3170. Christ the Creator

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No. 3180-56:25. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, September 7, 1873, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, January 13, 1910.

All things were created by him, and for him. {Col 1:16}

1. There can be no mistake, as for the Person concerning whom Paul is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; it is Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate Son of God, who was crucified on Calvary; for, writing concerning the same Person in the fourteenth verse, the apostle says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” It is, therefore, that Saviour whose blood was shed for his people’s redemption who is declared here to be the Creator of all things, and by whom all things consist.

2. The first verse of the Book of Genesis tells us, that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” so someone may ask, “How do you reconcile that statement with Paul’s declaration that all things were created by Christ, and for him?” No reconciliation is needed, for the two statements are identical, since Jesus is God, and “in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Jesus said, “I and my Father are one,” and so they are. We do not know how it is, but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct personalities, yet there are not three Gods, but only one, as the apostle John writes, “There are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” The one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Father, Son, and Spirit, Three-In-One and One-In-Three.

3. The subject I have to speak about is the honour and glory of the second Person of the blessed Trinity, even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and it is so vast a theme that the preacher, at the outset, confesses that the task is too great for him to accomplish; he staggers beneath the weight of his theme, which seems to him too great for the human mind to encompass or for human lips to adequately express. All I can hope to do is to be lost in my subject that Jesus Christ may be All in all.

4. The text tells us that all things were created by Christ, and for him, so we will, first, consider Paul’s statement; and, secondly, we will review the reflections arising from it.

5. I. First, then, let us CONSIDER PAUL’S STATEMENT: “All things were created by him, and for him.”

6. So, first of all, heaven itself was created by and for Christ Jesus. Then, there is such a place, as well as such a state, and of that place Jesus is the centre. There is such a place, for Enoch is there. “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” God took him bodily to some place, and that place is heaven. Elijah also is there; the horses of fire and the chariot of fire did not merely take his spirit, but the entire Elijah, and he is in heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has gone back to heaven, went there in his own body. When he passed into the skies, he went up into the heavenly places, as well as into the heavenly state; and there he lives at the right hand of God, even the Father, enthroned in the new Jerusalem, the holy city of God.

   See how the Conqueror mounts aloft,

      And to his Father flies,

   With scars of honour in his flesh,

      And triumph in his eyes.

   There our exalted Saviour reigns,

      And scatters blessings down;

   His Father well rewards his pains,

      And bids him wear the crown.

7. God, absolutely considered, as a pure spirit, needed no such place as heaven. God is everywhere; long ago he asked, “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” The idea of there being needed any celestial court or place of abode falls short of the true idea of the omnipresent Jehovah. Neither do I suppose that it would have been necessary to have a place for angels, for everywhere the holy spirits would have been able to behold the face of God; wherever they might be, there they would see God; and, as a result, no special place would have been needed to be set apart for them. But it was ordained, in the eternal purpose of God, that there should be created a race of beings who should not be pure spirits, but who should have bodies made of material substances; and it was resolved by Jesus Christ that he would become one of these beings, that he would take upon himself their nature, and would become, in fact, a man. Now, when a spirit becomes linked with a material substance, it must have a place in which to dwell; and, therefore, heaven was created both for Christ and for his people. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, he will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” prepared, that is, with this view, that there might be a special central place for the display of Christ’s glory, and that all his people might be there with him. These are his own words: “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; so that they may behold my glory.” They are not merely to be as he is, but to be with him where he is; and, therefore, heaven was created by him, and for him, and for his people who are vitally united with him.

8. Oh beloved, when we get to heaven, we shall see that everything there glows with the glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! The print of his pierced hand will be on everything. The city of pure gold was created by him, and created for him. The foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all kinds of precious stones by him, and for him; the jasper, and sapphire, and emerald, and beryl, and all the rest, and the gates of pearl are all for him, all shall be for his glory. For him each harp of gold, each palm branch of victory, each shout of victory, each song of adoration, all heaven shall ring with the praises of Jesus. Heaven shall be, as it were, set with mirrors, in every one of which you will be able to see a reflection of the glorious person of Jesus Christ, even as in every dewdrop you may see the image of the sun. Everyone in heaven will feel it to be his bliss to praise Jesus; towards the august throne of the Most High this anthem will triumphantly ascend, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing,” with the variation of which John tells us in the Revelation, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.”

