Every Tuesday I meet my mentor for a walk in the woods, where a dry dirt path meanders through pine and California oak trees. Wild flowers change with the season and dry shrubbery reminds us of the drought. The path takes us to a picnic bench with a stunning backdrop of the Cleveland National Forest, majestic mountains reaching to the sky.
There we sit for an hour, in deep conversation about God. Recently our dialogue was directed by this multi-part question: Who do you believe God is? Who or what has influenced that belief? Is that belief true?
In all honesty, our conversation made me realize how easy it is to be influenced by the world’s view of God. Culture can all too easily distract and misguide us unless we know, really know, who God is by reading His Word and believing its truth (Colossians 2:7).
Paul knew well the need to understand the truth of who Christ is, and he emphasized this vital truth as he evangelized and ministered the good news of redemption to others. At the time of this particular writing Paul was in prison, likely in Rome. A man named Epaphras, who is believed to be the founder and leader of the Colossian church, visited Paul and requested his help in dealing with the false teaching confronting the church. Having never been to Colossae himself, Paul wrote this compelling letter. It includes, in verses 15-20, a hymn thought to have been sung by the very early church—a statement of faith exalting the supremacy of Christ in both creation and redemption.
According to God’s Word—and this old hymn of the church as “sung” here by Paul— this is who Christ is:
He is the image of the invisible God.
He is the firstborn over all creation.
He is the creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
He is before all things.
He is the One who holds all things together.
He is the head of the church.
He is the beginning.
He is the One in whom all the fullness of God dwells.
He is the reconciler of all things.
He is the ultimate peacemaker.
Take a moment to soak in these words today. Go back and read Colossians 1:15-20, and give thanks for a Savior who is indeed all these incredible things. Read these verses silently, shout them aloud, or even sing them with joy! Ask God for fresh eyes to see the divine nature of Christ.
He is the one who created you and called you, who holds all things together even now, even today. He is the beginning and the end. He is the loving God who took on flesh and made peace with His children through the blood of His cross.
Paul’s hymn of adoration is a reminder for us today that Christ is alive! He is alive and present in our world, in our community, and in us, that we may be rescued, redeemed, and resurrected in new life. Who Christ is does not change, no matter the view from where we sit today. May these beautiful words from Paul’s letter direct our hearts to worship Him.
…yet for us there is one God, the Father.
All things are from Him,
and we exist for Him.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.
All things are through Him,
and we exist through Him.
-1 Corinthians 8:6