(Tim Ramey) #1


Dearest Friends in Jesus

We are on a roll. In case you haven’t noticed, we are over half way through the first chapter of Colossians. The memorization has been so rich. What a privilege to memorize the Word of God! It is always rising up inside me and I give thanks to the Holy Spirit who has used that dramatically in my life…

It will not be until April 10th that I leave for Mindanao in the Philippines. I will be 13 hours ahead of what I am now. I plan to continue to post the verses to memorize for the week. Then, I will post the prayer thread of the same verses. Kelly & I agreed, regarding the prayer portion, that I will post it and leave each of you to post whatever you wanted prayer for under that thread. So when I conclude this post, I will create a new topic that will be Colossians 1:15-16 Prayer. That thread will go no further if no prayer requests weren’t posted. So weekly, it will be your responsibility to post what you want prayed for, even if it is the same thing for a year straight. (Or more!)

There is more I’d like to ask in reference to these verses for the next week but I will do that on another day as to not have this post so long. Here are our verses, in the ESV and KJV. If you’d like to add or subtract a version - just holler. Thanks!

Colossians1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Colossians1: 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (ESV)

Colossians1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians1:16 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: (KJV)

Joyous learning to everyone!

(Kelly) #2


Tim, Thanks for the verses and the prayer reminder!

Although it would be awesome for anyone who has prayer requests to post prior to our prayer time on Monday, please don’t feel that it’s too late if you miss the Monday prayer time. I am committed to prayer throughout the week, and I believe others are as well.

I don’t know about anyone else, but it certainly is getting more challenging as we continue to add on verses. At the same time I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit brings the verses that I have learned to mind at various times and in various circumstances. Would love to hear how God is using this in other people’s lives!!

Blessings to all~

(Tim Ramey) #3

For some reason, I feel the need to tell you this group is extremely special to me. As many of you have been notified by Connect to take a step up in leadership and some have chosen to do so, I declined because I felt that this is where I’ve found where I want to spend my time and energy.

Others seem more qualified to answer questions or have the knack for technological hospitality. But my passion is in disciplines that change us from the inside out. For me that has involved memorization of the Word of God and prayer.

I still like to poke in on pertinent subject but unbeknownst to what I would have ever dreamed of - here I am -home.

Thanks to all of you because you have made this the pinnacle of fellowship. Thanks

(Tim Ramey) #4

Kelly, I was posting as you were. Must think alike.

Yes, I cannot overstate Kelly’s reminder to post prayer needs anytime. I just see Monday as a special day because many of us gather at the same time and because I block a concentrated time for prayer devoted to you. So if possible, please do so by Monday but as Kelly said, if you don’t by then you are not out of the running.

I have a comment and question regarding Kelly’s post.

My comment is that the verse we had that spoke of being transferred from a kingdom of darkness to one of the Light of Jesus has emboldened my confidence in prayer. And Faith is critical because what is the issue if we believe what we see? But we love Jesus when we believe His conviction to our hearts.

My question is in reference to the verse from this week. I believe in the Trinity and have plenty of scripture to back it. But I must admit that I have a hard time explaining why Jesus is referred to as the image of God and the first born of creation. Anybody help me out?

(Lindsay Brandt) #5

Hello, Tim. I don’t have a lot of time, but I see your question and want to try to very briefly give you some things to chew on and even do further Bible study on. First, for the easy one, firstborn in the times of the Bible does not refer to birthing order but status and inheritance. When the Bible says Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, it is talking about his preeminence in all things. He was the first to be resurrected into new life, and so we could also view his being firstborn in that way, which matches up with the firstborn as referring to status very well since the resurrection figures prominently into his glorification and exaltation and the fact that all things have been put under his feet.

In Exodus 33:20, it says that no man can live and see God, and yet the Bible says in other places Moses saw God face to face. First, I would like to say that the Hebrew word for “live” and what it means in the above passage is up for study. However, I believe that Moses saw God face to face, because he was seeing the preincarnate Christ. In Hebrews 1:3, the authors states that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (NIV, bold mine). What do you think of this verse and what it means? Also, think on what it meant for Adam and Eve to be made in the image of God and why we now need to be transformed into the image of Jesus. Okay, gotta go! I’ll check in this evening and hopefully we’ll converse more! Happy studying!

(Lindsay Brandt) #6

I was going to explain further, but the information in the “verse by verse” at expounds upon the verse in Hebrews really, really well, which helps our understanding of what is meant that Jesus is referred to as the image of the invisible God, though it is still hard to wrap one’s mind around:

I LOVE Such a fantastic resource!

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(Tim Ramey) #7

Lindsay, I appreciate your replies. I have not yet checked out the site you listed but I look forward to it.

When I posed the question that you are answering I didn’t lay it out as specifically as I should have, as I have so much to do before heading to the Philippines next week but I’ll try to be more informative and yet concise.

Hearkening back to my post, I explained that I am not living on the edge on this but don’t feel that I have a good reply when asked about this verse and others specifically. The issue is not seeing God but rather, to frame it in a way that a woman of the Baha’i faith put it, she said that Jesus wasn’t God anymore than you in the mirror is really you. No, rather, it’s your image, reflection, likeness, etc. These are the terms used in scripture to identify Jesus.