9. There will be nothing in heaven that will be derogatory to Jesus, but everyone and everything there will be for his praise and glory. I cannot believe that any one of his chosen people will be missing on the last great gathering day. No David’s seat will be empty there; no Thomas will be absent then. I cannot conceive of one whom he has purchased with his precious blood being lost. Not one sheep or lamb will be missing from the great Shepherd’s flock; in the day when they pass under the hand of him who counts them, they shall all be here. The army of the great Captain of our salvation shall be complete there; when the muster-roll is read, they shall all answer to their names; and all who are gathered there will owe their salvation to the Lamb who was slain. There will not be one Pharisee there to boast, “God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are.” There will not be one atheist there blasphemously shouting, “There is no God”; nor one Unitarian {a} seeking to drag Christ from the throne that is rightly his; but everyone will be adoring and magnifying, and delighting to adore and magnify him by whom and for whom heaven itself was created.

   All the chosen of the Father,

      All for whom the Lamb was slain,

   All the church appear together,

      Wash’d from every sinful stain.

10. Next, all angels were created by Jesus, and for him. However great, and strong, and swift they are, there is not one angel that ever flies from Jehovah’s throne that was not created by Christ. Read the entire verse from which our text is taken: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” If there is rank upon rank of blessed spirits, “that do his commandments, listening to the voice of his word,” all were created by him, and for him. Gabriel was sent to foretell Christ’s coming to earth, angels announced his birth at Bethlehem, others of them ministered to him in the wilderness and in Gethsemane, watched over his empty sepulchre, and joyfully attended him as he returned to heaven as the victorious King of glory. It is written that he was “seen by angels,” and it must have been with awe and wonder that they gazed on him from the manger to the tomb. We read also, “which things the angels desire to look into,” and there must have been many mysteries which even their lofty intelligence could not comprehend until he explained them. They delight to praise and worship him, and they help to swell the mighty chorus of adoring homage that is for ever ascending to him.

   Bright angels, strike your loudest strings,

      Your sweetest voices raise;

   Let heaven and all created things

      Sound our Emmanuel’s praise.

11. Angels were created by Christ, and for him, not merely to admire and adore him, but actually to serve him. Truly did the psalmist write, “who makes his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire”; and Paul reveals a most important part of their service when he asks, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?” We will not enter into any speculations about their battles with evil spirits on our behalf, though we believe that this is one of the many ways in which they minister to us. We cannot describe all the service that these heavenly messengers render to the Lord’s own people. I remind you of how one of them struck a hundred and eighty-five thousand of Sennacherib’s army in a single night, and of how the prophet Elisha, besieged by the Syrians in Dothan, saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire for his protection. You will recall many other examples of angelic intervention, and you know, too, how it is written, “He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

12. As for the fallen angels, who rebelled against God, and who have sunk for ever into hopeless alienation from him, even these were created by Christ, and for him; and though they hate him, they shall be compelled to obey him, and to acknowledge that he is Lord over all. Even their malice against the people of God shall only draw out his love towards them, and revealed his vigilance, and wisdom and power on their behalf. In the wilderness the Son of man met “the prince of the power of the air” in mortal conflict. Evil stood there endowed with all the attributes it could desire to have on its side; evil hoary with long and varied experience, evil backed up by a powerful angelic intellect, evil with ferocious malice glaring in its eyes, evil with diabolical cunning tempting the Son of God to sin. There, too, stood the Prince of life, alone, yet undaunted, the incarnation of holiness and love. Three times they wrestled, foot to foot, but the tempter had to retire, beaten; and when he came again, hoping to take the Son of God and Son of man at a disadvantage in Gethsemane, when he was full of anguish, and was shortly to die in even greater agony on the cross, it was again a desperate struggle, but the Master flung him to the ground. Our Samson tore the old roaring lion as if he had been a kid, and left him prostrate and defeated, while he passed on to complete the great work of his people’s redemption, and to conquer all the powers of darkness before he gave up the ghost. Glory be to Jesus, he has gotten glory for himself out of the devil and all his angels!

