Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that the book of Colossians reveals that Christ is everything. In the universe there is God the Creator, and there is the creation. According to 1:15, Christ is the image of the invisible God. This means that He is nothing less than God Himself in full expression. Furthermore, Christ is the firstborn of creation, the first among all God’s creatures.
God has accomplished two creations, the old creation and the new creation. The old creation includes heaven, earth, mankind, and millions of different items. The new creation is the church, the Body of Christ. Verses 15 through 17 unveil Christ as the first in the original creation, as the One who has the preeminence among all creatures. Verse 18 shows that Christ is the first in resurrection as the Head of the Body. He is the One who has the first place in the church.
The first creation came into being through the speaking of God. In the words of Romans 4:17, God called the things not being as being. The new creation, on the contrary, came into being through resurrection, through the death and resurrection of the old creation. In this new creation, the church, Christ is the firstborn from among the dead.
As the Son of God, Christ has passed through two births. The first birth took place at His incarnation, and the second, in His resurrection. All Christians realize that Christ was born through incarnation, but not many regard His resurrection also as a birth. Acts 13:33 indicates that Christ was begotten, or born, in resurrection. Through resurrection He was begotten as the Son of God. However, before His incarnation, in eternity, He was already the Son of God. Why then did He need to be born the Son of God in resurrection? Before His incarnation, Christ was not a man. He was simply the infinite, eternal God. But in the fullness of time, Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, and nine months later He was born in a manger in Bethlehem. According to John 1:14, the Word who is Christ became flesh. This means that He took the step of becoming a man. How marvelous that through incarnation the infinite, eternal God became a man! However, in becoming man, He did not cease to be God.
After living on earth for thirty-three and a half years, Christ was crucified. Then in resurrection He took a second step to be born the second time and become the firstborn Son of God. Before His resurrection, Christ was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). But through resurrection the only begotten Son became the firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8:29). According to Hebrews 2:10, God is leading many sons into glory. These many sons are the many brothers of Christ as the firstborn Son.
Through the two births of Christ, divinity has been brought into humanity, and humanity has been brought into divinity. By the incarnation of Christ God was brought into man. Prior to Christ’s incarnation, God was outside of man. However, through Christ’s incarnation God was brought into humanity. We may say that with the birth of Christ God was born into man. Therefore, by Christ’s first birth in incarnation God was brought into man and became one with man. Then through Christ’s resurrection man was brought into God. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, God was living in a man, for God was in Him. Now, through Christ’s resurrection, man has been brought into God. Hallelujah, as a man Christ is in the heavens! God has been brought into man, and man has been brought into God. What a transaction! What marvelous two-way traffic! In this two-way traffic God came into man through incarnation, and man was brought into God through resurrection.
Have you ever heard that Christ, the Son of God, has passed through two births? You may have heard that you needed a second birth, the birth in the spirit through the Holy Spirit, but not that Christ was born twice, first in incarnation and then in resurrection. In eternity Christ was God. Through His incarnation He became a man, and through resurrection He became the firstborn Son of God.
Through Christ, God has been brought into us, and we have been brought into God. Praise Him for such a mingling! When we were born again, simultaneously Christ was born into us, and we were brought into God. Therefore, in our Christian life we have an inward and personal experience of both of the births of Christ. With Christ, His birth in resurrection came thirty-three and a half years after His birth through incarnation. However, in our experience of Christ, God was brought into us and we were brought into God at the same time. Praise the Lord for the marvelous traffic between God and us!
Colossians 1:19 says that all the fullness was pleased to dwell in Christ, and 2:9 declares that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. In 2:10 Paul goes on to say that in Christ we are made full. Because all the fullness dwells in Christ and because we have been put into Christ, we have been made full, filled with the divine riches. Hallelujah, in Christ we are made full! In a very real sense, we who believe in Christ are complex, for we are in the One who is very complex. If He were not complex, there would have been no disputes regarding His Person.
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