This beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, by Krista Hamrick has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted each one with its Scripture reference. Krista posted on her Krista Hamrick Illustration Facebook page: “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Starting today on her blog, Beth Willis Miller will expand upon each name. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print 26 Name Above All Names Alphabet Posts Page… listening today to the anointed Chris Tomlin hymn Indescribable while studying Colossians 1:16
NASB For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Amplified: For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
Lightfoot: For in and through him the whole world was created, things in heaven and things on earth, things visible to the outward eye and things cognizable by the inward perception. His supremacy is absolute and universal. All powers in heaven and earth are subject to him. This subjection extends even to the most exalted and most potent of angelic beings, whether they are called thrones or dominations or princedoms or powers, or whatever title of dignity men may confer on them. Yes: he is the first and he is the last. Through him, as the mediatorial Word, the universe has been created; and unto him, as the final goal, it is tending. In him is no before or after. He is preexistent and self-existent before all the worlds.
Phillips: He existed before creation began, for it was through him that every thing was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him.
Wuest: because in Him were created all things in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible things and the invisible ones, whether they are thrones or lordships or principalities or authorities. All things through Him as intermediate agent and with a view to Him stand created.
Young’s Literal: because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created,
By Him all things were created. All things means just that—all things. Even the hill called Golgotha. Even the thorns that pierced His blessed brow. Even the Cross that brought His agonizing death. How great is His love for His creation that He would die for it to redeem it!
By Him (en) is literally “in Him”, the preposition “in” (Greek = en) denoting that Christ is the sphere within which the work of creation takes place. All the laws and purposes which guide the creation and government of the universe reside in Him. ““By Him” is en autōi, here, not instrumental but locative; “in Him” were all things created.” (Wuest)
Theologian William E. Vine writes: “In Him” describes Him as the Designer, the One Who, in fellowship with the Father, determined the condition of all things and the laws which govern and control them.
Theologian John Eadie writes: “by (in) Him”—We rather hold “that the act of creation rests in Christ originally, and its completion is grounded in Him.” He is not simply instrumental cause, but He is also primary cause. The impulse to create came upon Him from no co-ordinate power of which He was either the conscious or the passive organ. All things were created in Him—the source of motive, desire, and energy was in Him. He was not, as a builder, working out the plans of an architect—but the design is His own conception, and the execution is His own unaided enterprise. He did not need to go beyond Himself, either to find space on which to lay the foundation of the fabric, or to receive assistance in its erection.”
Theologian Charles F. Moule explains: “In other words, the mighty fact that all things were created was bound up with Him, as its Secret. The creation of things was in Him, as the effect is in its cause.”
Pastor Marvin Vincent says: “In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the Creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation is dependent on Him. The (definite) article (ta panta = “the things”) gives the collective sense—the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.” Note the emphatic repetition of “all things” which would include the seen and the unseen world! The universe of things, not all things severally, but “all things collectively.” The phrase literally reads “the all things.” Seven times in six verses Paul mentions “all creation,” “all things” and “everything,” thus stressing that Christ is supreme over all.”
Were created (ktizo) in the New Testament is always used of an act of God creating something out of nothing. Paul affirms that creation was a real event in time! Were created is the aorist tense, which points to the definite historical act of creation.
Theologian Charles F. Moule writes: “The Greek verb ktizo denotes the making, constituting, of a new state of things. As a Divine operation, such “creation” is the ordering by sovereign will of the material (of whatever kind) which by that will exists.”
Theologian John Eadie writes: “The aorist tense characterizes creation as a past and perfect work. Creation is here in the fullest and most unqualified sense ascribed to Christ, and the doctrine is in perfect harmony with the theology of the beloved disciple. The work of the six days displayed vast creative energy, but it was to a great extent the in bringing of furniture and population to a planet already made and in diurnal revolution, for it comprehended the formation of a balanced atmosphere, the enclosure of the ocean within proper limits, the clothing of the soil with verdure, shrubs, trees, and cereal grasses—the exhibition of sun, moon, and stars, as lights in the firmament—the introduction of bird, beast, reptile, and fish, into their appropriate haunts and elements—and the organization and endowment of man, with Eden for his heritage, and the world for his home. But this demiurgical process implied the previous exercise of Divine omnipotence, for “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It is not, therefore, the wise and tasteful arrangement of pre-existent materials or the reduction of chaos to order, beauty, and life, which is here ascribed to Jesus, but the summoning of universal nature into original existence. What had no being before was brought into being by Him. The universe was not till He commanded it to be. “He spake and it was done.” Every form of matter and life owes its origin to the Son of God, no matter in what sphere it may be found, or with what qualities it may be invested. In heaven or on earth—Christ’s creative work was no local or limited operation; it was not bounded by this little orb; its sweep surrounds the universe which is named in Jewish diction and according to a natural division—“heaven and earth.” Every form and kind of matter, simple or complex—the atom and the star, the sun and the clod—every grade of life from the worm to the angel—every order of intellect and being around and above us, the splendors of heaven and the nearer phenomena of earth, are the product of the First-born.”
