While at a men’s retreat a couple of weekends ago, there was a Bible study led by the servant in charge on Thursday evening when only a handful of men had arrived. The text was Colossians 1. The study focused on Christ and how unique He is. Here is the passage.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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.
Inevitably, when we got to the phrase “in Him all things hold together”, most in the group began launching into discourses on electrons, protons, quarks and quantum particles. I’m sure you’ve all heard it. (In my best Billigram voice) “Christ’s power holds together all matter at a subatomic level. Without His power, the universe would quickly unravel.” While I believe this is true, it hit me in a new way how this passage is really pointing to something quite different.
If we take the larger context in this passage, we see God’s overall plan spanning throughout the ages at work. For this particular portion of the plan, God has brought sinners out of darkness and into the kingdom of His Dear Son. The things which Christ created are not only the visible things, but look at how Christ created INvisible things as well. Heavenly powers were created by Him, and it is these very things that are held together by His power. Even the power of the devil is held together by Christ. The devil could not be evil without the consent of the Creator.
Now look at the subsequent verses. Christ is the head of the church, the firstborn from the dead, that He might be preeminent in all things. That goes back to “He is before all things.” In essence, Paul is writing that God’s plan is leading to a place where Christ will be the center of all that is. He is before all things, meaning Christ is leading all things to this place. By Him all things consist, meaning Christ’s power holds spiritual powers together to lead all creation (visible and invisible) to the place where the blood of His cross reconciles all things to Himself. His cross, our salvation, and the reconciliation of all that exists is being led, drawn, and brought together by the power of Christ. This covenant plan is held together by His awesome power.
Let’s go back and read the passage again. When we get to verse 17, let’s look at it this way. He is going before all things as Redeemer in order that He might be the head of all things. By Him all things (His plan and actions, past, present, future) are being held together and drawn together. This would explain how Paul could easily launch into a discourse about our present dispensation later in verses 25-29.
When this passage is being preached, and someone starts talking about electrons, protons, quarks, and quantum particles, I’m still going to say “Amen.” But now this passage has a new meaning to me that makes the subatomic application pale in comparison to it. It is Christ in the plan of God going forward unable to be stopped because He is holding it together by His power.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman