Bible Study

The Nature of Christ (Colossians 1:15-23)

Background: shape of a cross and two hand reaching for each other. Overlay: The Nature of Christ

The portion we will be diving into in this lesson is Colossians Chapter 1, verses 15 to 23, in which we will meditate on the nature of Christ.

Before going into the details, I want to thank you for continuing to visit us and participate in this study. I invite you to comment either here or on the Facebook page, so we can get to know you a little and continue to grow together in the Word. 

If you have just come across our blog, I invite you to read the previous lessons, for me, it is a privilege that you spend some of your time studying with me.

Let’s start by reading this portion carefully a few times so that we can better appreciate the nature of Christ. As we do so, let’s remember that Paul’s goal is to highlight the supremacy of Christ to encourage the Colossians not to be led away by vain teachings.

They will accomplish this by understanding who Christ is and the implications of his redemptive work for our lives. Knowing where our redemption and our hope come from, gives them even more value.

Colossians AD
Listing is in Spanish, but it includes the English Version

Who writes to us?

I think of all the letters with promotional checks that we may receive in the mail. The first time you receive one of these letters, you get excited about the possibility of receiving $5,000 and start planning how you are going to use it. 

All that excitement and adrenaline dissipates when you start reading the fine print in which they tell you the truth. That they are really offering you a loan which you have to pay with very high interest. 

After receiving several of these letters, you already know how to identify them, and we even throw them into the recycling bin without having to read them. These letters arrive so often that even my eldest son recognizes them and says: “why are these people lying to us?”

Now, when we open the door and see a box or a letter that comes from the grandparents; the story is different. The children run and shout to tell everyone in the house that we have received something important; because, even if they have no idea what is in that envelope or box, they know very well who sent it to them. 

They know that something good awaits them, be it a pack of cookies, a shirt or a letter; It doesn’t matter because they know who put it there. I lead you to think about this because it is what Paul is trying to say to the Colossians who have allowed themselves to be deluded by vain teachings. 

It’s like if his telling them; why you get excited about a promotional check that is going to bring you more problems later; if you have already received Christ and the Word of Truth.

Nature of Christ

The same applies to us; if we have received the Word of Truth and have been redeemed and called to the Light of the Lord, how can we get excited by vain teachings or vanities of this world? 

In verse 14 he told us that redemption comes from Christ and in the next portion Paul reminds us who that Christ is; so that we renew our confidence in what we have received from Him and better understand the impact of our redemption.

Christ in the creation (v. 15-17)

The first thing Paul mentions is the vital role of Christ in creation, he is the image of the invisible God. By Him and in Him, all things were created. He has existed since eternity past. 

Our redemption comes from the Creator of all. If you have ever marveled at a sunrise or the sea or any other aspect of creation, let me remind you that you have marveled at the Creator. 

The same being that left his throne of glory to become like us to give us life. We have not simply received redemption by grace; rather, we receive it through the Creator, from the one who sustains it.

Meditate on this truth until you appreciate with new eagerness the Lord’s work for us. We have not received redemption in installments or with high interest, we have received forgiveness and new life for love.

Christ, the head of the church (v. 18-20)

When Christ took the form of a man, he did not leave his deity, verse 19 says that the Father was pleased that all the fullness of the deity would dwell in him. It was necessary for Christ to be so full, to fulfill the law of God and be the expiation of our sin on the cross. For this reason, reconciliation with God is possible. 

Through his blood, he was the perfect sacrifice; to put peace between us and God. This has given him the place to be the head of the church, we are redeemed, and we have someone to direct us. 

We are made new creatures, and we have a leader better than any teacher we can look up to, our creator and redeemer directs us. Do we live surrendered to our Redeemer? Do we walk where he directs us and how he guides us?

Redemption Implications

Paul concludes by summarizing again the implications of our redemption and reconciliation (you can read or review the previous lessons) in Christ; to present ourselves holy, spotless and blameless to the Lord. (v.22) 

When reading this, my heart aches because I feel so far from that end. However, in the next chapters of the letter, we will see in a more concrete way what this work means in our lives. He ends this portion with an exhortation: 

"if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard." (v. 23) 

Our Response

Just like the Colossians, we too must remember that by listening and believing in the Word of Truth we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3); we must remain well grounded in this truth.

It is my prayer that this portion will lead you to wonder more each day about the nature of Christ, and that as you do this you may also recognize that we do not deserve his sacrifice and grace. That He and his words are the only thing we need to receive the reconciliation and peace that we so long for.

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