God’s Entire Plan: in 5 Simple Verses

2017-02-19T00:58:05+00:00 By |Blog, Christ & The Kingdom of God|
Pretend for a moment that you know nothing about Jesus Christ, and have heard nothing, and have read nothing from any Christian church or ministry. You overhear me talking about Jesus, and you ask, “Who is Jesus?”

Without saying a word, I hand you a piece of paper containing five verses of Scripture: Colossians 1:16-20.

“Read this,” I say.

And you agree.

“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. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

As you study this one fragment of Scripture you learn quite a bit about Jesus.

In the first verse, you learn that there is a heaven and an earth, visible and invisible things, as well as thrones and dominions and principalities and powers; and that all these things were created by Jesus. But why were all these things created? They were created for Him. That is pretty comprehensive, isn’t it? Nothing is left out. Nothing is overlooked. Nothing arrived by chance or by luck, but everything was created by Him, for Him.

In the second verse, you learn that Jesus is before all things, and that in Him, all things consist. You dig more deeply into the meaning of this and realize that not only were all things created by Him, but all things continue to exist and are held together because of Him, which makes Him “before” or, more accurately, “above” all things. This is very vast, is it not? In order to create all things and hold them all together, this Person must be infinitely wise and powerful.

In the third verse, you learn of the existence of something called the “church,” also known as the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is referred to as the Head. You look up the word “church” and find that it is not a building, but a spiritual assembly of called out persons (the Ekklesia). You would conclude that this assembly of persons represents a smaller number of people compared to the rest of creation (since they are “called out” from the rest), and that this Ekklesia enjoys some kind of special relationship, fellowship, union and oneness with Christ that is very intimate.

You also find that Jesus is the Beginning and the Firstborn from the dead, which seems to imply that there are others who will follow in His footsteps and be born from the dead as well. Next, in this very full third verse, you see a grand intention and purpose revealed: “that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Your study of “preeminence” would reveal that it means to be in the first, the highest, the chief, the best, and the most superior position in a place of ascendency over anything and everything else. Again, this is all-inclusive. Which leads to a question: how can it be that the One Who created all things, and maintains all things, does not already have the preeminence? Why is it stated as a goal?

Keeping that question in mind for later, you continue on to the fourth verse, where you discover that God the Father is moving and acting in relation to His Son, the Father being the One Who created all things by Jesus Christ, Who is now pleased to have all of His own fullness dwell in His Son, so that His Son is the very image, the exact representation, of God. For what purpose?

This you find in the fifth and final verse. By Christ, God the Father wishes to reconcile all things to Himself. You surmise that there must have been a breakdown in the relationship between God and parts of His creation. Now you have the answer to your previous question. This must be the reason why the preeminence of Christ is stated as a goal. There are a few, referred to as the Body, who are walking in fellowship with Christ; and since He is the Head of the Body, He obviously has preeminence there. As the One Who created and upholds all things, He should have the preeminence in all things. But there are apparently those who remain outside of that fellowship. God is obviously not content with having some things reconciled; He wishes to have all things reconciled.

You study the word “reconcile” and you find something interesting: it means “to bring back to a former state of harmony.” So you conclude that at one time, Christ did have preeminence in all things, and all things were in right relationship with Him, until something happened to interrupt that relationship. This rift apparently affected both heaven and earth, and now God is actively working to bring reconciliation to the rest of Creation through His Son. What a wonderful story of love!

Then you finish reading the fifth verse and you find something interesting – that from God’s perspective, peace has already been made because it is referred to in the past tense: “Having made peace.” So God has already made peace with those who have fought against Him; now all that remains is for those fighting against Him to stop fighting and make their peace with Him. But from His point of view, the peace has already been made. This is extraordinary!

How was the peace made? “Through the blood of His cross.” With no other Scripture but these for you to reference, you might conclude that whatever the blood of His cross means, it must have been a terrible thing that somehow accomplished a great deal of good. You would make a note to check into that further, and by now you would be longing to read the rest of the story.

Having read these five verses, you might then go back and count the number of times the word “all” is used in connection with the description of Christ:

1) By Him all things were created.
2) All things were created through Him and for Him.
3) He is before all things.
4) In Him all things consist.
5) That in all things He may have the preeminence.
6) That in Him all the fullness should dwell.
7) By Him to reconcile all things to Himself.

If you had nothing else but this fragment of five verses to support your understanding, what would be your impression of Jesus? Would you have a large idea of Him, or a small idea of Him? Would you have any sense of limitation or restriction connected with Him, or would you get the sense that He is higher and deeper than anyone can properly appreciate?

This tiny portion of Scripture provides a remarkably complete picture of the infinite greatness of Christ, the plan and purpose of God to have His Son in the place of preeminence, and the tremendous energy of God at work through Christ to bring about a great reconciliation and restoration of all things.

In the same way that John 3:30 conveys so much in seven simple words, these five verses condense some very big ideas and spiritual truths into a very compact but all-encompassing Gift of Truth – a priceless treasure for us to unwrap, explore, and value more than all the wealth in the world.

Do you remember when you first received the Lord Jesus? How excited you were, and how great God seemed to be? It is only later, after we have begun to digest the doctrines and traditions of religion, that we tend to lose sight of the greatness of God and the preeminence of Christ. Man is exalted, and Christ is limited, through these religious traditions. But if we put those teachings aside, and simply focus on what God’s Word says, we find nothing to diminish our joy at the riches of His grace revealed in its pages.

