Friday, June 29, 2012

Beginning, Middle and End

Colossians 1:18 "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."

The Beginning, Middle and End of all things in one verse
What is amazing about these verses is how much the Holy Spirit has placed in such a short space.  Here in verse 18 we cannot help but see the connection made between creation – the beginning; the middle, which would be this current church age (Israel having been in the Old Testament) and then the end - which speaks to the wrapping up of all things.  The beginning (Genesis 1-2), middle (Genesis 3-Revelation 19/20) and the end (Revelation 20/21-22),  three main phases in the Bible’s unfolding of God’s Divine saga in the written Word. 

In Colossians 1:16-18 the original language gives us a continuous unfolding of how everything in history and eternity is centered around the Living Word, and how enjoyment of Him is the only way we can rightly understand God’s purposes for creation.  Verse 18 reveals how Christ is “the head of His church”, and that this group of redeemed humanity represents a foretaste of things to come. 

God views all that He does from end back to the beginning
The enjoyment of the Word is vital to our understanding of God’s purposes for creation.  We cannot separate what God began through Christ from what He intends to conclude through Christ.  The Bible’s vision of creation, now and the end is radically Living Word Centered, since only the written Word of God – the Bible, reveals such a vision. 

Christ, the Living Word, is central to God's purpose's for beginning, middle and end 
But now what is the purpose of God’s vision for creation and history?  We are told this in Colossians 1:18b – "So that He will come to have first place in everything".  Perhaps a clearer way of rendering that phrase “first place” would be “having dominance, supremacy”.  It’s not that the goal of creation, redemption and last things is to have Christ number one on a list of God’s purposes, rather Christ is the dominating purpose period. 

All creation will conclude because of the Living Word.  This should cause us immense joy as Christians.  Romans 11:36 states: "That from Him, and through Him and to Him are all things.”  To know that my life has a purpose in the Living Word is a joyful thought indeed, for I am but a pixel in the wide screen purpose of God revealed in the Bible: His glory revealed through the enjoyment and exaltation of His Son – the Living Word – Jesus Christ. 

As He is exalted and enjoyed by His people, he will then at the end of all the ages deliver all things up to His Father, and for the ages to come Christ will be enjoyed.  Truly then, joyful word-centered Christianity views creation rightly because:

1. Creation commenced by the Living Word
2. Creation consists by the Living Word
3. Creation will conclude because of the Living Word. 

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