In the Trinity doctrine, Jesus is God, but Jesus is not God.


The Trinity Doctrine

In the traditional Trinity theory, God is one Being with one single rational capacity (one single mind) but three co-equal and co-eternal Persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In this view, Jesus, together with the Father and the Spirit, is the Ultimate Reality; the uncaused Cause.

Purpose of this article

The Bible indeed has a very high view of Jesus. For example, through Him, God created and maintains all things (e.g., Heb 1:2-3). The Son, therefore, has ‘always’ existed. The Father gave Him to have “life in Himself” (John 5:26), “all judgment” (John 5:22), and “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (Mt 28:18). The Son is “He who searches the minds and hearts” (Rev 2:23). The Son, in other words, shares in the divine attributes of God.

However, this article shows:

(1) The Bible always maintains a distinction between God Almighty and Jesus Christ (e.g., Rev 21:22). All of Paul’s letters, for example, begin with phrases that make that distinction. For instance:

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7).

This is not merely a distinction between the Father and the Son; it is a distinction between ‘God’ and the Son, meaning that the Son is not God.

(2) The Bible presents the Son as a distinct rational capacity (a distinct mind), in contrast to the single rational capacity in the Trinity doctrine. For example, Jesus talks to His Father and prays to His Father. When He was scared before the crucifixion, He asked the Father to not let Him suffer, but, in the end, He said to His Father, ‘Let you will be done, not mine’.

(3) The Bible also presents the Son as subordinate to His Father (e.g., 1 Cor 11:3). For example, even 60 years after His ascension, in John’s visions, Jesus referred to His Father as His God (Rev 1:6; 3:2, 12).

We cannot understand God.

Understanding the relationship between God and His Son is probably impossible because we are trying to understand the infinite and the one Being who exists without cause. That should scare us. Compared to the infinite God and His infinite creation, our world is like a one-cellular organism in a drop of water floating around in the oceans of the world; not knowing where it came from or where it is going. Compared to the Eternal, our existence is fleeting. How could we hope to understand the One who exists without cause?

However, the observant reader will notice that people sometimes use our inability to understand God to justify un-Biblical doctrines. That we must not do.


Is the Only God.

The Bible is clear that only one God exists. This is stated in both:

      • The Old Testament (e.g., Deut 6:4; Is 44:6; 45:21-22; 43:10-11) and
      • The New Testament (e.g., James 2:19; cf. Mark 12:28-30; Gal 3:20);

In modern languages, the term “God” identifies one single Being; the Ultimate Reality; the One who exists without cause. That concept did not exist in the ancient Greek language and culture. They only had the word theos, which is equivalent to our word “god.” The basic meaning of the term theos is an immortal being with supernatural powers, and the Greek culture had many of those, such as Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder, and Hades, the god of the underworld. The New Testament, written in that same ancient Greek, had to use that same term theos. Therefore, to identify the one single ultimate Reality of Judaism and Christianity, the authors of the New Testament added words to theos, for example:

    • The ‘only theos’, (Jude 1:25; 1 Tim 1:17),
    • The ‘one and only theos’ (John 5:44), and
    • The ‘one theos’ (1 Cor 8:6; 1 Tim 2:5; Eph 4:4-6);
    • The ‘only true theos’ (John 17:3).

The important point is, in all such instances where the one theos is identified through the addition of further words, that that one theos is the Father alone, in contrast to Jesus Christ, who is identified as “Lord.” For example:

“There is but one God, the Father …
and one Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 8:6).

Please take time to study the verses listed to make sure of this conclusion. Many texts in the Bible refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but these verses specifically define God and must, therefore, be regarded as critically important when we ask who God is.

Of course, once the disciples had realized that Jesus had been resurrected and was alive, they could refer to Him as theos as well. For example, after Thomas for the first time saw Jesus alive after His resurrection, said to Him: “my theos and my Lord.” (John 20:28) But the Father remains the only true theos; the only true god (John 17:3). 1To say that the Father is the ‘only true God’ is saying the same thing twice because, in modern culture, there is only one God. To retain the meaning of the ancient Greek, John 17:3 should be translated as referring to the Father as the “only true god.”

