The Firstborn Over All Creation
The phrase “firstborn over all creation” is mentioned by the apostle Paul in his epistle to the church in Colossi. He wrote, “He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in 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 may have the preeminence….” (Colossians 1:15-21).
Some have claimed that Paul’s description of Christ as the “firstborn over all creation” means that the Son of God was created — not eternal, not God. However, this clearly conflicts with the teachings of the Bible. The apostle John clearly designates Christ as the Creator. He writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3). The Savior could not be both the Creator and at the same time a created being. The Word of God declares that Christ is divine in the ultimate and absolute sense.
Therefore, it seems more right to consider the word “firstborn” (Gr. prōtotokos) as a figurative term designating Jesus Christ as first in rank, the expression being drawn from the honor and office held by the first-born in a common family, or, more exactly, the first-born in a royalty.
Christ’s status is distinctive, authoritative, and absolute. He has been endowed with all prerogatives and powers in heaven and earth. Paul stresses the status of Christ because he is trying to answer the arguments of the false teachers, who taught that Christ was a created being, and who denied His authority.
In His service,