13. And even hell itself, terrible as it is, was created by Christ as a necessary part of the moral government of the universe so that sin might not go unpunished. Even there Christ reigns, his sovereignty is supreme down to its lowest depths. He has the keys of hell and of death; and when the appointed time comes, he will send an angel with the key of the bottomless pit, and tell him to lay hold on “the dragon, that old serpent, who is the devil, and Satan,” and bind him for a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit; and then, after the millennium, and Satan has been again released for a little time, he shall be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Christ is King even over that dark sad part of his domains, and amid all the confusion and tumult of the pit his enemies shall “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

14. The verse from which our text is taken also reminds us that this world was created by Christ, and for Christ. “By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth.” John tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was not anything made that was made.” The eternal Logos was the Creator of this lower world as well as of the realms on high. There is neither hill nor valley, sparkling spring nor foaming sea which he has not made. “The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.” Truly he is the Creator of this earth, and it was formed for him as well as by him.

15. It was specially made to be the place of residence for his people, the place on which they would fall through sin, and the place on which they would be restored through the redemption accomplished there by Christ Jesus on the cross of Calvary. This world was created by Christ as the place where he himself would live and labour, and suffer, and die. He would be laid as a baby in an earthly manger, as a boy and a man he would walk through the streets and lanes of this world, he would fare as human beings fared, and suffer as the dwellers on the earth suffered, though never through any sin of his own. I might truly say that the whole world was created for Calvary. “Why do you leap, you high hills?” That little mound outside Jerusalem’s gate explains your very existence. The world itself was created so that Christ might die on Calvary. This earth was to be a kind of stage on which Christ was to take the principal part in the greatest drama that the whole universe has ever witnessed. The world was made by him, and for him, and it will remain until his great purpose of love and mercy is fully accomplished.

16. We must not forget that even the lower orders of creation were made by Christ, and for him. They were needed by man, and man was necessary for the completeness of Christ’s plan of salvation, so the lower forms of creatures are links in the chain that could not be spared. There is a wonderful sympathy between the various parts of creation, as the apostle Paul tells us, “for we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.” Treat all creatures kindly, then, as far as you can, for the great Creator’s sake. I would not have a sparrow needlessly killed, nor even a worm trodden on that might be spared. My Lord and Master made them all; and when I look at them, I see traces of his wonderful wisdom and power; and when I see how bountifully he provides for them, I notice the signs of his goodness and care. He opens his hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing. There is not a little bird that picks up a seed by the roadside that was not created by Christ, and for him; and perhaps serves its purpose better than some of you who lift your brows to that heaven only to defy your Maker. There is not a donkey on the common, nor a lion in the forest, nor a fish in the sea, nor a fowl in the air that was not made by him, and that does not in some way promote his glory.

17. And to come to ourselves, men were created by Christ, and for him. Perhaps the Creator resolved to reveal his power and skill in a new order of created beings. He had made pure spirits, and he had made material substances; he had created various forms of life, rising from the vegetable to the animal; but he resolved that there should be a spirit created that should be affiliated with materialism, and that this spirit should, in the end, when it had passed through all its graduations, become the most wonderful creature in the whole universe,—a creature that should know evil, not merely by report, but by actual personal experience;—a creature that should, after that, be delivered from the power of evil, and so should be bound to God by ties of gratitude so strong that it should never revolt from him again. This creature, knowing evil and knowing good, strengthened by divine grace, should, by its own free will, cling to the good and avoid the evil, and should be for ever God’s best ally against all revolt in his dominions; for this creature, though it had known evil, was to become a child of God, and to be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. These creatures, partly spiritual and partly material, were to have at their head Christ Jesus, who was to be the model of them all, and they were to be like him, and to be his companions for ever; and to be to him more than companions, to be his friends, with whom he might hold familiar communion; and to be to him even more than friends, to be united to him in conjugal relationship, to be so completely one with him that they should be “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” that his life should be their life, and that their life should be derived from him.

