Colossians 1:11-22 (20 Nov 2016)

Introduction to quantum physics: Wave-particle duality.

We are limited in understanding such small things – also such big things as God.

Eg, the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. There is only one God who is talked of in three terms – but we can’t really grasp how it works.

Muslims offended by it.

In the beginning – God…, including the Spirit hovering and participating.

Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid it – see OTHER inserted in texts:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all other creation; for in him all other things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers– all other things have been created through him and for him

Words in italics to “clarify the meaning” but they change it!!

In this passage – Jesus is the creator. There is only the one and the same God but don’t try to picture him in terms of your limited experience! “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Is 55:8)

He is the image of the invisible God so if anyone sees Jesus they have seen God (Jn 14:9) Want to pray to God? – pray to Jesus. Want to worship God? – worship Jesus. When the invisible God appears in physical form he appears as Jesus. Jesus is what God is like.

for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, In the beginning God created everything that has been created. Here we read Jesus created everything that has been created. In fact, so did the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus. God the father is the creator, God the Son, Jesus, is the creator, God the Holy Spirit is the creator. There is only one God the creator whichever way you look at him.

He created all the things we can see and all those we can’t see and that includes all the things in heaven!

It includes whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers. He created the Queen, governments, prime ministers, Shire mayors, police, ministers, teachers, parents, Donald Trump. If all these people acknowledged Christ as God and did their job according to his way of doing things then everything would work as it should. All of these authorities are answerable to God whether or not they see themselves as answerable to you or me. In the same way you and I will answer to God so will they – whether they acknowledge or even believe in him now. We can tell them what we believe God wants them and us to do but when it comes to it, it their decision – godly or not

That’s why the Bible teaches us to pray for those who have authority, that those with authority have it only from Jesus so, unless their rulings conflict with our duty to Jesus we submit.

all things have been created through him and for him. Everything was created by Jesus, through Jesus and for Jesus. No one is more important than Jesus. No one has any right to take charge except Jesus or with his permission. Anyone who ignores his right to rule acts as a rebel against the King of Kings – and rebels can’t expect to be made welcome or treated kindly. Jesus came first and Jesus comes first.

and in him all things hold together. If Jesus decided he had had enough of rebels and half-hearted, lukewarm followers he could call a halt, stop holding all things together and drop the lot. Despite how much we think we are in control Jesus hand is under the lot, holding all things together. One day Jesus will say to the universe, “that’s it. I’m shutting down the lot – I will cease holding all things together. Now watch it all disintegrate completely while I start again with a new world.”

Of course, he says the same to each of us individually. When the time comes and Jesus decides to cease holding together me and my life or you and your life he will then call on you and me to answer as to whether you lived in his creation as a rebel or as a submitted servant of the creator king.

He is the head of the body, the church A group of Christians represent Christ. They appear to the rest of the world as Christ’s body – when they see us people in the world around us should be seeing Christ. But that won’t happen unless we actively make him the head of this body of Christians. This is Christ’s church and our job is to be consistently trying to find out what Jesus wants us, his church, to do. Then people who come across us will go away thinking, “Ah, so that’s what Jesus Christ is like! I’d love to know him even more.”

he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

And you, who were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

What hope is there for all of us, rebels against the King of Kings – people described as sinful? God was pleased to reconcile us to himself by the blood of Jesus Cross.

Is it fair for someone else to take my punishment – your punishment? No – but it is merciful and loving. Is it just? Yes because it meets the due reward for rebellion, for sin, which is death.

Is it fair that God should ask someone else – his Son, in fact – to take that punishment? No – because that’s not what happened: God himself in a human body met the requirements of his own law and saved us from having to do so. He had to do this in an incarnation, in a human body because only in this form could God die.

See verse 3 from Servant King hymn:

Come see his hands and his feet,
the scars that speak of sacrifice,
hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered.

The exchange is gloriously wonderful:

From: were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds

To: reconciled to God himself, presented holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

No wonder we give praise, thanks, and ourselves in his service – in the service of God the Creator Father, God the Creator-Saviour Son Jesus and God the Creator-Holy Spirit of God, of Jesus who dwells in and with us.

Bellingen Uniting Church 2016-11-20