Col 1:15-17 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
In the verses immediately previous to these, Paul has spoken of how we are translated into the kingdom of God’s Son. He stated that it is in the Son, Jesus Christ, that we have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. The visible Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the Father (Joh 14:8-9).
Jesus is not an idol: idols are graven images. Idols are the work of men’s hands and have no power (Psa 135:16-17). Jesus is the true image (likeness) of God; the Word who was in the beginning with God and was God (Joh 1:1). We cannot look upon the glory of the Father, but the Son came that we might see the Father in Him and know that our Father loves us with an everlasting love.
Our Lord and Master is the firstborn of every creature. Strong’s renders the word “creature” here to mean “original formation (properly the act; by implication the thing, literally or figuratively): – building, creation, creature, ordinance.” He was the firstborn by right of creation; “…without Him was not anything made that was made (Joh 1:3).” All that exists in heaven and earth, both those things which we can see and those things we cannot see were made by Him.
It is very evident that we have forgotten this simple truth. We rail against our governments and our civic leaders. We despise authority and claim privilege as our right. While we are under no obligation to love the evil of men, that does not relieve us of our obligation to God. We can go about instituting change according to the leadership of His Spirit, or we can continue to do as so many today and assume we have the answers.
The scripture plainly teaches that governments are under the authority of God. They exist for His purposes, regardless of whether they seem good or evil to us. The powers that be are under His control: He can humble them, destroy them, or allow them to become tyrants as He deems necessary for the teaching of His children. Any privileges that we enjoy come from His hand. They are His to grant as He deems right and good.
Our Lord and Redeemer is before all things. He was here first, and He is in front of all created things. It is time that we seek to worship the Creator more than we do the creature. Instead of rioting and protesting, we should be on our knees before Him All things consist by Him. The word rendered “consist” does not mean to simply exist. Strong’s defines this word as “(including its collateral forms); to set together, that is, (by implication) to introduce (favorably), or (figuratively) to exhibit; intransitively to stand near, or (figuratively) to constitute: – approve, commend, consist, make, stand (with).”
If our Lord has created all things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, then we need to bow before His wisdom and trust His dominion. Having faith in Christ in not just about believing He is in control when things in our lives are going well. It is about believing He is still delivering us, watching over us, guiding us when we cannot see how His hand is at work in a situation.
May God grant us the humility and love to live in the sure knowledge that our Savior is before all things, and all things consist by His power and purpose!