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JESUS, BY WHOM ALL THINGS CONSIST!

COLOSSIANS 1:13-17

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, GOD'S DEAR SON IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION:

The phrase is distinct, "His dear Son."

It is speaking of "God's dear Son," of course, Colossians 1:13.

The unusual thing, concerning these words starting a sermon Text, is that they occur at the end of a Verse!

But I begin here because the verbal string "His dear Son" opens a dynamic list of things, what a list, describing what Jesus did for us in days past! Including the greatest thing He ever did, the act of saving lost souls!

Watch and I'll show you.

"His dear Son, in Whom we have redemption through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature. For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Colossians 1:13-17

Wow!

Here Jesus is both Creator and Redeemer!

For example, and first of all in Paul's list, "God's dear Son, in Whom we have redemption through His Blood."

That says a lot!

The noun "huios," or "son," means "son" in this sense, "a child, a genuine child," but emphasizing the dignity and quality and honor of that position! Jesus occupies a Place of great Honor! He is God's "beloved" Son, according to the Father Himself. In fact, two more times God calls His Darling Jesus that, "beloved Son." At our Savior's Baptism and again at His Transfiguration.

Really, "dear" in our very Text, in Verse 13, translates "agape," that kind of "beloved!"

The verb "have" is "echo," meaning "to hold." One textbook says "to hold in one's hand, in the sense of wearing!" To be in possession of a thing! "To hold fast, to lay hold of!"

It's a Gift, but one which we treasure and guard!

And the main noun, "redemption," is spelled "apolutrosis." In Greek "lutron" is "a ransom, a price paid, the amount of money needed" ... to liberate a bunch of slaves from their bondage!

The root verb "luo" suggests "liberating" or "loosing" a person from that which has chained him or her for quite some time. To untie, to unfasten!

I, through the Book of Jesus, have been redeemed!

Set free!

Bought with a Price!

But how did Jesus do this, redeem you and me?

"Through His Blood."

That's powerful!

The preposition "dia" is translated as "through" in this clause. It means here "by means of." The method of redemption God has chosen, the standard of payment used, the currency in which we have been procured, is the very Blood of Jesus!

I believe this means His literal Blood, too.

Not some symbolic and mythical metaphor!

The noun "blood" is spelled "haima" and is pronounced, we think, "ha'-ee-ma." We gets words like "hematology" from this, the study of blood.

One more question.

From whom did Jesus purchase our redemption?

In other words, to whom did He pay this Price?

Some say, "the devil!"

I disagree, strongly.

The Price must have been paid to the One Who was wronged by our sin in the first place. The One against Whom we rebelled! All the way back in the Garden of Eden, it was God, Elohim God, Jehovah God, Who was offended, Who was disobeyed!

He is the One to Whom we as sinners owed an such an awesome, inexhaustible debt!

And He is the One Whom Jesus satisfied!

God the Father is the Recipient of that Supreme Payment.

That way, He can save us justly!

He did not compromise His ultimate Righteousness one bit, to save lost sinners!

He remains righteous.

Yet He is also loving and forgiving, filled with Mercy and Grace, because Jesus paid our ransom!

Astounding!

"God's dear Son, in Whom we have redemption through His Blood."

Next time you think about being "redeemed," remember what it cost to make that possible!

The Death of Jesus, His very life's Blood!

We have a great Savior!

Tell Him today how much you love Him! Better yet, show Him how much by the way you live!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, EVEN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS:

Jesus, in Whom we have "even the forgiveness of sins." That's what Paul claims in Colossians 1:14.

The critical word here is "forgiveness," of course. The whole clause reads like this: "God's dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

It looks like the Holy Spirit has nearly equated "redemption" and "forgiveness." They are synonyms, in a way. Yet they differ significantly too.

"Aphesis" is the noun for "forgiveness." It literally means "to release, to remit," even once in Scripture "to deliver."

But let's dig a little further. "Aphiemi," the root verb involved here, means "to send away." Also "to let go, to disregard." This particular family of words is not the one that means "to wash away."  Although Jesus' Blood does that too, for sure! See Revelation 1:5 for proof. "From Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." The "washed" verb is "luo."

Then why the "send away" verb here in Colossians 1:14, "the forgiveness of sins?" Paul uses the less powerful word, it seems.

Maybe because "forgiveness" is too broad a topic to discuss in one vein of thought. Too big for a single word family to describe!

Jesus has provided for us Christians "forgiveness" of sins in this sense. Using the textbooks now, referring to "aphiemi," the parent verb to "aphesis," the noun for "forgiveness," they say the idea is that of "a husband divorcing his wife!"

