Wherefore the apostle anxiously and carefully warns us, saying, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same; "
This shall now be proved even by the apostle, when he says: "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is unto all the world."
, "Be fruitful, and multiply," but he longs for the "hope promised" and prepared "and laid up in heaven"
For there is an instruction of the perfect, of which, writing to the Colossians, he says, "We cease not to pray for you, and beseech that ye may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye may walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to the glory of His power."
For it is our duty so to walk in the Lord's discipline as is "worthy,"
plainly indicating one God, who did by the prophets make promise of the Son, and one Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to His birth from Mary; and that Jesus Christ was appointed the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, as being the first begotten in all the creation;
By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins."
through grace, in one faith of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son, and "the first-born of every creature,"
For I have observed that ye are perfected in an immoveable faith, as if ye were nailed to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, both in the flesh and in the spirit, and are established in love through the blood of Christ, being fully persuaded, in very truth, with respect to our Lord Jesus Christ, that He was the Son of God, "the first-born of every creature,"
And [know ye, moreover], that He who was born of a woman was the Son of God, and He that was crucified was "the first-born of every creature,"
The Son of God is older than all His creatures, so that He was a fellow-councillor with the Father in His work of creation:
For God the Father none ever saw, and lived.
He calls Christ "the image of the invisible God."
If Christ is not "the first-begotten before every creature,"
It is well for us that in another passage (the apostle) calls Christ "the image of the invisible God."
Thus does He make Him equal to Him: for by proceeding from Himself He became His first-begotten Son, because begotten before all things;
See, therefore, if the apostle does not say the same thing, when, speaking of Christ, he declares, that" He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature."
He is also styled First-born, as the apostle has declared: "who is the first-born of every creature."
The Apostle Paul says, that the only-begotten Son is the "image of the invisible God," and "the first-born of every creature."
And if they shall say that He is visible, besides being proved to go against the declaration of Scripture, which says of the Saviour, "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature,"
His visible creation while the invisible creation is seen by faith, because human frailty can neither see all things with the bodily eye nor comprehend them by reason, seeing we men are weaker and frailer than any other rational beings (for those which are in heaven, or are supposed to exist above the heaven, are superior), it remains that we seek a being intermediate between all created things and God, i.e., a Mediator, whom the Apostle Paul styles the "first-born of every creature."
If any one, indeed, venture to ascribe essential corruption to Him who was made after the image and likeness of God, then, in my opinion, this impious charge extends even to the Son of God Himself, for He is called in Scripture the image of God.
," in these words respecting our Saviour, who is said to be "the image of the invisible God,"
and the First-born of all creation is called "the image of the invisible God,"
Col. 1:15 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also Paul to the Colossians: "Who is the image of the invisible God, and the first-born of every creature."
of His Father's works and powers, "the image of the invisible God; "
He might unfold to us the laws of the heavenly mysteries; and who as the Word made flesh dwelt among us, of us this Christ is proved to be not man only, because He was the son of man, but also God, because He is the Son of God? And if by the apostle Christ is called "the first-born of every creature,"
For how shall he be considered "the first-born of every creature,"
And thus might any one reasonably convict these men. Oh reckless and rash men! was then "the first-born of every creature"
of God, esteem those laws more honourable than the necessities of this life, and pay a greater respect to them, and run together to the Church of the Lord, "which He has purchased with the blood of Christ, the beloved, the first-born of every creature."
For Thou art eternal knowledge, everlasting sight, unbegotten hearing, untaught wisdom, the first by nature, and the measure of being, and beyond all number; who didst bring all things out of nothing into being by Thy only begotten Son, but didst beget Him before all ages by Thy will, Thy power, and Thy goodness, without any instrument, the only begotten Son, God the Word, the living Wisdom, "the First-born of every creature, the angel of Thy Great Counsel,"
For each of the Gospels is a collection of announcements which are useful to him who believes them and does not misinterpret them; it brings him a benefit and naturally makes him glad because it tells of the sojourn with men, on account of men, and for their salvation, of the first-born of all creation,
who bear the body of our sin), is likened to a certain king who is understood in relation to Jesus being united to Him, if we may dare so to speak, having more capacity towards being united and becoming entirely one with the "First-born of all creation,"
and, "By Him were all things created that are in heaven, and on earth, visible and invisible; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."
Thou hast in this also [an indication of] the glory of Jesus; for in Him and to Him are all things.
doing so likewise, so that "by him were all things, visible and invisible, created, thrones, divinities, dominions."
