Reading the Book of Colossians

First, you were created for Christ. Christ’s Spirit says in Colossians 1:16,

“For by Him [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All were created through Him and for Him.

Every person was created for Christ. Yet, to what extent? The scriptures teach that Jesus is the image of God in which we were all created. Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is “the brightness of His [God’s] glory and the express image of His person“, and Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God“. What does this mean? We were created in the image of Christ as Genesis 1:26-27 reveals, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (cf. Gen. 5:1). The value of humankind is bound to the value and glory of God. Your value is embedded in that you were created in the image of God and you were created in the image of Jesus Christ. Yet, God has a purpose that we be transformed into the image of God, because we have fallen from that glory and image being condemned without Christ (2 Cor. 3:18, Rom. 3:23, 5:12). Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”, which glory is “the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). Should we think like many that we are simply animals and that we live to serve our desires that come from our flesh and our pride? Or, do we find our purpose in the glorious image of God, who is love shown in Christ? This is where we find life, we find life in Christ’s words. For Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). In Jesus, we find all purpose.

Does God know you personally as an individual? Some people think that they are just a face in a crowd to God. Many think of themselves as a speck on a pebble called Earth within a vast solar system circulating within one of billions of galaxies in the Universe. Yet, Jesus said that God knows each one of us individually. Christ said in Luke 12:6-7,

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

God knows who you are. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows each and every bird, and so He certainly knows you, whom He created in His image. God’s Spirit revealed how well that God knows each one of us. The Spirit of God revealed through David in Psalm 139:13-16,

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

God formed you in the womb. As an unborn person, He made you and your form being wonderful and marvelous. God knew you before He formed you. He knew you before your knew yourself. These thoughts of you are so precious in the total number of all of His thoughts. God knew your gifts and how He would use you, but first you had to be remade.

We’ve all sinned against God. God knowing you individually has found us all guilty by our own sins and not by the sins of others (Rom. 5:12). Though we were created in the image of God, we fell from the image in which we were created and alienated ourselves from God (Rom. 3:23, Col. 1:21). The life that God gave each person is recognized in each person’s blood, because we were each made God’s likeness (Gen. 9:4-6). Blood is the currency of life (Acts 20:28, Rom. 3:24-25, Eph. 1:7, 14, Col. 1:14, Heb. 9:12). Therefore, we need the blood of Christ because He is the image of God. How can each person be used by God while being separated by sin? “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:8-9). Christ died for each sinner that we may be justified by His lifeblood, because we could not justify ourselves or redeem our own lives.

Jesus died and was raised from the dead that you may also die to your sins and be saved being raised in Him. The death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ saves us (1 Cor. 15:1-4). In this, we have received grace by “obedience to the Faith” (Rom. 1:5). We are set free from sin by obeying the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:7, 16-18, Rom. 1:5, Rom. 16:26). Christ can use us when we are saved. We are saved when we have crucified our old selves, been united in Christ’s death by being buried with Him in baptism, and at this point we are raised with Christ through faith to walk in newness life (Rom. 6:3-6, Col. 2:11-12). This is salvation, and by salvation, we have purpose. Now, we can be used by God in the work of His Son and in the Church, which He built and bought with His blood (Matt. 16:18, Acts 20:28).

Does God have a personal plan for each disciple of Christ? From the very beginning, your purpose in life was to live in Christ being that “All were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16). Even more, God established every place and time for people to live, so that no matter where one lives that person can seek the Lord and find Him being that God “is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27). Those who find God in Christ have a very specific purpose and gift given to each one by God. Romans 12:4-8 says,

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Are you using the gifts that God gave you? Your life is not in your plans and your goals. Life outside of Jesus Christ is a life in service to one’s personal desires of one’s flesh, eyes, and pride. Yet, our hope is life in Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:20 says,

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Are you helping others to see that their life is in Christ? Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Are we helping others to be transformed into the image of God? Are you helping others to know the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation? Have you seen that your purpose is to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9)? Have  you seen that you have specific purpose, because God made you? “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).