Wow! That's pretty strong language. The Lord Jesus "divorced" us from our sins! Sent them packing, expelled them!

Another picture of "forgiveness" is "to go away leaving something behind." Jesus saved you, kept you for his Own! You now walk the pathways of life with Him, by His Side! And guess what you left behind? Your sins! They are in the past now!

Wow! That's pretty exciting too!

Then the third word picture, "to leave on dying!" When Jesus saved us, we died to what we used to be! "Old things passed away!" Dead in Christ, "crucified," says Paul! Then of course "raised again" in Christ too! My sins have been left behind, part of that old baggage I knew in my former life! Before being born again!

One more. "To abandon!" No interest in them any longer, those old sins! Like a junk car, last week's garbage, or a disposable razor!

"God's dear Son: in whom we have the forgiveness of sins." Yes! That's a word family that ought to thrill each of us!

My sins, forgiven!

My sins, I've divorced them, with God's permission. In fact, He was the lawyer in the whole process!

My sins, I've lost interest in them! I've found a much Better Traveling Companion, Jesus!

My sins, I'm dead to them now, thanks to Jesus and His Cross! They have lost their "pull" over me! Dead people are not easily enticed!

And my sins, they have been abandoned! Useless, now. No reason to hold them at all. In the "garbage can" of Holy Spirit efficacy!

These thoughts ought to flood us all with peace and joy this Lord's Day morning!

Jesus gave us "the forgiveness of sins."

Thank you, Lord.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!

Our Text talks of Him, and Him alone!

Today we are told even more, more about Christ our Lord, "Who is the image of the invisible God." Colossians 1:15

The verb "is" translates a form of "eimi," in the present tense of course. It means "to be, to exist, to live." Really, to exist perpetually!

So in every single moment of time, both now and forever, this can be said. Jesus is the Image of God! Constantly so!

But what is this noun "image?"

Spelled "eikon," pronounced "i-kone,'" accenting the second syllable as I have indicated, the word means "a figure, a likeness" of something or someone. Found 23 times in the New Testament, "eikon" always is rendered "image" in the King James Text, every time! "Eikon" is derived from a root verb, "eiko," which means "to be like." Further back yet, this word group means "to yield, to give place" to another!

Why has God made it to be this way, that an Image of Him needs to be manifest?

Because, Paul says, "God is invisible!"

"Who is the image of the invisible God."

This adjective is "aoratos," or "that which can not be seen." The word "horatos" means "open to view." It's from "horao," meaning "to see with the eyes," but at times "to see with the mind" too. Properly, the experts say, "horao" has the idea of "staring at" someone! "To stare intently!" The little letter "a" in front of "horatos" here negates the word, reverses its meaning. God can not be visually studied, not God the Father!

So then, how can we know God?

How can we behold Him?

How will we ever know what He is like?

How He behaves?

How He loves?

How He feels?

How He talks?

Only one Way!

And that Way is a Person!

God's Own Son, come to earth!

God, wearing human flesh!

God among us!

Jesus!

Jesus!

Jesus!

How much does God love us?  For the answer, look at Jesus on the Cross!

How much does God hate sin and hypocrisy? Watch Jesus rebuking the Pharisees in places like Matthew 23!

How much does God love the downcast? Jesus and the lepers and the beggars and the publicans!

Jesus said it Himself, in John 10:30. "I and my Father are one."

That's just another way of calling our Saviour the very "Image" of God!

Wow!

I know Jesus. He lives in my heart.

Therefore, I know God!

Once more, "Who is the image of the invisible God."

What a wonderful Lord!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE:

The description of Jesus we study today has often been abused, misinterpreted as well.

Our Lord is "the firstborn of every creature." Colossians 1:15

This is not declaring for Jesus a Birthday! God the Son is eternal! Jesus as a man, virgin born, God clothed in human flesh, of course had a beginning. Two thousand years ago, in Bethlehem of Judea.

But that is not the case for Jesus, the Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity. He was existent long before Bethlehem!

Here's how long, according to Micah the Prophet. "But thou, Bethlehem, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2

From everlasting!

God is never the born one!

He is the One who makes birth possible!

Well then, Brother Bagwell, what does our Text mean, "the firstborn of every creature?"

This expression describes "firstborn" in the sense of the great dignity and honor the word conveys.

"Prototokos" is a Greek noun. "Protos" means "first in place or time." And "tikto" means "to bear, to produce, to be in travail."