The translation of theos as ‘God’, when it refers to Jesus, is based on the assumption that He is one with the Father and equal with the Father. Such a translation, therefore, is an application of the Trinity doctrine and must not be taken as proof of the Trinity doctrine.

Alone exists without Cause.

The Bible identifies the Father alone as the uncaused Cause of all things. For example:

“There is but one God, the Father,
from whom are all things
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
BY whom are all things” (1 Cor 8:6). 

All things are from God,
who reconciled us to Himself through Christ”
(2 Cor 5:18-19; cf. Heb 1:1; John 1:3; Rev 4:11).

He is the ultimate Source of life:

“In the presence of God,
who gives life to all things,
and of Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 6:13).

Note that these verses identify God as the Father and contrast God with Christ. The Son, therefore, is not the Cause who exists without cause, as the Trinity doctrine claims. The words “through” and “by” in these verses indicate that God works “through” His Son. God always and in all things works through His Son.

Is alone Immortal.

The Father alone is immortal. For example:

“The King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God” (1 Tim 1:17)

“The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality … whom no man has seen or can see.” (1 Tim 6:16)

Only the Father exists without cause is, therefore, essentially immortal.
All other beings derive their immortality from that one Uncaused Cause. They are conditionally immortal. Since the Son was begotten by the Father, He exists because God exists.


Is distinct from God

The New Testament maintains a consistent distinction between God and the Lord Jesus, which means that Jesus is not God. For example, all letters of the New Testament begin by making a distinction between God and Jesus, such as:

“Peace from God our Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7-8).

“Grace be unto you … from God our Father,
and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:3-4).

“Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3; cf. Gal 1:3, Eph 1:2, Phil 1:2, Col 1:2, Philemon 1:3, 1 Thess 1:1, James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 1:3; and Eph 6:23).

Many, many other such passages may be quoted. For example, the book of Revelation contains phrases such as “to God and to the Lamb” and “of God and of the lamb” (Rev 14:4; 11:15; 21:22-23; 22:1, 3).

Trinitarian apologists may argue that this only makes the obvious distinction between the Father and the Son but that is not so. It is a distinction between God and the Son, meaning that the Son is not God in the ultimate sense.

Is a Distinct Rational Capacity.

In the traditional Trinity doctrine, Father, Son, and Spirit are one single rational capacity (literally one mind and will). The Bible, in contrast, depicts Father and Son as distinct rational capacities. For example:

Jesus often prayed to His Father.

Before He had to suffer and die on the Cross, Jesus pleaded with His Father, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
yet NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL.” (Matt 26:39)

Is the visible Image of God.

God is invisible.

God “dwells in unapproachable light,
whom no man has seen or can see
(1 Tim 6:16-17).

No one has seen God at any time
(1 John 4:12; cf. John 1:18; John 6:46; Col 1:15; John 4:24).

God is invisible because He exists outside our physical realm of time, space, and matter. Nevertheless, that Invisible God is the Source of all things (Heb 11:3).

Jesus is His visible image.

Jesus “is the (visible) image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15). “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His (God’s) nature” (Heb 1:1, 3; cf. 2 Cor 4:4).

God is invisible, unknowable, and incomprehensible. Human beings are unable to comprehend a Being that is not limited in space or time and Who exists without cause. But in His Son, appearing in a form that we can understand, God becomes knowable, visible, and audible to the material creatures of the universe.

If God is invisible, while Jesus is His visible image, then Jesus is distinct from God and, therefore, not God.

Is at God’s Right Hand.

The New Testament often mentions that Jesus, at His ascension, “was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Stephen, just before he was stoned, said, “I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56; cf. Mt 26:62; Acts 2:33; 7:55; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20.)

His position at God’s right hand is the position of power over the entire universe but still subject to God. That confirms that Jesus is both DISTINCT from God and SUBORDINATE to God.

Considers the Father as His God.

Jesus referred to the Father as His God. For example:

“I ascend to My Father and to your Father,
to My God and to your God” (John 20:17; cf. Matt 27:46).

Even 60 years after His resurrection, when Christ gave to John the Book of Revelation, He identified the Father as His God (Rev 3:2, 12; cf. 1:6). Paul also described the Father as “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:17; cf. Heb 1:8-9).

Since God is also His God, Jesus prayed to God while on earth (John 17:1; Luke 6:16; Heb 5:7). The entire John 17 is a record of Jesus’ prayer to “the only true God” (John 17:1, 3). “He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:16).


Various articles are available on this website that address possible objections to the view that Jesus is not God.

Jesus is called God.

Of the about 1300 times that the word Greek theos appears in the New Testament, it refers to Jesus about 7 times. So why is Jesus called “God” in those instances?

Firstly, as discussed above, the word theos does not mean ‘God’. The modern concept ‘God’ refers to the one Ultimate Reality. There was no word in the ancient Greek exactly equivalent to ‘God’.

When the Bible uses the word theos for the Father, it is appropriately translated as “God” because the Father is the Ultimate Reality.

When theos describes Jesus, since He is not the Ultimate Reality, it may perhaps be translated as “divine.” To translate such instances of theos as “God” is an application of the Trinity doctrine; not proof there-of. (For a further discussion, see, for example, the article on Hebrews 1:8 or on the word theos.) 

I and the Father are one.

In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Trinitarians interpret this verse as that Jesus and the Father are literally one and the same Being. However, to be “one” does not mean to be literally one Person. Jesus, in His prayer for His followers, defined the term to “be one”:

“That they may be one as we are one“ (John 17:21-23).

To “be one,” therefore, means to be united in purpose and will. It describes a relationship between distinct beings. For example, Jesus said that He did the works of the Father (John 10:32) and He only did what pleased the Father (John 8:28-29). See – I and the Father are one.

He who has seen me has seen the Father.

When Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father,” Jesus responded:

“He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9)

Trinitarians also use this statement to argue that Jesus and the Father are one single Being. However, given the verses quoted above, we should rather conclude that Jesus said here that He is THE EXACT IMAGE of the Father. For a further discussion, see – Seen the Father. 

John 1

Both John 1:1 and 1:18 refer to Jesus as God. However, these same two verses also make a distinction between God and Jesus by saying:

    • “The Word was with God” (John 1:1) and
    • “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). 

Why is He called God if He is distinct from God? As already stated, translators ASSUME that Jesus is the Almighty and, based on that assumption, they translate theos here as “God.” But theos, ar argued, when referring to Jesus, should preferably translated as “divine.”

Furthermore, the article series on John 1:1 concludes that this verse uses theos in a qualitative sense which requires John 1:1c to be translated as:

‘The Word was like God.’

John 1:1 then has the same meaning as Philippians 2:5, which says that Jesus, before His birth, “existed in the form of God” and had equality with God.

The article on John 1:18 shows further that the original text of that verse is disputed. Many ancient manuscripts refer to Jesus as huios (son) and not as theos (god). But even if John originally did describe Jesus as theos, it remains up to the translator to decide whether to translate theos as ‘God’, ‘god’, or ‘divine’.


Given how the Bible describes Jesus, for example, that God created all things through Him and that Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:2-3), finite minds find it difficult to distinguish between God and Jesus. But consider the following thoughts:

Since things exist, and not nothing, something must exist without a cause and, therefore, without a beginning.

Since everything that BEGINS to exist must have a cause, and since our universe had a beginning, our universe was caused by something.

Since the energy and intelligence that formed our universe came from outside our universe, the true but completely incomprehensible Infinity which is the true reality, exists beyond the time, space, and mass of our universe.

Since God created “all things” through Him (e.g., Heb 1:2), the Son has always existed. However, since time is limited to our universe, to say that the Son ‘always’ existed describes the Son only in terms of our little universe. How the Son relates to the incomprehensible Reality beyond our universe is beyond human understanding.

When we say that God created “all things” through the Son, that refers only to our universe. For example, “all things” do not include God or the Son Himself.

So, the Son is the alfa and omega of our existence, but of what exists beyond our universe, namely, the true Reality, we can say about nothing. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us” (Deut 29:29).


A series of articles on this website discusses the origin of the Trinity doctrine. In particular, they show that the decision to adopt the Trinity doctrine was not taken by independent Church Councils, but by the Roman Emperors:

During the first three centuries, while Christianity still was persecuted by the Roman authorities, church fathers such as Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus described Jesus as theos but always as subordinate to the Father, who they identified as the only true and almighty theos (e.g., Origen).

In the fourth century, after the Roman emperors legalized Christianity, they became the de facto head of the church and the final arbiter in doctrinal disputes:

“If we ask the question, what was considered to constitute the ultimate authority in doctrine during the period reviewed in these pages, there can be only one answer. The will of the Emperor was the final authority” (RH, 849). 2Hanson RPC, The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381. 1988

Different emperors had different views, but the emperor’s preference always determined the doctrine of the church. For example, very briefly:

Emperor Constantine forced the Nicene Council in AD 325 to include the term homoousios (same substance) in the Creed. Constantine, however, later accept an anti-Nicene view, and recalled the exiled anti-Nicenes.

His successor Constantius and his successor Valens preferred one of the anti-Nicene views (Homoianism) and ensured the dominance of Homoianism in the church.

When Theodosius became emperor, Homoianism dominated but he was convinced of the Trinity doctrine and did something which no emperor has done before him: Through the edict of Thessalonica in AD 380, he made Trinitarian Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire and outlawed all other forms of Christianity. Through severe persecution, he eradicated non-Trinitarian Christianity from within the Roman Empire.

One can say that the Arian Controversy began when persecution ceased and the Controversy ended when persecution resumed.

During the fifth century, Germanic tribes, who previously migrated into the Empire, reached such large numbers and such high positions in the Roman army that they, in reality, controlled the Western Roman Empire. They divided the territory of the Western Empire into Germanic kingdoms. Since these Germanic peoples became Christian in the fourth century while ‘Arianism’ still dominated the church, the Western Empire was ‘Arian’ once again! In the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire), with Constantinople as its capital, Nicene Christianity remained dominant.

In the sixth century, Emperor Justinian, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire purposed to free the Roman Church in the west from Arian domination. He sent troops and significantly weakened the Arian nations. He dispersed the Vandals to the fringes of the empire, forced the Ostrogoths back north to South Austria, and barricaded the Visigoths with the new province of Spania.

Some Arian nations remained, but after Justinian had liberated the Roman Church from Arian domination, the Byzantine Empire continued to protect, strengthen, and reign over the west through the Roman Church. Two centuries of Byzantine rule over the Papacy (known as the Byzantine Papacy) converted the remaining Arian kingdoms, one after the other, to Trinitarian Christianity.

The Roman Church that subsequently became the church of the Middle Ages was the continuation of the Trinitarian state religion or Church of the Roman Empire. As stated in Revelation 13:2, the dragon (the Roman Empire), gave the beast from the sea (the Church of the Middle Ages) “his power and his throne and great authority.” Through her control over civil authorities, she put people to death who opposed her teachings.

It is impossible to deny the decisive influence of emperors on the church’s acceptance of the Trinity doctrine.


All Christians agree that the doctrine of God is the most important doctrine of the church. Therefore, for the mainstream church, the Trinity doctrine is the most important doctrine and the identifying mark of true Christianity. People who reject it are regarded and treated as outsiders and heretics. During the Middle Ages, such people were even killed.

Opposition to the Trinity doctrine has been subdued by various means, including by important sounding but vague terms making it very difficult to understand what the issues are.

But the opposition to the Trinity doctrine has not been fully exterminated. The Trinity doctrine distorts the Bible and, in the end-time, the truth of the Bible will be revealed and the first great controversy in the church will again erupt to become the last Great Controversy.



The roles of God and Christ in the letter to the Colossians

This is an article in the series on the question: Is Jesus the Most High God? What view does the letter to the Colossians present of Christ Jesus? 

