Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the traditional teaching prevailing in Christianity, Christ is considered to be the Creator. Although as God Christ is the Creator, no verse in the Bible says explicitly that Christ created the heavens, the earth, and all the things in the universe. When some hear this, they may wonder about John 1:3. This verse says, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being which has come into being.” This verse does not say that Christ created all things. It says that all things came into existence through Christ. The King James Version of this verse says, “All things were made by him.” This, however, is not an accurate translation. The Greek preposition should be rendered through and not by. Hence, this verse does not say that all things were created by Christ, but that all things came into existence through Christ. This indicates that Christ is the means of creation.
Some may think that Hebrews 1:10-12 says that Christ is the Creator. However, these verses are a quotation from Psalm 102 that indicates that God is the Creator. Here they are quoted to prove that Christ is God.
Christ is in fact the Creator of all things. But the point we are emphasizing here is that the Bible does not say specifically that Christ is the Creator. Rather, the Bible speaks of Christ as the means of creation, as the means through which all things came into being. If we speak of creation in a general sense, it is correct to say that Christ is the Creator. But if we wish to speak more definitely, it is better to say that Christ is the means of creation.
Colossians 1:16 says, “In Him were all things created.” The King James Version says, “By him were all things created.” This rendering is not accurate. The Greek preposition used here is more accurately translated by the English word in. To say that all things were created in Christ indicates that He is the means of the creation of all things. However, if this verse is rendered, “By him were all things created,” it will say that Christ is the Creator, not the means of creation.
In 1:15 Paul says that Christ is the image of the invisible God. This means that Christ is the expression of the unseen God. At this point we need to ask in what way Christ expresses God. The answer is that He expresses God in creation. However, Christ does not express God in creation simply by creating all things in an objective way. If Christ were merely an objective Creator, not the subjective means of creation, Christ could not express God in creation. Keep in mind that all things were created not by Christ, but through Christ. This points to a process that took place in Christ.
In his note on Colossians 1:16 in his New Translation, J. N. Darby says that the words “in Him” mean in the power of Christ’s Person. As Darby says, “He was the one whose intrinsic power characterized the creation.” Commenting on the meaning of the Greek preposition used in the phrase “in Him were all things created,” Darby says that it is “used generally for the character in which a thing is done” (Collected Writings, Vol. 33, p. 87). He also states that the “creation of all things was characterized and wrought by the inherent power which is in the Lord Jesus Christ, and all things subsist together as one ordered and law-governed whole by the same constant and inherent power” (Collected Writings, Vol. 31, p. 188).
Christ is the active instrument through which creation was processed. In this process God’s power is expressed; it is made manifest. This is revealed clearly in Romans 1:20. This verse says that the “invisible things of Him from the creation of the world, being apprehended by the things made, are clearly seen, both His eternal power and divine nature.” In all created things God’s power is made manifest. Hence, in Darby’s words, creation bears the characteristics of Christ’s intrinsic power.
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