Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colossians 1.18-20 notes

William Barclay - The New Daily Study Bible

4.  What Jesus Christ is to the Church
(1) He is the head of the body, that is, of the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, that is the organism through which he acts and which shares all his experiences. But, humanly speaking, the body is the servant of the head and is powerless without it.
(2) He is the beginning of the Church.  The Greek word for beginning is arche, which has a double meaning.  ...   It means first in the sense of time...  It means first in the sense of the source from which something came, the moving power which set something in operation.  We will see more clearly wht Paul is getting at if we remember what he has just said.  The world is the creation of Christ.  In words from that fine hymn 'the Church's One Foundation', Christ is the source of the Church's life and being and the director of its continued activity.
She is his new creation
By water and the word.
(3) He is the first-born from among the dead. ... He is someone who, because of his resurrection, is alive for evermore and whom we meet and experience.  Christ is not a dead hero or a past founder, but a living presence.
(4) The result of this is that he has the supremacy in all things.  ... By his resurrection, he has shown that he has conquered every opposing power and that there is nothing in life or in death which can bind him.

5. What Jesus Christ is to All Things
(1)  The object of his coming was reconciliation.  The New Testament never talks ofgod being reconciled to the world, but always of the world being reconciled to God.  ...  It was God who began the whole process of salvation.
(2)  The medium of reconciliation was the blood of the cross.  
(3)  We must note that Paul says that in Christ God was reconciling all things to himself.  the Greek word is a neuter (panta). The point is that the reconciliation of God extends not only to all persons but to all creation, animate and inanimate. ...  Too often in Christianity, there has been suspicion of the world.  ... Far from being Christian, this attitude is in fact heresy.  It was the very attitude of the Gnostic heretics who threatened to destroy the faith.

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