path for everything finally and fully to focus on our redemption, “. . . for everything to come to Him” and His cross that makes peace with God a possibility for every person ever born into this world. Paul’s earlier declaration in Romans is so clear: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . . .” ( Romans 1:16). No one is ever predestined not to be saved. It always becomes a matter of choice according to the Word of God! We end up at the cross of Jesus, “. . . the cross [that] has made peace with God for all with His blood” (Col 1:20).
Colossians is such a power-packed letter, all four chapters! I’ve only highlighted two verses, 16 and 20 in this first chapter today. But they are chocked full of the bountiful goodness and blessings of God for those who will seek Him fully. And it is a universal and timeless exhortation for anyone and everyone who ever is born into this world. It here offers a basic introduction of life’s most important owners manual for getting our directions straight. Yes, I needed as a kid my tire repair kit complete with its simple directions. How much more do I continually need God’s repair kit, complete with its directions for my entire life!
Dr. John Sills