Colossians 1

Colossians 1:6‑9,23‑25  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
There is a great character in Col. 1 The apostle contemplates in the saints, two characters of knowledge—the knowledge of “the grace of God in truth,” and the “knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (v. 6-9.) The saints at Colosse had attained the first; he desired for them that they might attain the second.
According to this, he contemplates two characters of ministry in himself—the ministry of “the gospel,” and the ministry of “His body, the church.” (v. 23-25.)
These distinctions should prepare us for much that we see in this clay. Saints have commonly attained the knowledge of “the truth,” or of “the grace of God in truth,” that is, of “the gospel”; but they have come short of the knowledge of “His will,” that is, “the mystery.” We are to accept them with all thankfulness, as the apostle accepted the Colossians (v. 3.); but we are also to desire as he did for the Colossians, that they might go on to reach the knowledge of the mystery in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
This is very simple and easy to be understood from this 1St ch. to the Colossians. The humbling thing to us is, that the knowledge of “His will” which we have in measure attained, has done so little for our souls; and that others with less attainment that way, may have reached far beyond us in other ways.
But I will touch upon another secret in this chapter. Wherever the eye turns it is filled with one object, and that is “the pre-eminence of Christ.” In the regions of creation, providence, redemption, and glory, this is so, as the 1St chapter of Hebrews tells us in a more succinct form. He made the world; He upholds all things; He has purged our sins, and sat down in the highest place in heaven, and He is appointed heir of all things. So, here, when I look at creation, or all things in their original estate, I see Him as their Creator, nothing less than that, and that gives Him pre-eminence in the midst of them.
When I look at Providence, or all things in their upheld consistent estate, I see Him as “before” them, and that gives Him pre-eminence there.
When I look at Redemption, or at the great scene of reconciliation, I see Him as the Head of the body, the first-born from the dead, and that gives Him pre-eminence in the great regions of reconciliation. Nay, to Himself it is, that all has returned in the way of reconciliation, and by Himself
And lastly, when I look at Glary, or at the time of the inheritance, I see Him as having all things—all things created for Him, as well as by Him: “the first-born of every creature,” or the heir of the whole creation of God, and that gives Him as surely, pre-eminence in the great scene of the glory, or the kingdom. Thus, wherever we look, in whatever direction our eye is turned, backward or forward, upward or around, the pre-eminence of Christ is made to shine before us.