Colossians 1:16 Index
"For by 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 for him:"
Research Material

"For by Him . . . "

  • Greek, hoti en auto, literally, "for in Him," here probably not denoting agency, since this is expressed later in the verse di auto, "by him." En auto probably stresses that Christ is the center, the source, the sphere, in which creation originated. (7BC 191)
  • Before the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator's will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, and in purpose,—the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers” (Colossians 1:16); and to Christ, equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance.
    • The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all created beings depended upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced allegiance, and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service. (GC 493)

" . . . were all things created . . . " (John 1:3)

  • Literally, "all the things were created." The exercise of creative power was proof of the divinity of Christ. (7BC 191)
  • The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). Angels are God's ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. (PP 34)
  • The apostle exalted Christ before his brethren as the One by whom God had created all things and by whom He had wrought out their redemption. He declared that the hand that sustains the worlds in space, and holds in their orderly arrangements and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for them. “By Him were all things created,” Paul wrote,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" (Colossians 1:16): "and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). (AA 472)
  • The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declares of Christ that “all things have been created through Him, and unto Him" (Colossians 1:16 R.V.); "and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17, R.V., margin). The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us. (Ed 132)

" . . . in heaven . . . in earth . . . "

  • This expression seems here to include the entire universe. All things, material or immaterial, are designated by this term. (7BC 191)

" . . . Invisible . . . "

  • Doubtless a reference to spirit beings and powers. (7BC 191)

" . . . thrones . . . powers . . . " (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21)

  • These terms were doubtless those used by the false teachers at Colossae to describe their classification of angelic orders. These heretical teachers probably classed Christ on a level with these orders. If so, Paul met the doctrine head-on by declaring that whether there were such orders or not, Christ created them all, and consequently was far above them in rank. (7BC 191)

" . . . were created . . . "

  • The form of the verb thus translated is different from that translated "created" earlier in the verse. Here the word means "stands created," with emphasis upon the effects of creation, whereas the earlier word refers to creation simply as a specific act that occurred at some point in history. (7BC 191-192)

" . . . by Him . . . " (John 1:3)

  • Greek di auto.
  • The phrase expresses agency. (7BC 192)

" . . . for Him . . . "

  • Literally, "unto Him."
  • Christ is the goal toward which all creation moves for its justification and very existence. He is "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22:13). (7BC 192)