In ancient culture, among the Jews anyway, the firstborn was the most revered child. He automatically receives great attention, privilege, and respect.

He will inherit twice what the other children will.

He will be the carrier of the family name, in a way no other child can.

He will always be his father's son, without doubt. Specially dedicated to the Lord even!

In that way, Jesus is the first-born of all creation!

In fact, can't I say this? Jesus is the very Creator of all we see! And of things we can't see, according to Paul in this very text, in our next verse.

To Jesus ... double Honor!

To Jesus ... His Father's special Favor!

To Jesus ... respect from all the family!

To Jesus ... a very close place at His Father's Side!

To Jesus ... a name above all others!

To Jesus ... all the attributes of the Firstborn!

And in that sense, as long as we treat this fact reverently, Jesus is my Elder Brother!

Yours too, if you're saved!

Oh yes, in Aaron's family anyway, it was that oldest brother who inherited the priesthood!

He would be the next High Priest of Israel.

Need I say any more?

Jesus, the Firstborn, has become our High Priest too!

Interceding for you and me!

From His Seat ... at God's Right hand!

A place where the firstborn always sat!

Our wonderful Saviour, Jesus ... "the firstborn of every creature." Colossians 1:15

He is amazing!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE CREATOR:

Look!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible."

This is one of those "Jesus is Creator" statements. The Bible contains a number of them.

For example, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3

And here's John 1:10. "He was in the world, and the world was made by him." This is talking about Jesus!

Now here is Jesus talking about the Father's Part in creation. "When he prepared the heavens, I was there." Wow! Proverbs 8:27 is a beautiful statement.

So, today's Text says the same thing, only in more detail.

Jesus is Creator!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Colossians 1:15, the first half of the verse.

The subject of the clause is "things." They were created by Him, by our Lord. The expression "all things" is represented in the Greek Text this way, "ta panta." Literally, "all the things."

Jesus made everything!

The verb is passive, these things did not make themselves! Psalm 100:3 poetically reminds us: "The LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves." So right!

Back to Colossians 1:15 and its main verb, "were created." By Jesus again I remind you!  It is "ktizo," basically, but "ektisthe" as an indicative passive aorist, 3rd person singular.

See why Greek is so tricky? All those stems and endings, to be memorized. Or just buy a good software program!

And "ktizo" of course means "to create," but in a special sense, "to form, to shape, to make habitable, to people!" To populate a place.

"Ktizo" is derived from "ktaomai," meaning "to acquire, to possess, to purchase, to obtain." In other words the creator of an object is its owner too!

As its Maker, God owns the whole world!

As our Maker, He owns us too, simply materially He does! He owns the carbon and oxygen and hydrogen in our very bodies! This is different now from the Redemption we enjoy as born-again Believers in Jesus.

Jesus is the universe's great Creator-Proprietor! The Landlord of everything! The Supreme Power over all!

Wow!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Colossians 1:15

Things both in Heaven and in earth!

But how did Paul know anything about what's in Heaven?

Of course the Holy Spirit, the True Author of Colossians 1, knows what's there!

Yet I suggest Paul does too! He's been there, I think. "It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell. God knoweth. Such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell. God knoweth. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory." Most conservative Bible Teachers and Preachers think Paul is talking about himself here! Taken from 2nd Corinthians 12:1-5.

This Paul undoubtedly would have "looked around" Heaven a bit! He knows about created things up there! Besides, John in the Book of Revelation gives us a pretty good description, too. Thrones and rainbows and altars and angels and living creatures of all hues! Sights and sounds marvelous!

"For by Him, by Jesus, were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Colossians 1:15

Now, to the earth.

A lot of things here too, created by our Saviour!

Earth is spelled "ge." Just that. Our prefix "geo" comes from this, as in "geography, geology, and many other synonyms. Writing about the earth, the study of the earth too.

Really the "land," the "ground" are in view. But God made it all, through Jesus, the land and sea and sky plus so much more. Everything!

Then Paul, way before his time, adds, "visible and invisible."

How did he know that?

That whole worlds of invisibility exist?

Scientists today are not yet through discovering them, or studying them. Though most of them have long ago left God out of the matter.

"Visible" translates "horatos," meaning "open to view." The root verb "horao" implies "staring" at something! Gazing upon it!

And so naturally "invisible" negates the word. "aoratos." Things unseen. That cannot, maybe ever, be seen!

Get these stats too. "Horatos" appears one time in the Bible!

