New Series: Colossians on Work

colossians on work Nov 04, 2019

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. (Colossians 1:15-16)

Here, in the first chapter of Colossians, we find a profound theological truth: “all things were created” and “all things have been created through [Jesus Christ].”

So, Jesus was present at the beginning of time, creating all “things in heaven and on earth.” But, as we know, on the sixth day, God passed the baton of creation to us, calling us to “fill and subdue” the earth with our own acts of cultural creation.

This begs the question: When we create today, is it God who creates, or us?

John 1:3 tells us that “Through [Christ] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” And in Hebrews 3:4, Paul says that “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”

I love this verse in Hebrews as it may be the most succinct and concrete description of what I believe the Bible has to say about our work as co-creators with the Creator God. Yes, “every house,” every company, every bridge, and every piece of art is “built by someone.” And yet “God is the builder of everything.”

How can both be true?

As the first chapter of Colossians reminds us, we worship a God who works, a God who creates, a God who is productive in making new things in service of others. And through our faith in the work of Christ on the cross, we have that same Creator God working in and through us (Colossians 1:27).

As Christians, we do not create on our own. Christ creates in and through us. This truth brings to mind one of my favorite modern hymns:

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

The “products of our own creations” aren’t that at all. They are products of “Christ in me.” This truth should lead us to great humility as well as a deep desire to work and create as a means of revealing the character of Christ in us.

Let that ambition be what fuels our work this week!


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