Thursday 16 August 2018

Bible Book:

“proclaimed to every creature under heaven” (v. 23)

Colossians 1:21-23 Thursday 16 August 2018

Psalm: Psalm 119:81-96


In the letter to the church at Colossae, Paul sought to establish beyond any confusion the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ. The purpose of the letter seems to be to defend Christian faith from a variety of heresies that have crept into the practice of the Colossian church. By implication, humanity is not separate from creation. There is nothing in earth or heaven which is not created by God, and no human philosophy or separate force or knowledge that controls some sections of creation, as if in opposition to God.

This first section of the letter (Colossians 1:15-23) gives Paul’s outline of the whole person and work of Jesus Christ. In today’s verses, Paul assured the readers of the letter that any error or evil they have been done would be forgiven. As long as they were faithful in their belief in the hope of the gospel, he said, they would be included in the great work of reconciliation of all things to God, which is Jesus’ purpose.

But Paul went on and made a further point that goes to the very heart of how we might understand our relationship to the created world. For the second time in the section (the first is at verse 20) he emphasised that as Jesus was part and parcel of the beginning of all things, so the reconciliation he offers is for all creation. The gospel has been “proclaimed to every creature under heaven”.

Thus Paul’s emphasis on the entire sovereignty of Jesus Christ implied that an evangelical mission includes work to heal creation. Proclaiming the gospel is not just about human hearts and lives, but about the well-being of all things.

To Ponder

  • Have you been aware before of scriptural emphasis on the healing of creation as part of the gospel? How, if at all, does this change the way you live your life?
  • How do you show spiritual respect for creation in your day to day life?
  • Do you expect to be judged by God?
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