"Aoratos," things "invisible," appears 5 times! Wow! I wonder if God just might be "hinting" that there are many more things unseen ... than seen!

Could be!

Such current scientific terms, soon to be obsolete no doubt, as "black holes, parallel universes, and dark matter" certainly suggest invisible worlds!

Wow again!

Whatever is out there, or in here, still unseen, we know Who made it all!

Jesus!

The one Who died on Calvary to save lost sinners!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Colossians 1:15

I think today we should all be overwhelmed!

In the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ!

He sure is in this motel room as I type these notes too you today!

Omnipotence has stopped by to visit frailty for a while!

Mercy!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

I wish I knew one.

A word that packs ten times the power of "Wow!"

If so, it would be all over this page right now. 

 

 

LESSON 6, THRONES AND DOMINIONS TOO:

The whole concept is both perplexing and astounding!

Now that Paul has told us Jesus is the Creator of all things, both in heaven and earth, the Apostle illustrates.

"Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him." Colossians 1:16, in the middle of the verse.

Surprisingly, Paul here does not mention the mountains and streams and oceans, the material things, but "thrones and powers," abstract things!

I think there is a reason for this.

Paul always adapted his Message to the people to whom he was speaking. Don't misunderstand me here. Paul did not change his Message. He never altered the Gospel!

He just wisely presented the Truth of God's Word in a way that could be more easily comprehended by his hearers. And to combat any prominent errors of the day.

The people in Colossae had been inundated with a false teaching that's now called "Gnosticism." That pack of lies suggested that Jesus was merely an angel or a spirit being, part of a long chain of entities who could bring God down to man, or man upward to God!

Jesus, in other words, was one among many "saviors!"

Just another principality or power!

"Not so," thunders the great Apostle Paul!

Jesus is not a lord or master or avatar of any kind! Not by Gnostic standards! Jesus is God! Jesus is God the Son! Jesus is God forever! Jesus is God alone, no other powers are needed! The Godhead of Father, Son and Spirit needs no angelic constituency!

In fact, not only is Jesus not a member of some kind of hierarchical line from God to man, or vice versa, Jesus is the Creator of all such things! Any of them that truly exist anyway!

Jesus is not merely a "throne dweller," or a "holder of some kind of dominion," or "a local principality," or just "a deputized sheriff of sorts with legislated power" either!

No!

No!

No!

He made all these levels of power!

He created all these positions!

Even the angels, far back as they may go, do not predate the Lord Jesus!

He is eternal, the Second Person of the Trinity!

He made the angels, every one of them, including Michael and Gabriel and even Lucifer! The Seraphim and Cherubim too!

He even created the foolish Gnostics that we running around in Paul's day denying the very God of Gods!

Not to mention their offspring yet living!

"Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him." Colossians 1:16

The indicative perfect passive form of "created" is used here. Jesus made them and they now continue to exist. He called them into existence! He "birthed" them all!

"Thrones" translates "thronos," hence is a "loan word" from Greek to English. It can mean the "seat" where the ruler sits, or stand for the "domain" over which he rules. No president or prime minister or premier or chairman ever rules over anything or anyone without God's permission! Jesus made possible their very base of power!

"Dominions" is "kuriotes," really "lordships." Once in the New Testament the word is translated "government." In 2nd Peter 2:10, to be precise.

"Principalities" equals "arche," the "first things" or the "original things" of these power structures. Sort of like "the founding fathers," that kind of idea. Jesus was over old George Washington, just like the "builder" of a house is greater that the "edifice" he raised!

And "powers" are systems of "authority," nearly "laws" I think. Spelled "exousia," it's derived from "ek eimi," a Greek sentence meaning "I am from." More clearly in Jesus' case, "From I am!"

Get it?

"From" the great "I am!"

All "power," all "authority," all legitimacy behind "law and order," flow from Jesus!

He is above all!

He is over all!

He is the Cause of all!

What wonderful claims this Text makes about our Saviour!

He, then, is the absolute Greatest!

Supreme in toto!

Little wonder that in this very paragraph, though just beyond the range of our specific Text, Paul adds: "And He, Jesus, is the Head, that in all things He might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18

He predates all powers!

Had to, He created them!

Paul didn't even take time to explain the absurdly obvious! Yes, Jesus created the world and all that's in it. Rocks and trees and birds and people, the weather too!

But Paul did emphasize that Jesus created the angels and authorities and powers and governors of earth, the very basis of society today.

I have a prediction then. If we lose our godliness, we will in the process lose our ability to govern ourselves too!

