All Things

May 2nd, 2010 Apostle’s Creed Series 03 Colossians 1:15-20

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.

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.[1]

Confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord is our first step in doing the work of God. As Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom the Father has sent.”   People who do not believe in Jesus, by definition, cannot be said to be doing the Lord’s work.

We believe that God exists. We believe He rewards those who serve the King. These are the beginnings of a Biblical faith.

Early in our walk of faith we learn that He is an Almighty God and all things conform to His sovereign plan. He is working all things out for His glory and our good.

For two thousand years believers have been professing their faith in these truths and more using the Apostle’s Creed. The creed is a compilation of the various Baptismal formulas which were used by the Apostles. One Apostle would say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, the only begotten Son, and Holy Spirit.” Another Apostle might say, “I baptize you in the name of Jesus who was crucified, dead, buried, and descended into hell.” Another Apostle might say, “I baptize you in the name of Jesus who was resurrected, ascended and seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty.”

The post-apostolic churches compiled these baptismal sentences into a creedal statement that we now call the Apostle’s Creed. While no Apostle wrote the creed in this form, it is a compilation of their words and should be confessed by all churched during corporate worship until Jesus returns. After all, it is the Apostle’s Creed calling us to believe.

We believe God made the heavens and the earth as described in Genesis. This is necessary for a biblical world view. God desires our faith to include this truth.

The world pressures us to not confess that God created all things. In the last century a 24 hour view of the 6 days of creation has fallen out of favor within the secular culture. Many of us are scared of the world’s scorn if we profess this truth. Our children are under enormous pressure to disavow this truth. Our educational system will humiliate anyone who holds this view.

The Devils strategy is to dislodged this doctrine from our heart.

But consider, if God in Genesis began His book with a lie, or at best a half truth about the origin of all things, then what is reliable in the Bible? What else is to be loosely interpreted?

If God can’t tell the truth about the creation which we can see and inspect with scientific instruments, then what is to keep Him from lying about things unseen which we can’t inspect like our redemption in Christ?

And this is where our scripture in Colossians intersects.

  • Read verse 15 again.

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

Verse 15 makes no sense if God didn’t make this world.

  • Did the Second Person of the Trinity join Deity with Humanity at an acceptable stage in an evolutionary process?
    • Is that what the Bible means when it says that the Father sent the Son in the fullness of time?
    • If humanity is evolving then it is a unreliable system through which to show us the Father through the earthly life of the Son.
    • If mankind evolved then we are not made in the image of God and mankind was not an appropriate vessel for the incarnation.
    • Second, verse 15 says that Jesus is the firstborn of the creation.
      • That means He is preeminent over His creation. This is why the winds and the seas, diseases and death obey His every command. He commands what He made. The creation knows the voice of the creator.
      • As the Firstborn He alone can claim the title deed as inheritor.

If Jesus didn’t create all things then none of verse 15 makes any sense.

  • Read verse 16 again.

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.

  • Jesus is Wisdom personified and God used Wisdom to knit the Earth together.
  • Jesus spoken all things into existence.
  • Angels were created by Jesus. Satan is a created creature.
  • All things.
    • If words have meaning then all things were made by Jesus.
    • When we say that God really didn’t make all things, then we identify ourselves as unbelievers.
    • Romans 3:4 says, Let God be true though every one were a liar
    • You can believe in the words of scripture which are eternally settled in heaven, or you can believe in the unproven theories of science that change with every new generation.
    • The smartest scientist today will be mocked in 30 years. The theories keep changing, but God’s revealed truths never change.
    • God says in the Bible that Jesus made everything. I think we should believe God.
  • Still in verse 16, the world was created for Jesus.
    • The world wasn’t created for you. The stars, the rising of the Sun and the spinning of the Earth was not done for you. It was all done for Jesus.
    • The universe is His theater. The world is His stage. The sky is His canvas to paint. The oceans are His secret place to nurture strange creatures.
    • Much like the motives of an artist. God made the universe for His pleasure and to display His goodness, beauty, creativity and love.
    • Psalm 19 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
      Also see Psalm 136 and Romans 1:20
  • Read verse 17 again.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  • All things are before the Lord. The use of that Greek imagery is like when someone is standing so close to you that they enter your personal space.
  • God is intimately involved with every aspect of His creation.
  • When Jesus was on the cross and people were spitting and insulting Him, Jesus had to keep willing for them to exist as the creator and sustainer of all things. When we sin God is still willing our existence.
  • If God walked away from you then you would cease to exist. You and everything else only holds together by the constant willing of Jesus.
  • Let’s finish out with verse 20.

and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

  • How certain can we be that God will reconcile the creation if He didn’t make the creation? And if God can’t or won’t reconcile the creation then we are without salvation.
  • Jesus said that He is making preparations for a new heaven and a new earth, but what right does He have to tinker with it if He didn’t make it?
  • Jesus said that he has the power to redeem this world and the universe from the curse of sin through His resurrection. But if we give up on Jesus being the creator so we can sound reasonable to the secular culture, then by what logic can Jesus enter His creation and redeem it through His resurrection?

If Jesus was passive in Genesis and the six days of creation are a myth, then what does our faith mean to us? Nothing more than sentimentalism, faith wishes, hopes and false dreams.

If God is not the maker of the heavens and the earth, then we won’t sing Revelation 4:10-11 which says that God’s people cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

When we get to heaven will Jesus not be worthy of our song and our eternal praise?

If Jesus didn’t create then He has no right to judge it and no right to recreate it, which means we are all miserably stuck in sin forever.

If God didn’t create this world then it isn’t a display of His glory, goodness or creativity.

If God didn’t create in six days then there is now reason for us to work.

If God didn’t rest on the seventh day then there is no prepared rest for the people of God in heaven in Christ.

If God didn’t make Adam and Eve then we are no better than dolphins or pigs. Life is without meaning and we are no different than cattle if God didn’t breath into us the spirit of life.

If God didn’t make all things then how do we know that life comes from God?

Nehemiah 9:6 says, You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. Our worship of God flows from Him being the creator.

Psalm 146:5 says, Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever. Our hope in the Lord is dependent on our faith that He made all things.

Isaiah 40:26 says, Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. God’s almighty power is best demonstrated in His creation.

Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. The person of God is best known by the creation. How do we know God if not through what He has made? If we say He didn’t make it then He becomes unknowable.

Maybe you are here this morning and you want to believe, but you are not fully convinced. Hear the words of Hebrews 11:3 and be convicted or convinced in your heart. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. There is no progression of evolutionary stages of life in that verse. God spoke all things into existence by the power of His word.

Say in your heart, I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Do not be unbelieving, but believe and find in Christ the One Who is before all things.

Colossians tells us that Jesus created all things, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is preeminent over all things and He will reconcile all things to Himself.

You are included in that creation. Your life and eternal life comes through the power of Jesus.

May God bless us to confess all that the Apostles have revealed about God.   Amen

[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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