    • Is He God?
    • Are we saved by Christ Jesus, or by God?
    • Who created all things?
    • Who reconciled all things to God; God or Christ Jesus?


This article is a study of the letter to the Colossians. The purpose is to understand who Christ Jesus is. The next article addresses that question more specifically. The current article lays the foundation.

The letter to the Colossians is important for this study because, of all the New Testament letters, Colossians has perhaps the highest view of Christ Jesus, apparently because Christ’s supremacy was challenged (Col 2:4) by the “deception” (Col 2:8) in ancient Colossae.

Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).


This article comes to the following eight conclusions:

Jews questioning Jesus1) Colossians never refers to Jesus Christ as God. On the contrary, the letter presents Christ Jesus as strictly DISTINCT from God. For example, Jesus “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), “is seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1), and was raised from the dead by “God” (Col 2:12; cf. 1:1).

2) In this consistent and clear distinction between God and Christ Jesus, Colossians uses “Father” as another title for God (e.g. Col 1:1-3, 17).

3) The letter uses the title “the Lord” ONLY for Jesus (e.g. Col 1:6, 17; 4:24); never for God. Thayer’s dictionary mentions that, in the view of some, except for certain verses where it is not entirely clear to whom the title “Lord” (kurios) refers, Paul NEVER refers to the Father as “Lord.” 

4) We often hear people say that we are saved by Jesus, but Colossians presents God the Father as the Savior. For example, the Father rescued us from the domain of darkness (Col 1:13), qualified us to share in the inheritance (Col 1:12), and canceled out the certificate of debt, having nailed it to the cross (Col 2:13-14).

5) In fact, this letter does not mention ANYTHING THAT Jesus do or did. The Father did EVERYTHING (cf. John 4:34; 5:19). Apart from salvation, God is also the active Force in creation (Col 1:16). Christ has a passive role. 

Worship Jesus6) However, everything that God does, He does THROUGH His Son. God created all things “through” Jesus (Col 1:16), saved us “through” his blood (Col 1:14), and reconciled all things to Himself “through” the Cross (Col 1:20; cf. 2:15). Therefore, we also thank God “through” His Son (Col 3:17; cf. Phil 2:10-11; John 5:23). In all things, Christ is the Mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5).

7) God not only reconciled humans to Himself through Christ’s death; He also reconciled THE THINGS IN HEAVEN to Himself (Col 1:19-20). Through the cross, God “disarmed the rulers and authorities … having triumphed over them through Him” (Col 2:15; cf. Heb 2:14). These statements confirm that the Cross is something that the Father did (cf. John 3:16).  

8) Since believers are redeemed through Christ Jesus, Colossians, in several ways, describe them as IN UNITY WITH HIM. For example, believers have died with Christ, were made alive with Him (e.g., Col 2:20, 13; 3:1), are Christ’s body (e.g. Col 1:13, 18), subjects of His Kingdom (Col 1:12-13), and are “in Him” (e.g. Col 1:13, 14; 2:11).

– End of Summary- 

God and Jesus are Distinct.

The title “God” appears 21 times in the letter, but never refers to Jesus. On the contrary, the letter presents Christ Jesus as strictly distinct from God. For instance:

image of the invisible GodHe (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15) Some other translations read, “exactly like God, who cannot be seen” (Contemporary English Version), or as “the visible likeness of the invisible God” (Good News Translation).

God” raised Jesus from the dead (Col 2:12).
Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1).
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (Col 1:1)

The letter, therefore, maintains a consistent and clear distinction between God and Christ Jesus.

Father is another name for God.

The letter refers five times to the “Father.” Two of these instances simply make a distinction between the Father and the Son:

Joyously giving thanks to the Father
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son
(Col 1:11-13)

It was the Father’s good pleasure
for all the fullness to dwell in Him

Him” refers to “His beloved Son
in verse 13 (Col 1:19; cf. 1:13).

But the other instances confirm the distinction between “Jesus Christ” and “God” and show that “Father” is another name for God:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ
by the will of God …
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
We give thanks to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
” (Col 1:1-3).

Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father
(Col 3:17)

Our Father who is in heavenGod is also “our Father” (Col 1:2) because we are sons of God (e.g. Rom 8:14). We pray to “Our Father who is in heaven” (Matt 6:9). He is our Father because He loves us and cares for us.

In Colossians, the word “son” is only found in Colossians 1:13, where Jesus is “His beloved Son.” This is not mentioned in Colossians, but Jesus is the Son of God in a different way: He is “the only begotten from the Father” (John 1:14).

According to Colossians 1:19, it was God’s will for “all the fullness” to dwell in Jesus. In the first place, this means that “in Him (Christ) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col 2:9). In the second place, it means that the Son received “the fullness of Deity” from the Father: It is not His own. This concept is further discussed in God is the Head of Christ.

Christ Jesus is called Lord.

The title “Christ is found 26 times in this letter. The name Jesus is used 6 times, but never alone, always as Jesus Christ or as Christ Jesus. Jesus was a common name at the time. The addition of “Christ” was necessary to identify Him. In this letter, Paul actually mentions somebody else by the name of Jesus (Col 4:11).

The title “the Lord” appears 11 times; most often simply as “the Lord”, but also as:

      • Christ Jesus the Lord” (Col 1:6),
      • The Lord Jesus” (Col 1:17), and
      • The Lord Christ” (Col 4:24).

The title “Lord,” therefore, is not used for God; only for Jesus.

The Father is the Savior.

We often hear people say that we are saved by Jesus, but Colossians presents God the Father as the Savior:

Grace is from “God (Col 1:6).

He selects His messengers. Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (Col 1:1). He was made a minister of the church according to the stewardship from God bestowed on him (Col 1:25).

God is the Savior: The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness (Col 1:13) and qualified us to share in the inheritance (Col 1:12). God canceled out the Certificate of Debtcertificate of debt, having nailed it to the cross (Col 2:14; cf. 2:12-13). God raised the believers from death when He raised Jesus from death (Col 2:12-13; 3:1). We must thank “God the Father” through Christ (Col 3:16-17; cf. 1:3, 12).

God gives growth to the church (Col 2:19). He chose the believers (Col 3:12) and will open up a door for the word (Col 4:2). It was God’s will to make known to His saints what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles (Col 1:27-28).

God brought peace to the Universe.

Not only did God reconcile humans to Himself through Christ’s death; He also reconciled the things in heaven to Himself through Christ:

It was the Father’s good pleasure …
through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His cross;
through Him, I say,
whether things on earth or things in heaven
” (Col 1:19-20).

This implies that the Cross is something that the Father did (cf. John 3:16). As I understand it, the Father knew what will happen if His Son comes as a human being to this world, filled with violence. God did not determine what would happen; it is simply the natural result of a clash between the forces of good and evil.

These verses also indicate that the Cross did not reconcile God to us: It reconciled us to God. Christ died to change us: His death did not change God.

Through the cross, God “disarmed the rulers and authorities … having triumphed over them through Him” (Col 2:15). Hebrews 2:14 similarly states: “that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” “The rulers and authorities,” therefore, refer to “the devil” and his angels (Rev 12:7, 9).

For a further discussion, see:

The Father, also known as God, therefore, is the active Force in salvation.

God is the Creator.

By Him (Jesus) all things were created,
both in the heavens and on earth …
all things have been created through Him and for Him

(Col 1:16).

The NASB reads, “by Him all things were created,” but later adds that “all things have been created through Him.” This means that God is the Creator, but God created through His Son. The basic meaning of the Greek word translated as “by” in this verse is “in.” This is made clear by other translations of this verse:

For in him all things were created …
all things have been created
through him and for him
” (NIV).

Through him God created everything
in heaven and on earth” (Good News Translation).

The Father, also known as God, therefore, is the active Force in creation. For a further discussion, see God created all things through His Son.

Christ has a passive role.