No godliness, no holiness, and then soon "anything goes!"

Get ready!

Chaos is coming!

Wow!

"Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him." Colossians 1:16

I believe it!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, BY HIM AND FOR HIM:

Our journey through Colossians 1:13-17 is nearing the end. I'm almost sad at the thought!

Jesus is Creator!

But more than that!

Paul writes assuredly. "All things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things." Colossians 1:16-17

Let's start with that last clause. Jesus is "before" all things. This little preposition is spelled "pro," and means "first" most often in the sense of "time." Nothing existed before Jesus. Jesus is God. God is eternal. It's just like Moses wrote in Psalm 90:2. "From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

But upon consulting an old Greek lexicon, I found more information about "pro." Not only is Jesus "before" or "first" in relation to time. But also in relation to place. There is no where on earth, or in the universe, or in the whole cosmos, "where" Jesus has not been, as God the Son! And He's been there "first," before anyone or anything else! I am not saying that the physical Jesus, after the Virgin Birth, visited Canada! Or Siberia! No, no!

I am saying that God is "omnipresent" and Jesus, being God, is too! If He created what we call Mars or Saturn, He has been there by virtue of His Almighty Power.

Pluto the planet is, then, in one sense the very Breath of His Mouth! "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God." Hebrews 11:3

First in time!

First in place!

Then first in "face!"

In Greek it's "pro prosopon." He is "first" before the Face of Almighty God! Before I will ever have to face God the Father, Jesus has already been there, representing me. Having washed me in the Blood of the Lamb! Having become my Mediator! My Lawyer! My Savior! And in reality, my Elder Brother!

"He is before all things." What a statement. We will never exhaust its meaning while on earth!

Then Paul earlier said, but still in today's Text range, "All things were created by Him, and for Him."

Wow!

"By" Him is easier to understand. It's "dia" in Greek, meaning "through" Him! "By means of" Him! Jesus is the "channel" through which creation flowed. To vouch for Darwin is to deny Jesus Christ! Now truthfully the Bible portrays God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as being involved in creation.

In Genesis 1:1 see God the Father "creating the heaven and the earth." In Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirit is "moving" on the face of the chaotic waters! And in John 1:3 see Jesus making "all things."

Thrilling!

"All things were created by Him, and for Him." This is Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour!

Now the "for" Him phrase!

This is astounding!

Everything has been made "for" Jesus?

Really?

It seems so! "And for Him," that's the Bible!

This little preposition is "eis." It means, when used with as accusative object as here, "upon" Him. All creation depends "upon" Jesus! University departments of science could be built upon that single statement! If the Nation only believed it! No Jesus, no creation! Should Jesus die, an impossibility now, all creation would pass away too! We depend that much "upon" Him!

"Eis" also means "concerning." I think that in God's created world there exist millions upon millions of "pictures" and "symbols" and "emblems" of the Lord Jesus Christ! If we would just take the time to look for them! The older scientists used to really feel that way! One of them said that his studies allowed him "to think God's thoughts," right in tune with the Almighty!

Wow!

"Eis" also means "toward!" Everything seen, unseen too, is slanted toward Jesus Christ the Creator! Just like many liberal news organizations today slant and spin world events toward their perverted philosophy ... so has our Lord created everything with a holy, pure, divine perspective!

Yes, I believe the geese really do praise the Lord!

And the stars sing to Him also!

And one day, maybe soon, even the trees will "clap their hands" to honor the Saviour! "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

Things created are made "for Jesus' Pleasure," I think I will say. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13

And Ephesians 1:9 reminds us that: "Jesus hath made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself."

All things made "by Him" and "for Him?"

I have a question.

If you could only think today about one of these glorious truths, all creation being "by" Jesus or being "for" Jesus, which would it be?

Mercy!

I think I would go "for" Him today.

And maybe "by" Him tomorrow!

Either way he gets the "preeminence."

He gets "first" place, as He should!

Once again. "All things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things." Colossians 1:16-17

Amen.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, BY HIM ALL THINGS CONSIST:

This is the Lesson I've wanted to write for a long time!

Paul concludes our Paragraph, Colossians 1:13-17, by saying of Jesus: "And by Him all things consist."

Wow!

The verb "consists" is spelled "sunistao" in Greek. It blends the preposition "sun," meaning "with" or alongside" and the verb "histemi," meaning "to stand."

Literally, it's because of Jesus that all things "hold together!"

He keeps things working cohesively!

Things like the solar system!

The universe!

Your heart and the blood it circulates too!