Theologian H. Wayne House writes: “Christ’s creative work was all encompassing, for it includes all created things “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” These inclusive qualifiers are significant in light of the problems facing the Colossian church. The entire physical creation, which was distasteful to the incipient Gnostics and ascetics, nevertheless had its origin in Christ. The Incarnation, in which God was manifest in the flesh, was abhorrent enough. But the concept of Christ’s having been so closely involved with the physical world as its very Creator was especially repulsive to the heretics. On the other hand Paul affirmed in Colossians that the creation is good, not evil. In contrast to the practice of giving homage to mediatorial heavenly beings, which prevailed in Hellenistic cults and Jewish mysticism, Paul boldly affirmed that everything “invisible”—including angels—is part of the creation that is in Christ, that is, is contained in Him and by Him. This clearly removes them from any position worthy of worship. The first “created” in this verse is aorist tense and in this section the verb is perfect tense, indicating that all things were created at a point in time in the past and that they “stand created” or “remain created.” The perfect tense then speaks of the permanence of the universe, the cause of which rests on Christ far more than on gravity! All creation is a Christo-centric universe! “Entropy” in a spiritual sense is devolution from our Creator Christ Jesus. How tragic is this truth! How great the deception that we are evolving toward higher beings. How powerful is the Lie. Believers will all be changed, but that is not evolution but glorification and it transpires in a moment!”
Theologian John Eadie writes: The aorist tense carries us back to the act of creation, which had all its elements in Him, and the perfect tense exhibits the universe as still remaining the monument and proof of His creative might. The first clause depicts creation in its origin, and the second refers to it as an existing effect. In the former, it is an act embodying plan and power, which are alike “in Him”—in the latter, it is a phenomenon caused and still continued “by Him.”
By Him is more literally “through Him,” the preposition through (dia ~ by means of) with the genitive indicating that Christ is the immediate instrument of creation. “For Him” is literally “unto Him” where the preposition “for” (eis) indicates that Christ is the goal of creation.
Pastor Marvin Vincent writes: “All things came to pass within the sphere of His personality and as dependent upon it. All things, as they had their beginning in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him.”
Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes: “Everything exists in Him, for Him, and through Him. Jesus Christ is the Sphere in which they exist, the Agent through which they came into being, and the One for whom they were made. Paul’s use of three different prepositions is one way of refuting the philosophy of the false teachers. For centuries, the Greek philosophers had taught that everything needed a primary cause, an instrumental cause, and a final cause. The primary cause is the plan, the instrumental cause the power, and the final cause the purpose. When it comes to Creation, Jesus Christ is the primary cause (He planned it), the instrumental cause (He produced it), and the final cause (He did it for His own pleasure).” Paul repeats that Jesus was the agent of creation and adds that He is the purpose of it as well! The whole of the cosmos was made for Christ! Not only were we created for Him, through His redemption discussed earlier we have in a sense been “re-created” for Him.”
Spend time contemplating the awesome majesty and splendor of our Creator and sustainer of the universe, Who has spared nothing to reveal His Father’s heart. Recommit yourself to Him and to living according to His ways. Ask for the empowering of his Spirit to delight in doing what God commands. In prayer, lift your voice in extravagant worship of our Lord Jesus Christ, singing praises to His name. Worship Him because He is the perfect, holy, almighty Creator and king of the universe and yet calls you into intimate relationship with Him. Jesus has opened the way for us to experience communion and harmony with our Creator. This is what we were made for! The majesty and brilliance of our God fills the earth. The glory of God is higher than the heavens. Even children and infants give him praise. He set the sky, the moon and the stars, and all the galaxies in place. He is truly an awesome God! From the time we were conceived and born into this world to the very end of our lives, our Creator, who knitted us together in our mother’s womb, the same eternal, unchanging One who created the heavens and the earth, is the One who has been caring for us all along, through the hands of parents and others who have loved, nurtured, and taught us. And it is He who will sustain us—throughout our childhood and youth, in our active years of working or parenting, and into the elder years when our hair is white with age and we can no longer care for ourselves but are dependent on the care of others. Our Creator, our Heavenly Father is our God of everlasting care.
Lord Jesus, help me to realize that You are everlastingly my Father, intimately acquainted with me and with every moment of my entire lifetime. Help me to rely on You through every season of my life and to rest in the knowledge that even when I am old, You will still be caring for me. Grant me the grace to enter into true praise and to experience Your delight in me. I want to be lost in wonder, love, and praise. I want to sing songs that lift Your name high. Give me fresh revelation today, Lord, of who you are. Inspire me so that I will sing of your greatness and glory forever! You are the king over all the earth. I love you, Lord. We praise You for who You are. Your glory is higher than the heavens. Your majesty fills the earth. We worship and adore You. Help us to walk as Your children, giving honor and glory to you and never losing sight of Your power or Your love. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names—Creator, we pray, amen.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Look Up—meditate on Colossians 1:16
Look In—as you meditate on Colossians 1:16 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.
Look Out—as you meditate on Colossians 1:16 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.