I could go on too long but that is the gist of the question. I did appreciate what you said is often meant by being the firstborn of creation but I know some that are in a cult that feel that can be used conveniently because it does say, for example in Romans 8, that He is the first born among many brothers. So it is easy to convince believers but it isn’t always so easy to have those who see Jesus as just a man or at most, a lesser god.

Again Lindsay, you are a great scholar. I sincerely mean it. But in dealing with the world, we need to be able to aptly explain things in a clear way. Do you understand what I’m saying? In Connect we can say “Amen” but can we put it in a way that we can help clearly present the most important facet, if I can put it that way (Sorry Jesus!), of Christianity - Jesus, to those who don’t know Him? Jesus is always the key point of division that separate Christianity from cults.

I will say again as well that I can bring them back to many verses that they will struggle to explain but to be able just to look at this verse that we are memorizing and be able to have the Truth explained clearly is what I was asking. Thanks. I think I have an issue with clarity!

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(Lakshmi Mehta) #8

Without getting too complicated, here’s how I may put this verse in the context of the simple gospel message in a conversation with someone who is Baha’i.

Why Jesus is image of God - Originally, man was made in the image of God with some of God’s Spirit in him but lost fellowship with God as man decided to ignore God’s commands (Eph 4:17). Many faiths believe that evil is because of ignorance, attributing it to either forgetfulness or rebellion. Jesus Christ having the fullness of God in bodily form, never committed any sin and did not ignore any command. Infact, He said His food was to do the will of God. The ‘will’ is what really identifies a being. So, Jesus having the same will as God, is the perfect image of God. If Jesus had a different will than God, like we see in certain polytheistic religions where different gods having different wills, He would no longer be the perfect image of God.

Jesus as firstborn - Here we can talk about how wages of sin is death. Historical claims prove that only Jesus was the one who overcame death. He was the firstborn into eternal life. Acts 13:32-33 states the announcement of Jesus as firstborn through resurrection. No other religious leader or a god has been able to give immortality to a perishable body unlike Jesus. Jesus Himself said no one has seen the Father except he who came down from heaven referring to Himself. Bahai follower must believe Jesus is not a liar.

Hope this explanation is more at a practical level.

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(Lindsay Brandt) #9

Hello, Tim. I’m sorry, I did not at all see this response until now! I did not know the context of your question, and that may have changed how I responded.

The way I responded was to another believer, because I thought you, as the believer, were asking the question. You asked this question in the context of our memorization and study here on Connect without any reference to this question pertaining to conversing with someone outside the faith. I understand and agree with you that we need to respond differently with those who do not believe, and I do have experience doing that. Said in love, I think it is important to be careful to understand that others can only respond to how and what we post, and if we do not explain the context, then we need to be careful about being hasty to jump to conclusions about someone else’s experience or understanding or lack thereof in regard to things such as “dealing with the world.” In the love of Christ, Lindsay

(Donna Perry) #10

I’m only on verse 12 but carrying on. There’s other Bible studies
I’m working on and I’m reading the first of two excellent books,
“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” and “In His Image”. The books are
by Dr Paul Brand (surgeon) and Philip Yancey. I honestly wonder
why every doctor is not a believer in God while reading this book
about how magnificently the Lord of creation ‘knit’ our bodies
together. The human body is fascinating and what the authors have
done is likened every part of the inner and outer workings of our
living body to the unity and Body of Christ. Its an amazing, God
glorifying book.

  As for Colossians, I have been laying my hands on some of the

prayer sheets in my journal and praying these verses in Colossians
9-14 over names that represent God’s people including you all in
our memorization group. I’m blessed that the Lord has protected
His word for us over all these years so we can still pray the
living word over God’s people just as Paul did.

** Prayer: For Mitch and Sasha. That the Lord would catch hold of
their hearts and draw them back into His sheepfold.

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(Kelly) #11

Hey Donna! These are great verses to use for prayer, aren’t they?! You have my interest stirred up on the book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. I’ve added to my must read list. Thanks for sharing!! Prayers for Mitch and Sasha.

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(Tim Ramey) #12

Thank you Lindsay and Lakshmi for your input. I so appreciate when you make the effort to respond to a question. Even your first post, Lindsay, gave me much to consider. I understand your frustration with not being able to read my mind, but have you ever had a certain mindset and what you articulate has that back there but others don’t have that vantage point? But anywhere - sorry. Lakshmi, you also always have more to say than I can quickly respond to as I need to consider things awhile.

As I considered everything I realized that the very reason I memorize is the answer to my question. As I learn a chapter, you see the whole scope. So, as in the case of my Baha’i friend, I let them cherry pick that point rather than letting the verses around it shed light. I know this is apparent to all of you and should have been for me as well. It’s one thing to back up your position by taking verses from various places in the Bible but quite another thing to speak to that verse in context of the whole.

To say that He is the image of the invisible God makes Him no more than a reflection in the mirror. But the verses that carry on convey that He is more than an image. In fact it builds up in the verses that we have this week and culminates with verse 19 that says, “For in Him, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” The fullness is not an image or a part but everything - God in His entirety was pleased to live In Jesus. I know that I’m singing to the choir to say this but I can’t believe that the very reason that I began learning chapters because of contextualization tripped me up because I didn’t use the verse in it’s context. That’s why verses by themselves can be misleading.

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