"By" Him, "by" Jesus these things consist, with "by" translating another Greek preposition, "en." This means "by, at, near, within," such intimate terms.

Without Jesus, this Verse says, the world as we know it could not continue!

Including one of the smaller things of existence, the tiny little "atom!"

In a way, oversimplified I'm sure, an "atom" is much like a "tiny solar system!" It contains a nucleus, with orbits of electrons circling around it in orderly fashion! And just like Pluto or Neptune or Mars have behaved themselves through the millennia, so do those electrons behave themselves in obedience to their Creator's Will!

Without Jesus, "matter" would not exist!

That though sent me scurrying to the science books!

I wanted to study the "elements," the building blocks of all life and material as we know it.

Jesus not only created these little things, He controls and energizes them too. He is the Source of their very vitality. The Organizer behind their operations! Think of the implications of these statements!

Today and again tomorrow I want to share with you some facts about the "atoms" Jesus created.

Well, really the combinations of atoms He has arranged.

For example, "lithium" is element number 3. It only has three little electrons, negative charges, orbiting its nucleus. Throw it in water and it will explode! Put it in batteries and it stores power! Use it as a medicine and it helps keep human emotions on an even level! It smoothes out the drastic ups and down of certain mood swings! It's used for other things too, more numerous than I can mention.

Just one little element, yet so many possibilities! And it lives, it functions, it is, because of Jesus! It goes about doing good, like its Creator! "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good." Acts 10:36

Interesting!

And "carbon," Jesus makes it "work" too! Six electrons, it one of its simpler forms it exists as coal! But stack its molecules differently and you have diamonds! Jesus knows how to turn coal, soot, into precious stones! That's the story of carbon, which "holds together" because of our Lord!

Hey, He is still making diamonds out of coal! In many a life! Old sinners, filthy as can be, transformed into sparking, precious diamonds!

"And by Him all things consist!"

One more today, "neon," element number 10. Put it in a tube, shoot a little electricity through it, and it glows a bright red, the color red! Often called neon red! Reminds me of Jesus again, and His creation! Get any Preacher excited, really excited, any Christian for that matter, and you will soon see and hear "red!" The red of the Old Rugged Cross! The red of the Blood of Jesus! The red Blood that washed away our sins!

Isn't it astounding that the Lord made this specific element and holds it in place, not allowing it to disintegrate, primarily to light this world with a brilliant, glowing red! Surely that's not an accident! A chemical reminder of the Cross!

I just learned something else about neon. It is the least reactive of all the elements. It completely refuses to combine with anything. It is separate, to the core! So is the Message of the Gospel, of the Blood of Jesus, of that brilliant red Flow from Jesus' Body! The Gospel cannot be mixed with anything else either! It can't be diluted or altered at all. It must remain pure!

Mercy!

And, if the world is still standing tomorrow morning, which is up to Jesus, we will briefly consider some more elements He has made and still sustains!

Wow!

Jesus is greater than I've ever imagined!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Oh yes!

Remind me to mention an element that perfectly illustrates the Trinity! As if Jesus left His "fingerprints" on His creation!

 

 

LESSON 9, BY HIM ALL THINGS STILL CONSIST:

The verse we're studying says that Jesus is the Reason "all things consist." If you remember from yesterday that little verb "consist" means "to hold together, to stand together."

Other data available adds "to stay together, to cohere!" Things that work in harmony, the several different parts cooperating to make the whole entity function, do so because Jesus is the Organizing Force behind all creation!

This has implications no man has ever fully considered! No scientist, no preacher, certainly no politician!

Things as big as the spiraling galaxies of the universe, some many light years across, yet still behaving according to pattern, according to the Will of God ... all the way down to things "invisible" says Paul! Things like the "atoms" of every element!

One way to cause a vast nuclear explosion is to "split" an atom, really "atoms" of a certain kind of uranium. To cause those atoms "to come apart!"

In like manner, without Jesus, the whole world, the entire cosmos, would similarly "explode!" Disintegrate in a fiery conflagration!

As is described in 2nd Peter 3:10. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." This is no doubt an example of one of God's future "controlled burns!"

Wow!

I'm now wondering if Hell is a vast nuclear furnace. Obviously Jesus was the first nuclear Scientist!

Let me show you some of the beauty and versatility and awe of just a few of the elements Jesus has built. He keeps all their protons and neutrons and electrons functioning in harmony, cohesively, remember!

