Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:…
I. CHRIST'S PRE-EMINENCE.
1. His supremacy in relation to God. "Image" means
(1) The supreme likeness of God.
(2) The supreme representation of God.
(3) The supreme manifestation of God.
2. His supremacy in relation to nature. We have(1) His dignity, "firstborn," telling of His age, heirship, authority.
(2) His creative and sustaining agency. All is made by Him and consists in Him. In His miracles He was the Divine Ulysses whose use of his love proclaimed him lord.
(3) His consummating glory. Creation exists for Him as well as by Him. He is its end as well as its origin.
3. His supremacy in relation to His Church. He is
(1) Its sovereign, "Head";
(2) Its force, "Beginning."
(3) Life, "Firstborn from the dead." His risen life is the life of the Church.
II. THE EXPLANATION ON HIS PRE-EMINENCE IS HIS DIVINE PLENITUDE. He is the Pleroma, the totality of Divine attributes and powers.
1. In Him are all the Divine resources. He is the fulness of wisdom, power, love.
2. In Him all those resources permanently "dwell." Because He is thus full of God, He must in pre-eminence be fully God.
III. THE WORK OF CHRIST IN HIS PRE-EMINENCE AND PLENITUDE IS THE WORK OF RECONCILIATION.
1. Reconcile what? "All things."
2. How? "By the blood of His cross."
(U. R. Thomas.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: