Q. Based on Colossians 1:15, many say Christ was created or born. Does this mean He’s not deity?
A. I believe Colossians 1:15, which reads, “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature,” is a very clear reference about the awesome nature of Christ, which is a belief under attack even in many Christian churches. The Messianic prophecy in Psalm 89:27 also reads, “I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth,” showing that Christ was not the firstborn prior to the creation narrative in Genesis, but rather He was to be made firstborn after the Psalmist penned his words. “The firstborn of every creature” is explained in Colossians 1:18 as “the firstborn from the dead.”
We can also use a modern-day example. In America, we call the president’s wife First Lady, but that doesn’t mean she was the first lady born. It merely designates her role in America. Colossians should be read in the same way.
The word firstborn in Greek does not mean first one given birth to. Instead, it means the one who has priority—the one who has first position. A more accurate translation might say, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first of every creature, or the highest of every creature.”
Another thing we need to remember is all of the times Jesus called Himself infinite. You can’t ignore those Scriptures when understanding His nature! For instance, Christ said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). He also calls Himself the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8). Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting (Isaiah 63:16; Psalm 90:2). And one of the best Scriptures to explain that Christ is eternal is in the gospel of John: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (1:3). If Christ made everything that’s made, He couldn’t have made Himself. He’s always existed!
Let’s look at another verse where we find a similar problem. Many take John 3:16, which says, “his only begotten son,” and say that Jesus was begotten. Yet these people forget that when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, it was the first time that God was born as a man. Christ is the only one of the Godhead who became a man, and so that’s one way you can look at this.
Also, when we translate from Greek the phrase “the first begotten” or “the only begotten” or “the firstborn,” that word can be translated as “the one who has preeminence of every creature.” It doesn’t necessarily mean He was born. Does it mean that the Father has a womb and gave birth to Jesus? Of course, this is an utterly ridiculous idea, but it helps illustrate the trouble in taking some passages of Scripture too literally.
Jesus has always been and will always be. He is divine and one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Posted on June 14, 2011 12:27 by Anthony Lester at Amazing Facts