Colossians 1:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

King James Bible
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Darby Bible Translation
And *he* is before all, and all things subsist together by him.

World English Bible
He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.

Young's Literal Translation
and himself is before all, and the all things in him have consisted.

Colossians 1:17 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For by him were all things created, etc - These two verses contain parts of the same subject. I shall endeavor to distinguish the statements of the apostle, and reason from them in such a way as the premises shall appear to justify, without appealing to any other scripture in proof of the doctrine which I suppose these verses to vindicate.

Four things are here asserted:

1. That Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe; of all things visible and invisible; of all things that had a beginning, whether they exist in time or in eternity.

2. That whatsoever was created was created For himself; that he was the sole end of his own work.

3. That he was prior to all creation, to all beings, whether in the visible or invisible world.

4. That he is the preserver and governor of all things; for by him all things consist.

Now, allowing St. Paul to have understood the terms which he used, he must have considered Jesus Christ as being truly and properly God.

I. Creation is the proper work of an infinite, unlimited, and unoriginated Being; possessed of all perfections in their highest degrees; capable of knowing, willing, and working infinitely, unlimitedly, and without control: and as creation signifies the production of being where all was absolute nonentity, so it necessarily implies that the Creator acted of and from himself; for as, previously to this creation, there was no being, consequently he could not be actuated by any motive, reason, or impulse, without himself; which would argue there was some being to produce the motive or impulse, or to give the reason. Creation, therefore, is the work of him who is unoriginated, infinite, unlimited, and eternal. But Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, therefore Jesus Christ must be, according to the plain construction of the apostle's words, truly and properly God.

II. As, previously to creation, there was no being but God, consequently the great First Cause must, in the exertion of his creative energy, have respect to himself alone; for he could no more have respect to that which had no existence, than he could be moved by nonexistence, to produce existence or creation. The Creator, therefore, must make every thing For himself.

Should it be objected that Christ created officially or by delegation, I:answer: This is impossible; for, as creation requires absolute and unlimited power, or omnipotence, there can be but one Creator; because it is impossible that there can be two or more Omnipotents, Infinites, or Eternals. It is therefore evident that creation cannot be effected officially, or by delegation, for this would imply a Being conferring the office, and delegating such power; and that the Being to whom it was delegated was a dependent Being; consequently not unoriginated and eternal; but this the nature of creation proves to be absurd.

1. The thing being impossible in itself, because no limited being could produce a work that necessarily requires omnipotence.

2. It is impossible, because, if omnipotence be delegated, he to whom it is delegated had it not before, and he who delegates it ceases to have it, and consequently ceases to be God; and the other to whom it was delegated becomes God, because such attributes as those with which he is supposed to be invested are essential to the nature of God. On this supposition God ceases to exist, though infinite and eternal, and another not naturally infinite and eternal becomes such; and thus an infinite and eternal Being ceases to exist, and another infinite and eternal Being is produced in time, and has a beginning, which is absurd. Therefore, as Christ is the Creator, he did not create by delegation, or in any official way.

Again, if he had created by delegation or officially, it would have been for that Being who gave him that office, and delegated to him the requisite power; but the text says that all things were made By him and For him, which is a demonstration that the apostle understood Jesus Christ to be truly and essentially God.

III. As all creation necessarily exists in time, and had a commencement, and there was an infinite duration in which it did not exist, whatever was before or prior to that must be no part of creation; and the Being who existed prior to creation, and before all things - all existence of every kind, must be the unoriginated and eternal God: but St. Paul says, Jesus Christ was before all things; ergo, the apostle conceived Jesus Christ to be truly and essentially God.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

he.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Proverbs 8:22,23 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old...

Isaiah 43:11-13 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior...

Isaiah 44:6 Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last...

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah...

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things...

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Revelation 1:8,11,17 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty...

Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things said the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

and by.

1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes...

Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

John 5:17,18 But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work...

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Library
February 11. "Strengthened with all Might unto all Patience" (Col. I. 11).
"Strengthened with all might unto all patience" (Col. i. 11). The apostle prays for the Colossians, that they may be "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." It is one thing to endure and show the strain on every muscle of your face, and seem to say with every wrinkle, "Why does not somebody sympathize with me?" It is another to endure the cross, "despising the shame" for the joy set before us. There are some trees in the
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'All Power'
'Strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy.'--COL. i. 11 (R.V.). There is a wonderful rush and fervour in the prayers of Paul. No parts of his letters are so lofty, so impassioned, so full of his soul, as when he rises from speaking of God to men to speaking to God for men. We have him here setting forth his loving desires for the Colossian Christians in a prayer of remarkable fulness and sweep. Broadly taken, it is for their perfecting
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Twenty-Third Day for the Holy Spirit in Your Own Work
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Holy Spirit in your own Work "I labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."--COL. i. 29. You have your own special work; make it a work of intercession. Paul laboured, striving according to the working of God in him. Remember, God is not only the Creator, but the Great Workman, who worketh all in all. You can only do your work in His strength, by Him working in you through the Spirit. Intercede much for those among whom you work, till God gives
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Knowledge and Obedience.
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father."--COL. i. 9-12. The Epistles
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul

Cross References
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 8:58
"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

Hebrews 1:3
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

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