Who is Jesus Christ? His person and work was the subject of theological discussions and debates during centuries. The most heresies began and begin because some people didn’t understand and didn’t even want to realize the truth about the person and work of the Savior. Others wanted to understand it only with the mind but they didn’t choose to believe the truth of the Holy Scriptures from their heart. This was the case of the church from Colossae that, together with the rest of the churches from the ancient world was the object of the attacks of gnostic heresies. These people were doubting the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ or, inversely His humanity and they were denying many basic truths with respect to the Savior’s person. Apostle Paul didn’t know Christians from Colossae personally because he had never visited them before he wrote to them the Epistle to Colossians. Being imprisoned in Rome Paul was visited by Epaphras, the one who it was supposed to be the founder and the spiritual leader of the church from Colossae and who told to Paul about the condition of the church and the danger it was exposed to. The Apostle didn’t hesitate and he wrote this epistle full of wisdom and profound truths about a life with God and the main object was the teaching about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is welcome to follow up what Paul teaches in this epistle about Jesus Christ in this period of year when we all celebrate the Birth of the Savior. I want to write an article for each of those four chapters of the book and to follow the teaching about Messiah. This first chapter will be a study upon those written in chapter 1 of the Epistle to Colossians.
Who is Jesus Christ?
In the first chapter of the Epistle to Colossians it is mentioned for three times the phrase “He is” refering to Jesus Christ and each time it is described a very important aspect of the essence of His person. The first reference shows the diety, or divinity of the Lord Jesus who is described as Creator.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Epistle to Colossians 1:15–16)(NASB)
The second mention of the phrase “He is” describes Christ as eternal and sovereign God.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)(NASB)
And the third mention of the same phrase presents our Savior as creator and lord of the Church that is made up from the assembly of those who believe in Him.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:18–20)(NASB)
All these three references show that Jesus Christ is God having the same divine qualities that God the Father has and they are: creator, eternal and sovereign.
The Lord Jesus is the essence of God’s mystery too, as Paul writes:
The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26–27)(NASB)
People of all nations long for reconciliation with God. In their efforts they created teachings, gave up many things, practised asceticism, invented religions but they could not realize that reconciliation because there was a mystery which had been hidden from the past ages and which God willed to make known only through Jesus Christ. He is the esence of God’s mystery and His personal knowledge as Lord and personal Savior gives us a strong hope that we will inherit the future glory. This is a hope that does not deceive.
The work performed by Jesus Christ
In the previous paragraph we saw that the Lord Jesus was directly implied in the creation of the world and the foundation of the Church. Another very great work done by Him in past is that of our reconciliation with God.
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach… (Colossians 1:21–22)(NASB)
Our reconciliation with God was possible only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross where He paid the punishment for all our sins. Now, by faith in our Savior we can have full peace with God and a complete forgiveness.
What does the Lord Jesus do in present?
Our Savior performed an eternal and perfect salvation for all people when He died on the cross from Golgotha. But, this salvation is available in one’s life only when this person believes in the Lord Jesus’ person and work from all his heart. For this exact reason the Lord Jesus continues the salvation ministry spreading this news through His servants. Apostle Paul was one of them and he presented himself this way from the beggining of the chapter when he talks about himself and about Timothy:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother (Colossians 1:1)(NASB)
Reconciliation with God was performed through sufferings. The Lord Jesus continues to suffer for His servants so that each man can hear the message of the Gospel and can be saved. Apostle Paul says the following with regard to this:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God. (Colossians 1:24–25)(NASB)
The Lord Jesus develops the power of His strength in His servants to whom He entrusted the preaching of the message of the Gospel and Apostle says:
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:28–29)(NASB)
Who is Jesus Christ for you? Did you accept His salvation? Are you reconciled with God or do you continue to carry the burden of your sins that reminds you always that you are condemned to hell? Or maybe you want to reconcile with God respecting your own conditions? You can not act this way! You have to accept His conditions and He says that you can have peace only by Jesus Christ.
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19–20)(NASB)
And if you have received the peace of God, choose to work and to strive according to His power, which mightly works within you!
Translated by Djugostran Felicia