Summary: Since Jesus is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation, how should we respond to Him?
The glories of Christ
1,7- sends faithful apostles/ministers (calling of the disciples while they were yet humble fishermen- took them where they were and moved them on); ministers of life, cst. Solomon and Benaniah
2- has brothers (submitted to having earthly brothers, a fortiori heavenly, sanctified ones), gives grace and peace (John 1:17), cst. Moses
3,12- Son of God & Lord, worthy of thanks (vs.13- “the Son of His love”; 15- “image of invisible God”)
4, 8- inspires faith in himself and love for all others in His Spirit (John 4- woman at well)
5,12- guarantees (“laid up”) hope of heaven; is the word of the truth of the gospel
6,10- universally bears fruit (a) in salvation of souls, (b) in good works of saints (cf.Eph2:10)…Acts 2ff.
9,3- provokes persistent prayer (Daniel-Acts 1:12- first church prayer meeting, praying for Peter, etc.)
9- grants guidance- wisdom and understanding (cf. Prov 8); always met people at their point of need (rich young ruler, woman caught in adultery)
10- enables us to please God fully and know him better (see, nearly, dearly…day by day)- even traitors (Peter) and persecutors (Paul)
11- shares His glorious power for longsuffering with joy (contrast world which has one or other…Harry Potter article about ‘weak’ Jesus; James 1:2-4) cst. Children of Israel
13- Strong Deliverer, Saviour and Translator!, cst. Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samson, David
14- Pure blood sacrifice, Redeemer, Forgiver of Sins, cst. Aaron
15,17- Pre-eminence; Agent of Creation- Prov 8:22,30; John 1:1-3; John 8:58; Acts 3:15; prototokos (protos=first, tikto= to beget)- this expresses “His priority to, and pre-eminence over, creation, not in the sense of being the “first” to be born” (Vines)…cf. Esau and Jacob. Here, “His eternal relationship with the Father is in view, and the clause means both that [a] He was the “Firstborn” [i.e. pre-eminent] [above and] before all creation and that [b] He Himself produced creation” (ibid.) (cf. Prov 8).
Beget something like yourself… begotten of God, born of Mary, but not created. Vines p.447. Book analogy
16- all things- stars, planets, plants, animals, people (saved and unsaved), angels (obedient and fallen)- FOR HIM (Rev.4:11, KJV), for His pleasure.
18- HEAD, BEGINNING, FIRSTBORN- first to be raised eternally- even in sharing our weakness (of sinful form and death) he goes before us…Rev 1:5; Rom 8:29; Heb.1:6 (again=second coming). Head= He didn’t require a body, but graciously clothed Himself in human flesh, was made incarnate for our sake- infinity contracted to a span, divinity made man. He didn’t require a corporate body (the church), but graciously joined himself to His bride as her Head, and so we partook of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and became one with Him (John 17:22-23), as He chooses to, as it were, rely on His body to do His will in the world (Eph.4:15,16).
19- Fully God (John 1:1,14).
20- God is a Holy God and a consuming fire (Heb.12:29). Man is totally depraved and sinful (Rom. 3:10) and so deserves to die (Romans 6:23). God loves the world, though, and does not want us to die (John 3:16). Can man absolve himself? No, a sinful man can only die for his own sins, and only God can reconcile man with God (Job 9:32-33, "For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both."; Proverbs 30:4, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?"). Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Heb.9:22), but God Himself cannot die (it denies His essence which is life). A perfect man who is also God must die for the sins of the world (1 Tim.2:5). John 12:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." This way God can be both (a) just as God (Holy requirements satisfied by blood of perfect and eternal lamb; (b) justifier as Man (Romans 3:26). All things can have peace with God (Romans 5:1) through Christ’s Cross and Blood. The reconciliatory symbol of the Cross, the cleansing power of the only pure blood there has ever been, which we drink in remembrance. Cst. Samson who killed more in his death than in his life.