God’s Renewing Word of Love
Colossians 1:15-23: Today’s reading includes a description of the person and work of Christ and concludes with Paul’s exhortation to remain faithful.
The Person and Work of Christ
15 Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things. 16For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. 17Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. 18 He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life. He is the first-born Son, who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things. 19For it was by God’s own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God. 20 Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son’s blood on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.
21At one time you were far away from God and were his enemies because of the evil things you did and thought. 22But now, by means of the physical death of his Son, God has made you his friends, in order to bring you, holy, pure, and faultless, into his presence. 23You must, of course, continue faithful on a firm and sure foundation, and must not allow yourselves to be shaken from the hope you gained when you heard the gospel. It is of this gospel that I, Paul, became a servant—this gospel which has been preached to everybody in the world.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 1:15
Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things.
Verses 15-20 are probably derived from an early Christian hymn. What do these verses say about Jesus? (You may wish to compare verses 15 and 16 with John 1:1-3.) According to verse 22, what has God done? What does Paul admonish the Colossians to do (verse 23)? Is this verse relevant for us today as well?
Lord God, I thank and praise you that you made me your friend and have brought me into your presence. Help me to remain faithful and not stray from your teachings. Guide me each day in the way of your truth. Amen.
Colossians 1:24-29: The apostle Paul describes his work as a servant of the gospel.