For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (verses 16-17)
The first words of Scripture let us know the Lord’s primacy: “In the beginning God.” The next words make it plain there is no other source but him: he “created the heavens and the earth.”
The rest of Genesis Chapter One, with incredible artistry, paints the picture of this unfolding reality. The Lord spoke light into existence. He created day and night. With his words he sketched the sky, stretched out the oceans, heaped up the dry lands, and then covered them with verdant growth. His voice drew forth the stars, shaped the constellations, and anchored sun and moon as lights for day and night. At his command the seas teemed with life, swarming with multitudes of creatures in endless variety; birds soared in the skies; animals filled the earth, roaming through plains and forests and jungles. Then came his crowning act of creation – humankind, male and female, crafted in God’s own image, blessed with sovereign stewardship and productivity and independent choice.
The mind boggles at such creativity and power, unleashed by his powerful voice. “The heavens are telling the glory of God,” and all we can say is, “Yes and Amen.” For, as the words of Genesis make clear, the Lord is the centre, the foundation, the source of all. There is no other.
But now Paul, steeped in these scriptures, deliberately places Jesus right at the centre of all activity. “By him all things were created,” he says, knowing full well the foundational truth of the Genesis account. He is telling us that the voice which spoke the world into being was Jesus’ own. His was the hand that flung stars into space. “Let the water teem”; “Let the land produce” – these were words spoken by the Son of God. And when the divine voice said, “Let us make man in our image,”we are hearing more than a “royal we” – rather it was the voice of Father and Son together, attended by the Spirit, declaring the purpose that mankind would reflect God’s own glory. Jesus is our Creator.
Paul has just told us that “he is the image of the invisible God” – what we see in Jesus as he walked the earth, allows us to see more clearly the very character of God himself. Now he takes us a step further. The sighting we have of Creator God in Genesis is in fact a true sighting of Jesus himself in all his power and creative artistry. The heavens are telling the glory of Jesus! When the psalmist exults, “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24), he is exulting in Christ.
All of this, of course, is scriptural foundation for the doctrine of the Trinity. Although the scriptures never use the word, the concept is woven through the whole.
But here and now we are simply following Paul’s lead in marvelling at the majesty of Jesus. He is the great Creator. The Apostle John agrees, saying, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). And the writer of Hebrews chimes in, declaring, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, … sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).
So, rejoice in Jesus. Praise his name. Look at the stars and shout, “Glory!” Marvel at life itself, knowing that Jesus holds it all together. And understand that you, together with all creation, “were created by him and for him.” Live your praise by living all for him.
Lord Jesus, you are Creator of all. The world reflects your glory. “In the stars your handiwork I see.” It was all created by you and for you. What can I do, but give myself to you afresh, to live for your honour.
Reflect: You were created by him and for him. What will it mean to live that reality today?
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash