Summary: Our union with the God-Man is the basis of our everlasting life!
We started a study last week with the first two verses of the Gospel of John. We saw the Word as God-Man and focused mostly on His preexistence. Now we’re going to look at verses 3-4 and see His preeminence and how that relates to our hope of everlasting life:
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The Creator is greater than the creation
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail (Heb. 1:10-12).
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (Col. 1:15-19).
Colossians ties Christ’s preeminence to the fact that He created all things. He is “firstborn” with “preeminence.” We already know the Word “was” (imperfect, indicative verb) with God in the beginning, so firstborn doesn’t mean He has a beginning. Rather, this speaks of His position or rank. As the “firstborn” He’s the greatest of all and holds first place.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
He possesses life within Himself and gives it to men
First, God is self-sustaining: He says, "I am that I am" (Ex. 3:14; Jn. 8:58) or literally, “I be” or “I exist.” Many times He’s called the "living God."
Second, the Son has life within Himself from the Father: For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself (Jn. 5:26).
Third, He gives life to all men, but here we specifically mean eternal life: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) (I Jn. 1:1-2).
This life is according to our union with Him
Consider how Christ is contrasted to Adam: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 5:12-21).