If our God is this great, He is no doubt the sole Ruler of the Megaverse! That's the universe ... and far beyond! It's Latin, where "uni" means "one" and "versus" is a participle of the verb "to turn." All that rotates together, the universe! I probably just coined the word "megaverse!" It's bigger still! One scientist calls it the "Multiverse."

It's huge. And Jesus is the Architect! The Construction Engineer too! And the Builder! And the Sustainer, the Maintenance Man! He does it all! And beautifully so!

Take iodine, for starters today. The element, number 53 on the periodic chart, has 74 neutrons, 53 protons, and therefore 53 electrons. The electrons are in five shells around the nucleus, moving so fast they can't been seen! All held together by some "unseen" power!

Which is Jesus, according to Colossians 1:17. Jesus is the Reason we study chemistry! He made all the building blocks of matter.

Back to iodine, at room temperature it is a solid. But warm it slightly, not anything drastic, and it becomes a liquid. But then it instantly becomes a beautiful violet vapor!

Solid, liquid, gas, nearly at the same time!

The same element!

With the same chemical composition!

Sounds like the Trinity to me!

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, at the same time!

All equally God!

Truthfully, all equally One!

Deep theology, illustrated in iodine!

Water does the same thing, just with much more effort! Ice cubes to preserve meat, a cool liquid to drink for refreshment, and blistering hot steam to move heavy machinery! Three in one, and all H2O chemically!

Interesting!

Deny the Trinity if you choose, but you do so at grave peril to your immortal soul!

Maybe that's why God put pictures of It throughout His creation! Many of them! Each Member of the Godhead is involved in the salvation of a lost soul! Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Now let me talk about gold, element number 79. It is rare, very precious! If all the gold ever mined in all history, back to Adam and Eve now, were collected and put in a box, that box would be no larger than a 60 foot cube! All that we have in hand, every person on earth collectively!

No wonder gold is so valuable! That's a picture of Jesus, folks. He is more precious than gold! And He is rare, too! No more of Him is being made! No other Jesus exists! He alone! If you have Him, you have the most valuable, precious, noteworthy Friend on earth! Or in Heaven! For ever!

Gold is extremely useful, too! It conducts electricity as well as any element. It will not tarnish, ever! Gold is greatly admired too, by millions! Every day and night! It's nearly revered by many!

Think of Jesus again. He is the Power Conductor of all Heaven and earth! He too will never tarnish. And talk about being admired, or revered, how about Him being worshipped by multitudes!

And element 84, nearly unknown to most of us, is polonium. One of polonium's isotopes is so powerful, so energetic, so "radioactive" the scientists say, that it "glows" constantly! It does not merely conduct electricity, it creates it! It emits it, ceaselessly!

Does that remind you of the Lord? "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18, and Jesus "glows" too! Think of the Transfiguration!

Jesus' fingerprints are everywhere in nature!

By the way, polonium is also a "big" atom! It has 125 neutrons, compared to hydrogen's 1 and oxygen's 8. And polonium has 64 protons and electrons too! Huge by comparison!

And I'll close by saying this too. Jesus is a BIG Saviour! Big enough to save any sinner! Big enough to answer any prayer! Big enough to solve any problem! Big enough to meet any need!

And big enough to get us to Heaven!

The Creator and His cosmos!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Colossians 1:16-17

That's Him, all right!

That's my Lord!

Jesus, the Son of God!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Hey!

Let's spend one more day on these things, how Jesus holds together all the elements of creation! By Him all things adhere, hold together!

 

 

LESSON 10, CONCLUSION:

I want to try to squeeze several "object lessons" into today's time, if possible. Remember that we are talking about Jesus.

The Creator!

And that He, according to Colossians 1:17, "holds" all things together!

Paul, word for word, speaking of Jesus, "By Him all things consist."

Amen!

Things in Heaven.

Things in earth.

And certainly things visible.

But get this, invisible too, Colossians 1:16 says so!

"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible."

This includes, then the basic "building blocks" of life and matter, those things we studied in chemistry, the "elements."

They "hold together" in a nearly inexplicable way!

That is, until I read Colossians 1:17!

They are invisible too!

And they have a Maker!

Let's look, one more time, at some of God's handiwork, some of the clues to His Power and Glory He's left for us to investigate.

I found an element that "sings!" Called "antimony," when blocks of it are heated rather fervently, as it begins to cool, it emits melodious sounds that resemble lovely chimes! Not an off-key moan or groan, not a haphazard cacophony of noise, an orchestra quality symphony! From a chemical element, from the lab!

