SIX REASONS WHY COLOSSIANS 1:15-18 ADDRESSES THE PREDESTINED CREATION IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AND NOT THE LITERAL CREATION IN GENESIS 1.
REASON 1 – PAUL FIRST ANNOUNCED CHRIST AS “THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION.”
Since Christ could not have been literally born twice, once before creation began, and once in Bethlehem, the words, “the firstborn of all creation” indicate that Christ was firstborn in God’s predestined plan before his actual birth. Jesus was already firstborn before the actual creation of the world in the same sense that Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus was already “the Lamb slain from the creation of the world”. For just as it would be impossible for Jesus to have been literally “slain” twice, once before his birth and once after it, so he could not have literally been “born” twice either. Thus proving that Paul was not addressing the literal act of the creation in Genesis one, but the predestined creation of all things in Christ by God’s prophetic plan before He actually created all physical things later on in time.
REASON 2 – THE GREEK PREPOSITION “EN” PROVES THAT ALL THINGS WERE CREATED IN GOD’S MIND VIA HIS PREDESTINED PLAN.
Colossians 1:16 says, “For in (the Greek preposition “en” means “in”) him all things were created” rather than “by” or “through” him. When someone makes or creates things through someone else as his agent, he does not say that “in him” (in the agent) the things were created. For physical things cannot be said to be created “in” someone (created within him), unless it is addressing things being created “in” his mind or heart. Thus proving that Paul was not addressing the physical creation of “all things” when he wrote in Colossians 1:16, “For IN HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED …” Paul used the same Greek preposition “en” which literally means “in” to describe God’s elect as having already been chosen in Christ before the actual creation took place. Ephesians 1:4-5, “He chose us in (en) Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world …”
David Bernard wrote, “…God predicated the entire work of creation upon the future manifestation of the Son. God foreknew that man would sin, but He also foreknew that through the Son man could be saved and could fulfil God's original purpose in creation. As John Miller stated, ‘Though He did not pick up His humanity till the fullness of time, yet He used it, and acted upon it, from all eternity’” (Essentials in Oneness Theology, p. 21, by D. K. Bernard).
Ephesians 1:4-5 (BSB), “For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ…”
Scripture informs us that God chose Christ as His chosen servant (Isaiah 43:10; Micah 5:2) within His foreknown mind and plan, and then He chose His elect in Christ “before the foundation of the world.” God did not literally create His elect in Christ “before the foundation of the world” because Ephesians 1:5 goes on to say that “He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ.” To be predestined as sons through Jesus Christ is not the same thing as being literally created before the foundation of the world. Therefore we know that God first preconceived all things in His own mind and planning through Jesus Christ as the central purpose of the entire creation before the actual creation ever took place.
REASON 3 – THE VISIBLE THRONES, LORDS, AND RULERS OF ALL HUMAN HISTORY WERE CREATED IN CHRIST.
Colossians 1:16 says, “For in (Greek “en” means “in”) him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lords or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him (dia) and for him.”
The Greek Emphatic Diaglott renders Colossians 1:16-17,
“because in him were created the things all, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, the things seen and the things unseen, whether thrones, or lordships, or governments, or authorities; the things all on account of him and for him have been created; and he is in advance of all, and the things all in him has been placed together;”
The phrase, “in him were created” proves that all of God’s creation was created “on account of him”, (on account of Jesus the Messiah). All created things were first “placed together” “in him” (in the Messiah) “in advance of all” things which were later physically created because God first created His detailed blueprint for all of His creation “in him”, “on account of him”, and “for him.” In this light we can understand why Jesus said in Revelation 3:14 that he is “the beginning of the creation of God” in God’s mental conception and why the apostle John wrote that Jesus was already “the Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)” before the Lamb of God was actually slain.
Paul could not have been referring to the Genesis act of creation in Colossians 1:16 because human thrones, lords, rulers, and authorities were not literally walking around in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter one. Therefore the context of the Greek grammar in Colossians 1:16-17 proves that Paul was addressing the pre-creation or foreordination of all human ages “in” the Messiah, “on account of” the Messiah and “for” the Messiah before the human ages actually took place.
REASON 4 – THE INVISIBLE ANGELS WERE CREATED IN CHRIST.
We know that the angels were created before the Genesis narrative in Genesis chapter one. Paul could not have been referring to the Genesis act of creation because Colossians 1:16 states that the “invisible” angelic rulers and authorities were also created in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ. Therefore the inspired text itself proves that Paul was not addressing the creation week in Genesis chapter one.
REASON 5 – PAUL USED THE SAME WORDS IN EPHESIANS 1:4-5 TO DESCRIBE GOD’S ELECT BEING CHOSEN IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AS IN COLOSSIANS 1:16.
Ephesians 1:4-5 describes our Heavenly Father as having already “predestined” His elect “IN (en) Him (Christ)” and “through (dia) Jesus Christ” “before the foundation of the world.” Ephesians 1:4-5, “He chose us IN (en) HIM (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love. HE PREDESTINED US to adoption as sons THROUGH (dia) JESUS CHRIST to Himself …” If God’s elect can be “predestined … THROUGH (DIA) JESUS CHRIST,” then so could the entire creation be “predestined … THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.”
Colossians 1:16, “For IN (en) HIM (CHRIST) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lords or rulers or authorities; all things have been created THROUGH (dia) HIM (CHRIST) and for him.” Notice that Paul used the same Greek prepositions “EN” (IN) and “DIA” (THROUGH) to describe God choosing His elect “IN” CHRIST and “THROUGH JESUS CHRIST” in Ephesians 1:4-5 just as He predestined the entire creation of all things “IN” CHRIST and “THROUGH (dia)” CHRIST in Colossians 1:16. The word “Christ” is actually used in Ephesians 1:5 which is defined as the “anointed one.” We know that an alleged God the Son could not have been anointed until after his actual birth (Heb. 1:9). Thus proving that the Father first pre-created all things IN and THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (through the human Son in a predestined sense) which was His predestined plan for the ages before the physical creation actually took place in Genesis one.
REASON 6 – THE SON COULD NOT HAVE CREATED ALL THINGS IN THE CONTEXT OF COLOSSIANS 1:17-18 BECAUSE THE SON IS CALLED “THE BEGINNING, THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD.”
Colossians 1:17-18, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn (prototokos is also translated in verse 15 as “firstborn”) from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place [Greek verb próteuó (prote-yoo'-o) “preeminence,” “chief”] in everything.”
It is nonsensical to believe that a pre-incarnate Son could have created all things in the context of Colossians 1:17-18, while being called “the firstborn from the dead.” Jesus is “before all things” in the sense of being “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have the first place in everything.”
It is hard to imagine a Trinitarian pre-incarnate God the Son being “the beginning” as “the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself WILL COME TO HAVE THE FIRST PLACE IN EVERYTHING.” Are Trinitarians willing to call their alleged pre-incarnate Son a “God the Firstborn from the dead?” Why would Paul have been inspired to address the Son as “the firstborn from the dead” if Paul was contextually addressing a pre-incarnate God the Son in the context of Colossians 1:15-18? Wherefore, Colossians 1:15-18 could not be addressing an alleged God the Son creating all things as God’s heavenly agent before his birth, as it speaks of the predestined human Son being “the firstborn from the dead.”
It is hard to imagine how an alleged Trinitarian coequal God the Son would not have already had the “first place in everything” as the Creator in the context of Colossians 1:15-18. Hence, Jesus could not have literally created all things as the Father’s agent in creation while being called “the firstborn from the dead.” Therefore, the very context of Colossians 1:15-18 conflicts with the traditional Trinitarian interpretation while affirming the tenets of Oneness Theology (Modalism).
Wherefore, Jesus as a Son was “before all things” in “the beginning” because he was already conceived in the mind of God as “the firstborn from the dead,” and as “the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14)” before he actually was born and resurrected from the dead.