And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
Note 10 at Col 1:18: Christ is not only the Creator, but He is also the head of the church. Scripture describes the church as a family (Eph 3:15), a vineyard (Mt 20:1-16), a kingdom (Mt 5:20, Lu 17:20-21, and Col 1:13), a building (1Co 3:9 and Eph 2:21), a flock (Joh 10:1-16, Ac 20:28, and 1Pe 5:2-3), and a bride (Re 21:2, 9; and 22:17). The description of Christ's church as His body has no Old Testament equivalent. The church is a living organism, and as such, it has life, with its head being Christ Jesus. As head, He is Chief, Supreme, and Lord of His Church.
Note 11 at Col 1:18: This is another passage that those who do not believe in the deity of Christ try to use to "dethrone" Christ (see note 5 at Col 1:16 and note 9 at Col 1:17). This is not speaking of Jesus as having a beginning like other creatures; this is speaking of Christ's resurrection. He was the beginning of a whole new species of beings that had never existed before. These are the new creations that Paul spoke of in 2Co 5:17. Jesus Christ was the first person ever begotten from the dead and raised in newness of life (Ro 6:4, see note 12 at Col 1:18).
It is also correct to speak of Jesus as "the beginning" if we are defining "beginning" as "a source; an origin" (American Heritage Dictionary). This is the way "beginning" is used in a number of scriptures referring to Jesus.
Note 12 at Col 1:18: Jesus was not the first person to be raised from the dead. Elijah raised the widow's son from the dead (1Ki 17:22). Elisha raised the Shunammite woman's son from the dead (2Ki 4:35). One man came back to life when his body was tossed in the tomb of Elisha and touched Elisha's dead bones (2Ki 13:21). Jesus raised three people from the dead (Lu 7:15, Mt 9:25, and Joh 11:44) prior to His own resurrection.
However, no one had been resurrected as Jesus was. Jesus didn't just come back to life to have to die again; He was resurrected with a spiritual body (see note 13 at 1Co 15:44) that can never die (Ro 6:9). Jesus was also the first "born-again" person. He not only had a glorified body, but He also had a spirit that had been raised in newness of life (Ro 6:4).
1Co 15:20 refers to Jesus as the first fruits from the dead. That means He was the first, but there are more to come. That is referring to all believers who have been "born-again" (see note 2 at Joh 3:3). All Christians have new, born-again spirits, and they will receive glorified bodies at the second coming of Christ.
Note 13 at Col 1:18: The word "preeminence" was translated from the Greek word "PROTEUO," and this Greek word means "to be first (in rank or influence)" (Strong's Concordance). The American Heritage Dictionary defines "preeminent" as "superior to...all others; outstanding." This was what Paul was stressing--Jesus is Lord of all.
|Previous Verse||Next Verse|