Jesus also sings! Listen to Him in Psalm 22, prophetically on the Cross, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." And this very verse, when quoted by Paul in the New Testament, becomes: "For which cause He, Jesus, is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." Hebrews 2:11-12, Jesus singing! Also Zephaniah 3:17. "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Oh, yes!

So, little surprise that one of His elements sings too!

Next, let's look at this little group of elements, quickly. I'll just name them then tell you one common fact they share. Until the exception arrives!

Element number 80, meaning it naturally possesses 80 electrons, is called mercury. And it is poison.

Element number 81, named thallium, is so toxic that it's been used as a murder weapon, a potent poison!

Element number 82 is lead, which we all know is toxic too, a poison.

But watch this. The next element, number 83, is known as bismuth, and it is not poison! In fact, it's the main ingredient, 57% so, in a medicine called Pepto-Bismol, which soothes an irritated stomach!

What makes number 83 so different?

It has the same "number of electrons" spread as do the three which precede it! And they are all deadly! Why is bismuth so benign? No one knows. But all this proves one fact anyway, a spiritual truth lurks here, hidden in the science.

Sometimes the addition of one little biddy ingredient, one extra though small facet of truth, can make a big difference!

A critical difference!

For example, a series of bad circumstances, nearly deadly in tandem, can be reversed by the inclusion of an infinitesimally small "additive," in the science we've just discussed as microscopic as a single electron, too little to measure really, but drastically rearranging the situation!

To a line of equally bad circumstances, potentially faith wrecking, a Christian can add this single little nugget, like bismuth's extra electron, and things can change drastically! From darkness to daylight! Here's the additive. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." That's nugget number 28 from the Romans 8 drawer!

Or add this to a hectic life! "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Wow, Jeremiah 29:11.

Life changing!

Or this. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-3, that's more soothing to an upset life than most medicine is to an upset stomach!

Watch Joseph's additive in Genesis 50:20. "But as for you, the scheming brothers, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good."

Wow!

Potential poison just became medicine!

Add one little "electric," maybe it should be "electronic," thought from the Bible, one Verse will do, and poison can be turned into healing!

Jesus did it all the time as He created the elements!

Since it's Sunday, and maybe you have a little extra time before Church, not having to leave home as early as usual, work and all, let me share a few more thoughts.

From 1789 until 1895 scientists handled dangerous elements, now called radioactive elements, without knowing anything about the threat such items posed! And those men and women died as a result of their ignorance! Uranium, the first of the radioactive group, was first isolated in 1789. And not until 106 years later did men and women learn their costly error!

Hundreds dead!

It's so with Jesus, too!

Many today are mishandling Him! Criticizing Him and slandering Him and lying about Him, redefining Him too! Calling Him vile Names, and that's just the beginning of their blasphemy.

But guess what?

Their ignorance is going to be spiritually deadly. They are crucifying afresh the One Who died on the Cross of Calvary! They are signing their own death certificates!

Some day they will know.

Nobody not walks into a nuclear reactor casually! Certainly not without taking the proper precautions, not without respecting the awesome power present in that room! Power unto life! And power unto death!

Do you see what I'm saying?

It's all based on how we handle Jesus. On Whom we believe Him to be! "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Life or death, John 3:36. Add John 3:18 too. "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Hope you see what I mean.

Then element number 89, actinium, comes to mind. It's so very radioactive, so powerful, so electron emitting, that it cannot be held in one's hand without that person experiencing nearly immediate death! In its 100% form, no human can handle it! And when you see it, it glows, all on its own!

Then think about Jesus!

So powerful, so glorious, that if He were to appear in all His Majesty, in all His unlimited attributes, we could not take it! Not in our present human bodies! Remember what God told Moses, who wanted to see the Lord's Glory? "And He said, Thou canst not see My Face: for there shall no man see Me, and live." Exodus 33:20!

And yes, the Glory of God emits "light" too! Here's Paul, talking about the darling Jesus Christ we know and love! "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." 1st Timothy 6:16

More powerful than actinium, for sure!

I must close!

Jesus made them all. And He keeps them clinging together too, all those neutrons and protons and electrons!

The whole creation, visible and invisible!

What a Saviour!

Help me praise Him today!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

My only regret!

I did not have time to tell you about the "half-life" aspect of these things, the radioactive ones! It costs to be that powerful! But that must wait for another time.

If this is too complex today, too confusing, join us again tomorrow morning! When we will begin, the Lord willing, a new Text, a new series of Bible Studies! That a Book, Godís Holy Word!

 

Wow!

What a Text!

 

 

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