|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:15-23 Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore these mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before any creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring full satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ was most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God's part, it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are now reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature, we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehend these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption, and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God's love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.
(d) All things through Him and unto Him have been created;
(e) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
II. Ver. 18.
(e) And He is the Head of the body, the Church;
(a) Who is (the) Beginning, Firstborn out of the dead, that in all things He might become pre-eminent:
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he is before all things,.... Not only in dignity, being preferable to angels and men in his nature, names, offices, and works, and worthy of more honour than all creatures; but he is before them in existence, as he must needs be, since they are all made by him; he was not only before John the Baptist, his forerunner, before Abraham who saw his day and was glad, before the first man was made, but before the angels were in being, or the heavens and the earth, or any creature were formed; and therefore must be God, who is from everlasting to everlasting:
and by him all things consist; he upholds all things by the word of his power; the heavens have their stability and continuance from him; the pillars of the earth are bore up by him, otherwise that and the inhabitants of it would be dissolved; the angels in heaven are confirmed in their estate by him, and have their standing and security in him; the elector God are in his hands, and are his peculiar care and charge, and therefore shall never perish; yea, all mankind live and move, and have their being in him; the whole frame of nature would burst asunder and break in pieces, was it not held together by him; every created being has its support from him, and its consistence in him; and all the affairs of Providence relating to all creatures are governed, directed, and managed by him, in conjunction with the Father and the blessed Spirit.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. (Joh 8:58.) Translate as Greek, "And He Himself (the great He) is (implying divine essential being) before all things," in time, as well as in dignity. Since He is before all things, He is before even time, that is, from eternity. Compare "the first-born of every creature" (Col 1:15).
by him—Greek, "IN Him" (as the conditional element of existence, Col 1:16) [Alford].
consist—"subsist." Not only are called into being from nothing, but are maintained in their present state. The Son of God is the Conserver, as well as the Creator of all things [Pearson]. Bengel less probably explains, "All things in Him come together into one system: the universe found its completion in Him" (Isa 41:4; Re 22:13). Compare as to God, Ro 11:36: similar language; therefore Christ must be God.
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