Christ, the Fullness of God: Colossians by Peter Kreeft

Colossians is simply colossal. It is about how big Christ is? How big is that? Pascal said, “Without Christ we cannot know the meaning of life, or death, or God, or ourselves.” Those are the 4 most important questions there are.

Whereas Ephesians is about the greatness of the Body of Christ, Colossians is about the greatness of the Head.

Paul’s answer to how big is Christ is the key passage of 1:15-20.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullnessdwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Like most of Paul’s letters, Colossians is divided into 2 parts: doctrine (ch. 1 & 2), then practice (ch. 3 & 4). The two are connected, as is everything, by Christ: because Christ is the centre of everything (the fundamental doctrine), Christians must put Him first in everything (the fundamental practical point).

The basic moral point of Colossians is that we must live according to this vision of ourselves in the colossal cosmic Christ.

The Church at Colossae was infected with an early form of Gnosticism, the popular Greek philosophical religion of the day that became the source of just about all the heresies of the early Church.

Gnosticism displaced Christ from the centre and replaced Him with 5 small things: speculation, legalism, mysticism, occultism, and an anti-Incarnational asceticism.

All heresies reduce Christ. The Church, however, knows how big Christ is, and out of love and loyalty she will not tolerate such narrow-mindedness and reductionism.

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