But who, except an heretical spirit, could ever bring his mind to believe that the invisible part of creation belongs to him who had previously displayed no visible thing, rather than to Him who, by His operation on the visible world, produced a belief in the invisible also, since it is far more reasonable to give one's assent after some samples (of a work) than after none? We shall see to what author even (your favourite) apostle attributes
(who must be the same as Jesus, to whom the Father imparted the supreme power over the whole body of the ¦ons, by subjecting them all to him, so that "by him," as the apostle says, "all things were created"
The Apostle Paul, moreover, describing created things by species and numbers and orders, speaks as follows, when showing that all things were made through Christ: "And in 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 in Him: and He is before all, and He is the head."
Seeing, moreover, those declarations regarding His majesty which are contained in holy Scripture, that He is called the "image of the invisible God, and the first-born of every creature," and that "in Him were all things created, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by Him, and in Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,"
Seeing, then, that all things which have been created are said to have been made through Christ, and in Christ, as the Apostle Paul most clearly indicates, when he says, "For in Him and by Him were all things created, whether things in heaven or things on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or powers, or principalities, or dominions; all things were created by Him, and in Him; "
Having, then, briefly restated these points regarding the nature of the Trinity, it follows that we notice shortly this statement also, that "by the Son" are said to be created "all things 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, and all things consist by Him, who is the Head."
"Whether" says the apostle "they be thrones or dominations, or powers, or mights, visible things and invisible, all things subsist by Him."
But by Him also 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."
Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits
Then, at last, He came on to death itself, that He might be "the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence,"
and that He might have the pre-eminence over those things which are under the earth, He Himself being made "the first-begotten of the dead; "
as the "first-begotten of the dead."
Col. 1:18 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the same place: "The first-born from the dead, that He might in all things become the holder of the pre-eminence."
and so He ceased to send to them prophets. But He commanded His own Son, the first-begotten,
Now how will he be proved to have been before all things, who appeared after all things? Who can tell whether he had a prior existence, when he has found no proof that he had any existence at all? In what way also could it have "pleased (the Father) that in Him should all fulness dwell? "
en afterwards the world had attained unto its completion, there came down from above, for causes that we shall afterwards declare, in the time of Herod a certain man called Christ, with a threefold nature, and a threefold body, and a threefold power, (and) having in himself all (species of) concretions and potentialities (derivable) from the three divisions of the world; and that this, says (the Peratic), is what is spoken: "It pleased him that in him should dwell all fulness bodily,"
could the rival and the destroyer of the Creator have been willing that His fulness should dwell in his Christ? To whom, again, does He "reconcile all things by Himself, making peace by the blood of His cross,"
And for this cause the apostle, in the Epistle to the Colossians, says, "And though ye were formerly alienated, and enemies to His knowledge by evil works, yet now ye have been reconciled in the body of His flesh, through His death, to present yourselves holy and chaste, and without fault in His sight."
they could not possibly have been to any other than their own God. Accordingly, ourselves "who were sometime alienated and enemies in our mind by wicked works"
The apostle indeed teaches, in his Epistle to the Colossians, that we were once dead, alienated, and enemies to the Lord in our minds, whilst we were living in wicked works;
What means this fierceness, to repeat what has been said more than once; what a passion, so murderous? to declare implacable hostility towards one who has done nothing to deserve it at your hands; to wish, if it were allowed you, to tear Him limb from limb, who not only did no man any harm, but with uniform kindness
But you must not on this account suppose that on every mention of His body the term is only a metaphor, instead of meaning real flesh. For he says above that we are "reconciled in His body through death; "
your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye stedfast
Col. 1:23 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven."
that the Church is the body of Christ, so here also (the apostle) declares that he "fills up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh for His body's sake, which is the Church."
Col. 1:24 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
and," I fill up that which was behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh."
Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent? For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment
And again he says, "According to the disposition of the grace of God which is given me, that ye may fulfil the word of God; the mystery which has been hid from ages and generations, which now is manifested to His saints: to whom God wished to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations."
And the apostle (uses these words) "The mystery which was not made known to former generations."
But I think that they were turned away from them by divine providence, that they might not know the truth, because it was not yet permitted for the religion of the true God and righteousness to become known to men of other nations.
And, on the other hand, there is "the riches of the glory of the mystery in the Gentiles," which is faith and hope in Christ; which in another place he has called the "foundation."
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