Who is Jesus? Pt. 1
Topic: Sermons Passage: Colossians 1:15–1:18
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist." (New World Translation – emphasis added)
(Col. 1:15-17, for context. Note the NWT’s addition of “other” four times.)
The Jehovah's Witnesses interpret the word "firstborn" here to mean "first created" because it is consistent with their belief that Jesus is a created being. This idea began with the teachings of a man named Arius and led to the heresy known as Arianism. The Council of Nicea ruled that he was a heretic but what would you say about this belief today? Get your Bible and take a close look at the 3 points below:
First, there is a Greek word for "first created" and it was in use at the time of Paul's writing to the Colossians. He did not use it here. The Greek for "firstborn" is proto with tokos which literally means "the primary one" and that is what we find here in Colossians 1:15. The Greek for "first created" would be proto with ktizo and it is not used here.
Second, the biblical use of the word "firstborn" is very interesting. It can mean the first born child in a family (Luke 2:7), but it can also mean "pre-eminence." Take a look at Psalm 89:20, 27 and answer these two questions:
1. What order was David in his family? (1 Sam. 16:11-13)
2. What order did God put him in?
Third, firstborn is also a title that is transferable. Take some time to compare Gen. 41:51-52 with Jer. 31:9. Also, look at the title that God gives to Jacob, the younger of the two sons in Exodus 4:22
Spend some time praying through these passages this week and praise God that Jesus is the “primary One”. He was Lord over the first creation and He is Lord over all of the new creations (those who are now alive in Christ). Ask yourself these questions: Is He primary in my life? Am I bearing the image of God in my life today?
DON’T MISS NEXT WEEK’S MESSAGE: WHO IS JESUS? (PART 2)
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