“For by Him 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 things were created through Him and for Him.”
The third distinctive of the glory of Christ is that he created all things; all creation is designed for him, in him, and he preserves creation. Christ not only created all things, but all things continue to subsist because of him.
“For by Him all things were created”
John 1:3 says that Christ created the universe. Hebrews 1:2 says the Son made the universe. The Father is the originating cause (source), and the Son is how the world came into being (Rev. 3:14). The extent of the Son’s creation is “all” things. The word “all” includes the entire universe, whether material or immaterial, heaven or earth.
“that are in heaven and that are on earth visible [material] and invisible [immaterial]”
This phrase refers to the material universe, visible and invisible, space, and the physical universe. He made everything that we can see and cannot see.
“whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers”
The words “thrones,” “dominions, “principalities,” and “powers” probably refer to angelic beings and human government. In part, these terms specify the hierarchy of angels. The Colossians worshipped angels (Col 2:18). Christ reigns sovereign over angels (cf. Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Phil. 2:9-10; Col. 2:10, 15). All angelic organizations, whether good or evil, are under the control and power of Jesus Christ. The angels are a highly organized hierarchy over which Christ sovereignly reigns. He also reigns over the governments of the world. Thus, Christ holds sovereignty over both the spirit world and human government.
“All things were created through Him and for Him”
The first phrase says that all things were created “by” him. That is, Jesus is the cause of creation, and he designed creation. However, in this phrase, all things were created “through” him. He is the instrument of creation. Jesus Christ is the Agent whereby the universe was created. He is the creator.
Finally, creation is designed “for him.” The word “for” is a term of purpose. Creation is designed for the glory of Christ. He is the goal of creation. Christ will be glorified in creation. In summary, Christ is the author, the means and the end of creation. The universe finds its goal and perfection in Christ.
The universe holds no ultimate horror for the Christian.
The hands of the sovereign Son of God spun into existence everything that exists. He made the constellations of stars. Why should we worry about having a job next week? He can deal with our problems. Why should the Christian fear an uncertain, uncontrolled, runaway world? Jesus Christ is sovereign over it all. He will be glorified in the end.
If Christ created everything, and he is good, just, righteous etc, how do we explain the creation of evil?
Lynne, your comment takes more explanation that in a pithy blog such as this, however, I will give you the short version. First, God did not create evil. The only statement in the Bible that makes a statement that approximates that is a statement whereby He created surd evil (hurricanes, disease, etc as the result of man’s sin). God created man innocent free from sin. The reason He allowed sin to enter the universe is that He had to give man free moral agency to fellowship with him. If He created robots, then there would be no reciprocity of love from man. It would only be a love that He put into the robot. The robot would simply spit out like a computer what God put in. There would be no freedom of will in that. God did not create machines but people. Man, however, sinned and God could no longer fellowship with him to be consistent with His own righteous character. God had to deal with the sin issue by sending His Son to die for the sins of man. Since sins were resolved in the death of Christ, God can fellowship with those who trust the blood of Christ for eternal life.
Lynne, God is not the author of evil nor is any form of evil or darkness found in Him. What you need to know and keep in mind, is that though evil seems to prevail, God is never taken by surprise by these evils. God ordained these things to happen by His sovereign power and will bring every evil to judgment. God isn't competing with evil, He is sovereign over evil.
Hi, I've been looking for a commentary on this verse, because one of my friends asked:
If God made everything "for him" doesn't that give the impression that he's kinda "selfish"?
I hope you can help. Thank you.
I understand The Trinity, explain why this verse is attributed to Christ vs. The Father, if that makes sense… Looking forward to your response & thank you in advance (-:
Jacque, the entire argument of this section of Colossians refers to the superiority of Christ in creation. This argument does not preclude the role of the Father in creation. The Father is the source of creation and the Son is the means of creation (Jn 1:1ff).
My understanding is that God cannot create or do evil deeds.As Jesus says" He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
But everything and everybody IS subject to Gods control, for "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"
We have been given the gift of free choice by God.
Yes indeed God is the creator of all as he said I put life and death but I recommend u to choose life so its matter of choice
One need to look again at colossians 1:16. One need to see how the greek has been translated to english….it should be noted that “en” has been translated “by” instead of “in, or into or upon” (check the lexicon) and, the “di” has been translated “by” instead of the word “through”..there is theological reason for that. If one is Trinitarian he/she has to use “by” even if this means violating exigesis….why in the world that “en” is translated “by” when in fact other verses that uses the greek word “en” is translated as “in, into or upon”? and why is it that the greek word “di” is also translated “by” instead of the english word “through”?…It is a theological bias. The reason I am clarifying those few words is that it has a big influence as to how should Colossians 1:16 be interpreted. Try reading the verse again using “in” and it will change the way you look at verse 16.
One should consider the context of verse 16. In verse 2 and 3 which I will quote from the NIV, it says in verse 2 “God our Father” and in verse 3 it says “We always thank ‘GOD’, THE FATHER of our Lord Jesus christ,…” Then in verse 15 it says “He (Jesus”) is the IMAGE (likeness, “Icon”) of the INVISIBLE “GOD”…and when you get that right verse 16 shows a clear view of what Jesus is.
Another thing to observe in verse 16 is: the “created things” did not include “heaven and on earth”. Colossians 1:16 is not the same as Genesis 1. It says in Genesis that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Colossians 1:16 says “things IN (en) HEAVENS (ouranois) and the things upon (epi) the earth.”
I am afraid your understanding of Greek is not very deep. Anyone who has studied Greek at all knows that the Greek word εν is often translated “by” as a “marker introducing means or instrument” It is very dangerous to have a little or no Greek knowledge and to look up a lexicon without understanding the full range of meanings in lexicons. The English translates the Greek word εν in the neighborhood of 140 times according to Wigram’s frequency count.
is God the authur of psychology
Chiuike, God is the author of the soul (mind, emotion and will). The Greek word psuche, from which we get psychology.
God is holy and has a holy motive for creating sustaining and controlling the world in it’s present condition. The unique position of
Jesus as the only Saviour of the world and the only human to fulfil God
‘s law necessitates other humans not doing these things.Not keeping the
law of God is sin. Jesus can only be uniquely perfect if all else is not
perfect. God needs sin in man if Jesus is to be the Jesus that we know in the Bible i.e. the only begotten who always obeys the Father.
Thanks for this commentary. It clearifies me of a comment the Jehovah Witness made in one of their Booklet “What can the Bible teach us? Chapter 10 page 105 title “The truth about angels”. paragraph two. This is the statement “Colossians 1:16 tell us that after Jehovah created Jesus, “all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth” That includes the angels.
Jesus Christ is not created, this is a serious error. Colossians 1:16 is interpreted out of context.
Gideon, you are so right. It is a matter of taking the whole context in view.
When thinking about Jesus as Creator and we read that all was created not o ly by him or through him but importantly ‘for’ him we see the godness of Christ. As Jesus revealed God as Father and 1 John 4.8 defines God as being Love (notjust loving) we see the true purpose of creation. Love creates,not just as a fynction but as a purpose. We have children in a creatively functional way (by us) but children are our way to express our love to something that can experience,learn, appreciate, value and potentially share. I think this is the ‘for him’ purpose; not to selfishly own and rule over but to be the recipients of Gods love experientially in terms of his love towards us but also in a spiritual genetics sense, to be his offspring. Let us make msn in our image,in our likeness.
Andrew, your thinking is not based in good hermeneutics,exegesis, or anything that relates to good interpretation of Scripture.
In all is love. Amazing!
God the Father is our creator, Jesus is our Saviour and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. The Tri-unity of one God.