The letter refers to “Christ’s afflictions” (Col 1:24), which reminds me of Gethsemane, where “His sweat became like drops of blood” (Luke 22:44), indicating His severe emotional suffering. All evil forces gathered their focus on Him to make Him use His power to act against God’s will (Luke 22:42). But apart from these “afflictions,” this letter does not mention anything which Jesus does or did. The Father did everything. This principle, namely that God is the active Force, as opposed to Jesus, is consistent with what Jesus said, as recorded in John:

My food is to do the will of him
who sent me and to accomplish his work

(John 4:34).

The Son can do nothing of Himself,
unless it is something He sees the Father doing

(John 5:19).

I can do nothing on My own initiative.
As I hear, I judge … I do not seek My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me
” (John 5:30).

The words that I say to you
I do not speak on My own initiative,
but the Father abiding in Me does His works

(John 14:10).

Colossians presents God as the active force both in creation and in salvation, but He does everything through His Son. Therefore, we also thank God through His Son (Col 3:17; cf. Phil 2:10-11; John 5:23).

Redeemed through unity with Christ Jesus

Since believers are redeemed through Christ Jesus, Colossians, in several ways, describe them as in unity with Him:

Christ and the believers form a Single Body.

His beloved Son … is also head of the body,
the churc
h” (Col 1:13, 18, cf. v24).

“The head, from whom the entire body … 
grows with a growth which is from God
” (Col 2:17-19; cf. 3:15).

The believers form the body and Christ is the head.

Believers are the subjects of His Kingdom.

The Father … transferred us to
the kingdom of His beloved Son
” (Col 1:12-13).

When we are “rescued” (Col 1:12), we become the subjects of a spiritual kingdom of which His Beloved Son is King.

Believers are “in Him.”

The redemption of believers through unity with Jesus is also presented with phrases such as “in Him” or “with Him”:

In Whom (In His beloved Son) …
we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins
” (Col 1:13, 14).

In Him you were also circumcised
with a circumcision made without hands
” (Col 2:11).

In Him you have been made complete
(Col 2:10; cf. 1:28, 2; 2:6-7).

Believers died with Christ and were made alive with Him.

The letter describes believers as united with Christ in His death and resurrection:

You have died with Christ” (Col 2:20).
He made you alive together with Him” (Col 2:13).
You have been raised up with Christ” (Col 3:1).

Having been buried with Him in baptism,
in which you were also raised up with Him
through faith in the working of God,
who raised Him from the dead
” (Col 2:12).

Believers did not literally die with Christ. Nor have they been literally made alive with Christ. But they are rescued through His death and His resurrection.

The Meaning of Christ’s Death

It is not Christ’s death that was important; it was His life. His entire life was a test, and the last days and hours of His life were the highest possible test. He lived a sinless life, even to death, and His resurrection was confirmation there-of. His “afflictions” (Col 1:24) were physical but mostly spiritual. Jesus said:

Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father,
and He will at once put at My disposal
more than twelve legions of angels
” (Matt 26:53)?

But He “disarmed the rulers and authorities” (Col 2:15) by never sinning by going against God’s will. Even when God withdrew His presence from Jesus, leaving the disoriented Jesus to cry, “my God, my God, why have You forsaken me” (Matt 27:46), He did not sin or use His power for His own benefit. For a further discussion, see – The Seven Seals of Revelation.


God reconciled all things—things on earth and things in heaven—to Himself through the death of His Son. Therefore, Paul presents believers as united with Christ.  They are united with Him in His death, they are united with Him in His resurrection, and “in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28 – from Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill).  This seems to be more than a symbol: it is a mysterious reality.

Final Conclusions

The letter to the Colossians:

      • Has the highest view of Christ Jesus of all of the New Testament letters.
      • Never refers to Jesus Christ as God.
      • Presents Christ Jesus as strictly distinct from God.
      • Uses “Father” as another title for God.
      • Uses the title “the Lord” only for Jesus.
      • Presents God the Father as the Savior.

According to Colossians:

      • God reconciled the things in heaven to Himself through Christ.  
      • God is the active Force in creation. Christ has a passive role.
      • Everything that God does, He does through His Son. 
      • Describe believers as in unity with Christ.

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