COLOSSIANS‬ ‭1:15-20‬ ‭‬‬

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Colossians‬ ‭1:15-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Paul was fighting a particularly virulent strain of religious ideology called Gnosticism. The gnostics believed that enlightenment was man’s true goal and then every earthly step we took toward enlightenment would eventually result in the shedding of our mortal bodies. They believed that Jesus was an emissary of the Source of that light and that the creator God had actually enslaved humans to live in flesh. As Paul writes Colossians he highlights a few points about Jesus which demonstrate that a Christian belief is incompatible with a gnostic belief. Jesus is not an emissary, he is the source. Jesus is not a doorway to enlightenment. He is light. Creation is not evil. Jesus is the creator. In Paul’s theology, relationship with Jesus was the highest form of gnosis, that thing which gnostics call enlightenment. There is nothing more profound than his work of physical salvation on the cross, and all of everything was made to demonstrate this truth. For Paul, people need look no further than Jesus to find the meaning they seek. It is not hidden knowledge. It is open and obvious yo any who would pay attention. It is still obvious today.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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