Image of the
invisible God, firstborn, all creation/all things, head, body, church,
preeminence, fullness, reconcile, blood on the cross, sufferings, minister,
mystery, Christ in you, love, knowledge.
Deut 6:4 - there is one God;
Isa 9:6—the Child is also the Father and the Counselor; Jn
1:1,14—Jesus is God from the beginning; Jn 3:13—Jesus
while on earth was also in heaven at the same time; Jn
8:58 with Ex 3:14 - Jesus used the name ‘I AM’ which was used by God when He
appeared to Moses; Jn10:30—Jesus and the Father are one; Jn
14:17,18,23—Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father are the same; Mt 28:19 with
Acts 2:38—the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is
Jesus. The True Jesus Church believes that God is one and that the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit are three different titles of God that are a result of the
three different functions of God in the salvation plan, i.e., the Father as
Sustainer and Ruler who cannot be seen by man (Ex 33:20), the Son in the form
of flesh as Saviour (Heb 2:14; Rom 8:3,4) and the
Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of believers (Jn
14:17). We do not believe in the concept of Trinity where the Godhead is seen
to consist of three different persons and yet one God.
The image of the invisible God.
The firstborn over all
By Him, all things were created
through Him and for Him.
He is before all things.
In Him all things consist.
He is the head of the church.
The firstborn from the dead.
In all things, He may have the
In Him, all the fullness should
By Him, to reconcile all things
The word “firstborn” means the
preeminent one and this position is not restricted to a chronological order of
birth. Thus though Ephraim was the second son of Joseph, he was considered the
firstborn by God (Gen 48:17-19; Jer 31:9). We first
acknowledge that, by itself, the verse can be interpreted to mean that Jesus
was also created if we take it that the firstborn of a group must also have the
characteristics of the group. However, we introduce a second possible
interpretation which is that the firstborn here refers to the dominance of a
group that does not include the subject itself. This means that Jesus is above
all creation but is not part of the creation Himself. A third interpretation is
that by taking on the form of flesh and blood, God Himself became part of His
creation without nullifying the fact that He exists by Himself. This temporary
state of being in the flesh for 33 years allows Himself
to be called the firstborn of all creation. Similarly, the temporary state of
being dead for three days allows Jesus to be called the firstborn from the
dead. Thus, the firstborn here does not mean that Jesus was the first to be
created but rather that He is the greatest of all who have been flesh and blood
(Heb 2:14; Rom 8:3,4). In addition, the same Greek word ktisis
meaning creature is used in both 1:15 and 1:23. Clearly, the gospel that is to
be preached to every creature is to be preached to every human being. We now
have a probable understanding of ‘firstborn of all creation’ to mean ‘the best
of mankind’. The next stage for competing interpretations would be to see how
they fit into a cohesive concept backed by other verses of the Bible. The
preliminaries established in Question 1 contradict the first interpretation
that Jesus is created and is a lesser god.
God sent His Son to die on the
cross and make peace through His blood (20-22). Whereas sin alienated us from
God, the forgiveness of sin made possible by the redemption of Jesus Christ has
brought us back to God (14).
Through the atonement of
Christ, we may be holy, blameless, and above reproach in God’s sight (22).
Anyone who sets his mind on
wickedness and sinful desires (cf. Jas 4:1-4; Rom 8:7).
While God has offered us
reconciliation through His Son, we can receive this grace and become blameless
before Him only if we continue in the faith and not turn
away from the gospel (1Cor 15:1-2; Heb 3:6).
The Greek word here is diakonos which generally means a servant. The same word is
used in 1Tim 3:8 which the English Bible translates as the ‘deacon’ which we
know well. The act of ministration in the church (Acts 6:1) is diakonia which leads one to conclude that the seven chosen
in Acts 6:3-6 were the first deacons.
The Lord Jesus and His body,
the church (1:24).
That he may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus (1:28).
Paul is not teaching that there
is deficiency in the sufferings of Christ. Rather, he is saying that through
his ministry, he continues to bear the afflictions Christ suffered in His
earthly ministry. Whenever we suffer for the name of Christ, we partake of
Christ’s suffering (1Pet 4:13). Thus, to fill up what is lacking in the afflictions
of Christ means to suffer as a believer and as a minister of the gospel.
As ministers of Christ, it is
our duty to preach, warn, and teach everyone in order to present them perfect
in Christ Jesus (1:28). In other words, we ought to proclaim the gospel and
build up our brethren in the word of God. Our final goal is for all believers
to be mature in faith, love, and knowledge (2:2-5).
In ministering to the needs of
others, we need to be ready to suffer, for the work of the Lord involves great
effort, patience, and endurance (1:29; 2:1). But out of our love for the Lord
and for the church, we should rejoice in our sufferings (1:24).
The mighty working of God that
works in us (1:29; cf. Phil 2:13). It is not by our efforts that we can accomplish
our mission. We must constantly depend on the mighty power of God that works in