The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(The Biblical truth addressed in this message should be considered a vital aspect of "Doctrine 101" in every believer's understanding. Thanks, Glen.)
In Scripture, the term "firstborn" refers to both the personal and to one's position. One might be the firstborn in the sense of having physically opened the womb as the eldest brother or sister. Or one might be the firstborn in the sense of place and privilege (if the child was male - Luke 2:23). The Apostle Paul refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as fulfilling both aspects of being the firstborn:
"His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:13-18; emphasis added).
First, Paul declares the Lord Jesus as the firstborn regarding His place in the natural creation. By Him and for Him, God created all things. Moreover, through Christ all things consist. Thus, when thinking about the world and the universe, we only consider all things rightly when realizing that every atom of the natural creation has its being and significance first and foremost in the Lord Jesus. Every object, every event, every blessing, every challenge, every person, and everything somehow relates to His preeminent role and place as the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and as the One to whom God the Father commands all glory and devotion to be directed. "God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name" (Philippians 2:9).
Regarding the new creation, that is, the spiritual race of beings born again into resurrection life - born again believers in the Lord Jesus - the same reality holds true, but with a different application. The Lord Jesus abides forevermore as "the firstborn from the dead." This refers to His Person, being, and life as the first human who passed through death, only to be raised from the dead and to never die again. "Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more" (Romans 6:9). Subsequently, His Life beyond life then graces all who trust Him. Believers were born again through faith in the Lord Jesus and spiritually raised from the dead, never to die again. "Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (John 11:26; Romans 6:23). Thus, all who receive newness of life in Christ share in the personal experience of resurrection through the "Firstborn from the dead," while never sharing the preeminence of place and position regarding "the Firstborn of every creature."
The distinction is vital to recognize and affirm in our understanding. Believers are spiritually alive in Christ through parkaking of His risen life. We are one with Him, indwelt by His Spirit, led by His light, and so spiritually united to Him that Paul declares the union to be "one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). However, we are never equal with Him in any sense regarding His Person and place as the preeminent Christ. He forevermore singularly abides as the God who became man, and the man who remains God. We therefore do well to draw as near in heart to the Lord Jesus as the Holy Spirit will allow. But we also realize that when the Apostle John first saw the risen Lord Jesus, he "fell at His feet as dead" (Revelation 1:17). This dual experience of Christ both now and forevermore enables us to joyously know the love of God in Christ, while reverently knowing the fear of God in Christ (Romans 8:39; II Corinthians 7:1).
In Heaven and earth, there is no one like the Lord Jesus in the fullest sense of His Person and place. Little wonder we are to give "the Firstborn of every creature" the preeminence, and little wonder we are also to personally draw near to God through "the Firstborn from the dead." Our Savior is the chief delight of His Father, and the more we know and understand Him, the more we will know the Father's beloved Son as our beloved Savior.
"Ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead."
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen."
(II Peter 3:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."