Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. NKVJ
What is Paul trying to attribute to Jesus by calling Him the “firstborn over all creation?” Was he saying that Jesus was the first to be created?
Rather than try to guess or state the very first thing that comes to mind, shall we use the scriptures?
Psalm 89:27 says Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. According to verses 3, 18, & 35 this verse is talking of David. Was David the first king of Israel? No. Was David the firstborn in his family? Not only is that a no, but he was the youngest. Then, what is being ascribed to David in this verse? I think that the second half of that verse clarifies it “the highest of the kings of the earth.”
This term, firstborn, is used again in Colosians 1:18 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.
Was Jesus the first to be raised from the dead? No. Elisha raised a boy from the dead. Jesus raised several from the dead before He was killed. So, how is He the firstborn?
This verse explains that as firstborn from the dead He has preeminence or surpassing all others.
1. Jesus was the first to be forgiven of sin? Think about it. Paul says that Jesus became sin for us who knew no sin. Therefore, Jesus died with our sin but rose with our sin still in the grave.
2. Jesus was the first to be born without sin? Adam and Eve were created, not born. And, because of the virgin birth, Jesus was not born into the sin of his father, Joseph.
3. Or, could the focus be on the first as in “the greatest?” Jesus is the greatest of those who rose from the dead and those who will rise. Jesus is the greatest over all creation.
Keep in mind that according to Exodus 13:2 all firstborn belong to God. For a father to call his son the firstborn over all his possessions did not make his son a possession but the one who will one day inherite the possessions.
There is a group who has rejected all bible translations and have come up with their own translation. How convenient. They call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their explanation of this verse is that Jesus was the first to be created. That He was a created being, God’s first creation.
To be the first born over all creation does not make Him a created being any more than it makes me a bicycle because I was the firstborn in my family and was given responsibility as a teen over the upkeep of the family bikes.
There was a greek word used during the time that Paul wrote this which meant first created (proto ktizo). Rather than use this, he chose to use (proto tikto) first born. It is true that first born can be used as chronological order in a family. But, it is also used as a title of preeminence. Jeremiah 31:9 says …for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. Ephraim was not the firstborn of any family yet he is called the firstborn.
Because of the overwhelming evidence of scripture, I can not buy into the idea that Jesus was created. The very next verse, verse 16, says that all things were created by Jesus, created through Him and for Him. So, they want me to believe that God created His Son, Jesus, and then this created being created everything else? Does that lessen the glory of creation in believing that a created being created rather than God, who knows no beginning or end?
Paul said in Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. If Jesus could be equal with God, do we make God less to consider that a created being could be equal with God? I think so. How could a creation be equal with his creator who has always been? This goes back to the lie that Satan told Eve about eating the fruit and being like God.
Let’s keep in mind that the context of Philippians 2 is Christ in the flesh of man. In the end, Jesus will be worshipped by all. Only God is worshipped. Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, as “firstborn” not “first created” and one who is to worship, Jesus is God and has always been according to John 1:1
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