18. What a wonderful creature a man will be when he gets to heaven with his body, and soul, and spirit all complete! No other creature will be so near to God as man will be through his union to the God-man, Christ Jesus the Lord. Yet this glorified man will never presume on his position, but will always keep his proper place; he will have been so, trained and educated by his falls, his regeneration, and his redemption that he will always be humble, and yet will rejoice that he is a son of the Most High who may say to him, “Abba, Father.” I do not know how such a creature as a perfect man could have been made by God except through the fall in Eden, the birth of Christ at Bethlehem, and his death on Calvary. In making man, God had produced a new type of being, that in him Jesus Christ might find an opportunity of displaying his wondrous condescension in taking upon himself man’s nature, and his wondrous grace in taking upon himself man’s sin, and dying in his room, and place, and stead. Through glorified men becoming Christ’s companions, friends, and faithful servants by reason of his mysterious union with them, a new race of beings has been created who can have greater sympathy with God than any others of his creatures can have. Demons can have no sympathy with God, for they are only evil. The holy angels cannot have as much sympathy with God as man who has fallen by sin, and then been saved by grace. It is concerning those who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, that it is written, “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he who sits on the throne shall dwell among them.” He will be our God, and we shall be his people; he will be our Father, and we shall be his children for ever and ever.

19. But, oh, if you reject the Saviour; if you turn the wonderful opportunity of immortal glory, which God presents to you in the gospel, into the dread alternative of eternal wrath; if you are resolved that you will not he among those privileged beings who will be next to God himself; if you spurn the dignity that is held before you; then, notwithstanding that, you will have to glorify Christ. Even in this life, and against your own will, you shall scarcely know how, you shall be made to serve Christ’s purpose; and at the last, he will make you realize how terrible he is as he breaks you in pieces as a potter’s vessel. If you will not touch his silver sceptre of mercy, you shall feel the weight of the iron rod of his inflexible justice. If you will not lie at his feet as a penitent, you shall be driven from his presence into the outer darkness where there will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth for ever. May God grant that none of you may ever know by experience what this means!

      Ye sinners, seek his grace,

      Whose wrath ye cannot bear,

   Fly to the shelter of his cross,

      And find salvation there.

20. II. Now I must pass on briefly to REVIEW THE REFLECTIONS ARISING FROM THIS STATEMENT: “All things were created by him, and for him.”

21. And the first clear reflection from this declaration is, then, Jesus is God. If all things were made by him, and for him, how is it possible for us to get away from the conviction that he is indeed God? I will not attempt to argue about the matter, but, whatever others may say or do, as for me, Jesus of Nazareth is my Lord and my God, and I will love, and adore, and worship him for ever and ever.

22. The second reflection is that Jesus is the clue of the universe, its centre and its explanation. Creation and history are enigmas which can only be understood in the light of the cross. When we look at the planets, their motions seem irregular from our standpoint; but if we could stand in the sun, we should see the planets revolving in their orbits in an orderly manner around it. Calvary is the sun of the universe. Stand there, believe in God making propitiation for sin by the death of his Son, and you can understand everything in the light that streams from Calvary. Get away from that great centre, and you understand nothing. The great question to ask concerning everything is,—Will it glorify Christ? How will it affect his infinitely wise purposes?

23. Try, beloved friends, wherever you are, to see all things in the light of Christ. I think this will teach you not to look with scorn on any of the things that are around you. See how the Lord Jesus has purged all things for his people so that they shall no longer be common or unclean. That lovely river, those fertile valleys, that dense forest, those snow-clad Alps, and everything else that Christ has created, you need not say, as some have done, “I will not gaze on the beauties of nature, lest they should take my thoughts away from my Master.” Do not scorn his works, lest you should also scorn the great Maker of them. His are the mountains, and the valleys his; sun, moon, and stars all shine for his praise and glory. Go up and down, then, in the world, and do not be troubled by many things that now disquiet you. Say, “I do not know how this will glorify Christ, but I am persuaded that, in some mysterious way which I cannot yet fully comprehend, his eternal purposes are being accomplished.” See Christ in everything, and see everything in the light of Christ.