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About the Author:

CHIP BROGDEN is a best-selling author, teacher, and former pastor who shares "real, simple, truth" about a Christ-centered faith that is based on relationship, not religion. Learn more »

24 Comments

  1. James July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Wow! So fitting for a Sunday morning!

    • Mark July 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      or any other morning!!!

      • James July 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

        Agreed !

        • James February 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

          We know that the Christianity is not a form of Religion, it is personal relationship with God almighty, Peace with God who created heavens and earth, to keep any form od religion is keeping enmity with God. The religion is in my Flesh and it exalts, elevates the man’s self in the Flesh .and thereby undermines the Preeminence thwarts the Preeminence of Christ.

  2. Laura Petrisin July 21, 2013 at 11:15 am - Reply

    God, bring me back again and again to a fresh recognition of who He is, that Touchstone of reality – Jesus, All in All.

  3. Justina July 21, 2013 at 11:41 am - Reply

    I love how the simplicity of the gospel narrows and pinpoints our vision down to Jesus alone. Once our focus is only on him, we find our understanding of things begins to broaden and expand until we are delightfully overwhelmed with magnitude of his greatness and wonder!

    • Marlon June 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      I find that your comment: “how the simplicity of the gospel narrows and pinpoints our vision down to Jesus alone.” describes this portion of Scripture most eloquently. I also agree with Chip, that these five verses sums up God’s eternal plan – its a mine of unsearchable truths which encompasses the breadth of God’s Word. Thank you Lord for this ministry.

      Trinidad & Tobago

  4. Pam July 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I was sitting here at my computer studying the Word when this came across. I read it and it was like you just put those 5 scriptures into the depths of my being. God is such an AWESOME GOD I can’t wrap my brain around it. He is truly the Great Designer, Planner, Creator of the heavens and the earth!
    These ‘simple truths’ are yet so profound! You have such a gift in Him….and I appreciate that gift in you. Praise God for He is worthy to be praised!

  5. kenneth dawson July 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    this article is very important to grasp–it brings to my mind the significance of coming back to our first love–me and jesus need to go out on some dates–thanks chip.

  6. steve July 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I believe everything was done for all of us TO KNOW HIM

  7. Tracey July 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Will the Father reconcile ALL things unto Himself or is it just His desire to? I wonder about this often….

  8. eve July 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Oh it’s always been about Him and for Him but in His generosity Jesus loves us so and says, “come follow me and I will share ALL that I Am with you”

    no one else in history is like HIM or ever could be 🙂

    eve uk x

  9. Pamela July 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Beautiful masterpiece that is.

  10. Jean Wise July 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you Chip. I miss the weekly bible study but still continue reading your posts.
    Best wishes to you and Karla. By the way Dale and I have moved to Florida. We always have room for a visit from you two. You’re in our prayers, vontinue your faithfulness building God’s kingdom.

  11. Regina Braddy July 22, 2013 at 12:08 am - Reply

    …and the truth shall set you free! Praise the Lord, I’m free!

  12. Beatrice July 22, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Thanks for your inspiring messages. May God endow you with more wisdom and knowledge.

  13. Sandor Abonyi July 22, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I agree with you in all of things. We are walking on same way in the wilderness.

    Sándor

    from Hungary

  14. Melissa Askew July 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post..These verses have always been my favorite verses of the Bible because they are the foundation of everything. Was very happy when I saw that these were the five simple verses you were referring to..

  15. Kendall June 28, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Amen, amen, and amen!

  16. Clare Watts June 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    “It is only later, after we have begun to digest the doctrines and traditions of religion, that we tend to lose sight of the greatness of God and the preeminence of Christ. Man is exalted, and Christ is limited, through these religious traditions.” How tragic it is when Christians believe that works will save them, and have no REAL relationship with our MAKER! (read Gal.2:16-21)…..how awesome it is when we are given a revelation of Him and His unspeakable Majesty! – His indescribable beauty, power and glory! He truly is the express image of the Father, the outshining of His glory! (see Heb.1:2-4) like a diamond that reflects and reveals the breathtaking light that shines through it in all its character and beauty! How amazing He is – beyond man’s imagination or knowledge! Amen.

  17. Laurine McGillivray June 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I stand in awe of God, Abba Father, Jesus, my Treasure & Sweet, Sweet Holy Spirit; always on time – with anything He causes you to post, Chip. This Word regarding Jesus has blown my mind; I need to ponder upon these five verses many more times! Thank you Chip & Karla for your obedience. I was born into a family who belonged to a cult; full of legalism. It was one thing leaving this so-called organization over 20 years ago, after God began shining His light on Jesus, THE TRUTH; another thing for the false teaching to be slowly extracted from my system! I stand in awe of His Love, Patience & ALL Who He is!!!! I give thanks for his mercy & loving kindness endure forever!
    By Grace Alone, On Which I Stand, & Glory in the Cross of Christ, my Lord, alone! Hallelujah!!!!

  18. taji June 30, 2015 at 2:07 am - Reply

    Needed this reminder as its getting tougher out in this world to live holy and righteous as a Christian without hostility.

  19. Oladimeji February 5, 2016 at 3:16 am - Reply

    It takes the wisdom of God to intricately weave truth in this form. I pray that we really come to experience the Lordship of Christ in our lives and be regenrated in the spirit of our mind even though our spirit has been regenerated. Thanks Chip.

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