Sunday, August 13, 2017
If anyone was wondering whether or not Jesus Christ is powerful enough to save us and to make us holy, Paul appeals to, likely, a familiar hymn of worship and praise for the early church. This tells us something about the focus of their worship assemblies and celebrates the truth of the supremacy of Christ.
Christ Is Supreme
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[a]
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.[b]
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.
Present tense: “you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (vs. 22). He continues in verse 23: “Don’t drift away from the assurance you received.” These are not conditional statements; they are truths being proclaimed. What Jesus did for us was once and for all. Accepting His gift made it personal for all who believe and obey to enter into this relationship that is above and beyond our ability to comprehend; but, real enough to fill our hearts with joy, even when our circumstances may appear hopeless.
In essence, this is a joy that sees beyond hospitals, graves, coffins and tombstones that will one day carry us into the very presence of God Who, personally, will cup our faces in His hands to wipe away every tear with an announcement: “Nevermore!”