24. And, beloved, another clear inference from Paul’s declaration is that to live for Christ is to live as we ought to live. If he made us for himself, then we who live for him have found out the true object of our existence. Put a thing to a wrong purpose, and it is a failure; but use it for the object for which it was made, and it will serve that purpose. Christian, Christ made you for himself; yes, he has twice made you for himself; therefore lay yourself out for him, body, soul, and spirit, spend all your time, and all your strength, and all your means for him and only him. So you will be in accord with the great object of your creation.

25. If we do not live for Christ, we have to make the sorrowful reflection that we are out of sync with all things that he has made. Although, by the mysterious working of his divine power, he will get glory out of us, yet we are not consciously in harmony with Jesus, and all discords must have an end. All opposition to omnipotence must be futile, and must also be transient. However long he may allow evil to continue, there is an end even to his longsuffering patience; and then, woe be to those who are still at enmity against the Almighty!

26. Another reflection from the text is that we can only live for Christ as we live by Christ. We cannot glorify him unless as he gives us the grace to do so; if we attempt to do it by our own power, we shall most certainly fail. Wait at his cross, beloved; cry to him to give you the aid of his almighty Spirit; and then, through the effective working of the Holy Spirit, you shall be able to live only for Jesus, by whom and for whom you were made both at your first creation and also when you were created anew in Christ Jesus.

27. And, lastly, it is clear from all this that Christ must triumph. Some of us have been almost breaking our hearts as we look around at the follies of the generation in which we live. They are going on pilgrimages to the shrines of their idols, the gods that are not gods; they are bowing down to their priests, and confessing in their ears the sad stories that should be told to God alone; they are setting up the calves and images that their fathers worshipped, and turning away from the only living and true God. All this we mourn and grieve over, but let us not imagine that Christ’s true kingdom is suffering loss. Beneath the dark clouds that hide the sun we mourn the absence of the great orb of day, but think how brightly the sun is shining above those clouds. Borrow an eagle’s wings, and soar above the clouds, and then you shall see the sun shining in its strength. So it is with Christ, the Sun of righteousness. Get away, by faith, from this poor earth, and you shall see him shining in his glory, whether it is day or night, summer or winter. Christ must reign. “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us’”; but it is still true, “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion”; and he shall reign for ever and ever, and let all his people say, “Hallelujah!” and again and again cry, “Hallelujah!”

28. He must reign. What power is there that can stand against him who created all things? What arm can dare to be lifted up against his almighty arm? Be of good courage, you soldiers of the cross; do not dream of defeat, nor think for a moment of fleeing from the foe in terror. Victory must come to the Lamb who was slain. He shall come from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, his apparel shall be red, like the garments of him who tread in the winepress, for all his enemies shall be trodden down in his wrath; and Rome, the prostitute church, the chief of all his foes, shall be hurled down like a millstone into the flood, and sink to rise no more.

   He shall reign from pole to pole,

   With illimitable sway;

   He shall reign when, like a scroll,

   Yonder heavens have pass’d away:

   Then the end;—beneath his rod,

   Man’s last enemy shall fall;

   Hallelujah! Christ in God,

   God in Christ is all in all.

29. Happy is he who is the lowliest page in the retinue of such a King. Happy is he who shall be privileged to sprinkle a few drops of water to lay the dust on the road over which our conquering King shall ride. Blessed is he who shall spread his garments in the way, or wave a palm branch in honour of the royal Victor in his triumphal procession. Happy shall he be then who has been laughed to scorn for Christ’s sake, or who has been lying in a dungeon until the moss has grown on his eyelids, or who has been burned at the stake, and his ashes cast to the four winds of heaven, because he would not deny his Lord. Oh to be entirely on his side now, so that we may be among his faithful followers on that day! Here we are, oh you glorious Son of David, take us, and all that we have, and make us more than ever yours from this time on, and to you shall be the glory for ever and ever! Amen.

{a} Unitarian: One who affirms the unipersonality of the Godhead, especially as opposed to an orthodox Trinitarian. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Col 1}

1, 2. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colosse: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Kindness is the very breath of Christianity, so the apostle will not begin the subject-matter of his letter until first of all he has breathed out a blessing on those to whom he writes.

3. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Paul very graciously blends his giving of thanks and his constant prayer for these Christians at Colosse, and sets in it an example that we may well imitate.

4-6. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have for all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and produces fruit, as it also does in you, since the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

If there is a way of knowing the grace of God which is of no value, it happens when it is not known in truth, that is to say, when it is only head-knowledge, not heart-knowledge. But, oh, when in truth the grace of God sinks into the soul, and changes the whole nature, then it is an experience for which we may well give thanks to God.

7, 8. As you also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras told them of Paul’s prayers for them; and when he came back from Colosse, he told Paul of their great love in the Spirit.

9. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in his wisdom and spiritual understanding; {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1742, “Spiritual Knowledge and its Practical Results” 1743}

See! the apostle asks for them something even more than faith, and hope, and love,—so that they “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” This shows what a valuable thing it is to know and understand the will of God.

10, 11. That you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

If we have faith, and hope, and love, it is desirable that we add to these a fulness of knowledge, and to this holiness of life and fruitfulness of service, that we may have patience to endure the afflictions of this life, and longsuffering with which to put up with the provocations of the ungodly.

12-14. Giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

And now Paul, having mentioned his Master’s great work,—redemption by blood and the forgiveness of sins,—goes on a tangent, as it were. He is so enthusiastic with regard to Christ and his great atoning sacrifice that the very thought of Christ’s blood stirs his own blood, and he seems like a man all on fire with holy fervour as he writes:—

15-17. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

How can anyone ever read this passage, and yet say that Christ Jesus is only a man? By what twisting of words can such language as this be applied to the most eminent prophet or apostle who ever lived? Surely he must be God by whom all things were created, and by whom all things consist.

But Paul’s next sentence is to us the sweetest of all:—

18. And he is the head of the body, the church: {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 839, “The Head of the Church” 830}

He is joined by an indissoluble union to his people, and is the head of their glory, their wisdom, and their strength.

18. Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.

Are we giving him the pre-eminence in all things? That theology must be false which puts Jesus in the second place, or even lower than that, and that experience is a wrong one which does not put Christ always in the forefront. He must always stand first in all things.

19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 978, “All Fulness in Christ” 969} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1169, “The Fulness of Christ the Treasury of the Saints” 1160}

That we might have to go to him for it; it pleased the Father to make errands for us so as to take us to Christ, and so to make our very emptiness to minister to the glory of Christ.

20-23. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they are things on earth, or things in heaven. And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in his sight: if you continue in the faith grounded and settled,

This is a text that ought to be read and pondered every day by the many unstable professors who are in the church at this present time: “if you continue in the faith grounded and settled,” like a building that will have no further settling, no more disintegration of the stones, no more cracking of the walls, because your foundation is secure, and you are firmly built on it.

23, 24. And do not be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature who is under heaven; of which I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you,

Oh, how blessed it is when a man has so mastered himself that his sufferings for his fellow Christians become a matter of rejoicing for him! He not only accepts them, and bears them with patience, but he says:—

24. And fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

There is nothing “lacking” concerning the atoning efficacy of the sufferings of Christ, but there is much yet to be endured in order that all the elect may be brought to Christ. Some must suffer through their extraordinary labours in preaching the gospel, others through bearing reproach for the truth’s sake, and Paul was glad to take, in his mortal body, his share of the sufferings to be endured for the sake of Christ’s Church, which is his mystical body.

25-27. Of which I am made a minister, according to the stewardship of God and which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is revealed to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ is you, the hope of glory: {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1720, “Christ in You” 1721}

This is the most blessed of all mysteries, I trust that many of us understand it; may the Holy Spirit reveal it to any who do not know it!

28. Whom we preach,—

That is, Christ; it is not so much what we preach as whom we preach. We preach the person of Christ: “whom we preach,”—

28, 29. Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: for which I also labour, striving according to his working, who works in me mightily. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 914, “Work In Us and Work By Us” 905}

There will never be any mighty work come from us unless there is first a mighty work in us; no man truly labours for souls unless the Holy Spirit has first worked mightily in him.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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