“Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us”
(Colossians 3:11, NLT)
Paul compresses his comprehensive creed into these 12 words: “Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” Each word brings to light all the excellences and glories of Jesus Christ our Lord. I love how New King James Version simplified it: “Christ is all and in all.” Letter to the Colossian church aims primarily at the exaltation of Christ in His glory and splendor. Of the 95 verses in this letter, Christ is mentioned more than half! Christ, Christ, Christ. “Christ is all and in all.” The Colossian Christian were being taught and lured away by the false teachings of Gnosticism (you're required to have ‘special knowledge’ to get to know God, to put it simply). Paul here directs their attention toward Jesus alone as the source of wisdom and knowledge – Christ is all that matters.
Paul tells them that in Christ, “dwells all the completeness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). A hymn by an unknown author puts it wonderfully,
In Him most perfectly expressed,
The Father’s glories shine,
Of the full Deity possessed
Jesus is the complete embodiment of all there is in God. Jesus Himself declared: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father… I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:9, 11). Paul here demolished the Docetic* heresy which maintained that Jesus has no real body and the Cerinthian* heresy which separated the man Jesus from the divine attribute.
Christ is the all in all of creation. “Everything was created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). “Everything” here means the whole universe. This is the Christ-centred universe – a Christocentric universe! He is its nerve center. Paul is underlining the central activity of Christ in creation. The whole creation is designed to reveal Him. The natural points us to the spiritual.
Christ is the all in all of the providence. “He existed before anything else” (Colossian 1:17). J. Oswald Sanders writes, “Christ occupies the whole sphere of human life and permeates all its developments. Nature is not a machine. Its laws are formulated and administered by the risen Christ.” It is by Him that all things unified, hold together and “in him, we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28).
Christ is the all in all of the redemption. He “purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:14). Through His blood we have redemption! He alone has redeemed us. He paid the debt of our sin not with silver or gold but by His own precious blood. Jesus nailed our sin to the cross thus “ canceled the record of the charges against us” (Colossians 2:14). At the same time, He gloriously defeated “the [evil] spiritual rulers and authorities” and held them up to public shame and disgrace (read Colossians 2:15).
Christ is all that matters
And you know what? He lives in all of us. Wow!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.