Jesus Christ holds all things together. Even the enemies of Christ rely on Him for the breath they use to curse His name. Today, R.C. Sproul discusses how the doctrine of providence speaks volumes about Jesus' power and His mercy.
The doctrine of providence is not isolated from Christology but is focused in the person and work of Christ. One of the basic themes of the epistle to the Colossians is the cosmic dimension of Christ, lest any Christian should think that Jesus Christ is only involved with a parochial concern—namely, the church. That’s not the portrait that we have of Him in the New Testament. But rather, He is portrayed as the King of the universe. A King with cosmic scope, cosmic authority, and cosmic majesty.
And here we’re told that “in him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, rulers, or authorities—all things have been created”—now the author changes his preposition—“have been created through him.” First he said that things were created in Him; now he says that “all things were created through Him and for Him.” So that the universe is said to be created by Christ, through Christ, in Christ, and for Christ. He is not only the Author of creation biblically, but there’s a sense in which Christ becomes the goal of creation.
Notice how He speaks of Himself descriptively in His revelation to John on the isle of Patmos, where He identifies Himself as the One who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He’s the origin of your existence. He’s the destiny of your existence. And the eschatological hope of the church is when He will be all in all. And all things find their completion in Him.
And the author of Colossians goes on to say, “And he is before all things”—now listen to this—“and in him all things hold together.” All things hold together. That is to say that the New Testament portrait of Christ as He relates to the providential question of preservation and sustenance is that Christ is the cohesive force of the universe. It’s Christ who holds all things together elsewhere by the word of His power. He holds it together. And so, if there is anything repugnant to New Testament Christianity, it would be the idea that the universe operates independently or separately from the will of God and from the power of Christ. I cannot exist another moment but through the will of my Father. And even those who find Christ an object of derision, and those who find Christ indeed repugnant to their mind, are dependent upon Christ for their continued disobedience.
In the New Testament, in the earthly spheres that the rulers of this age who despise Christ and trample Him underfoot, those who sit in seats of authority in the establishment cannot work out their incredible schemes of disobedience, their cosmic treason, for a moment apart from the preserving grace of Christ Himself. And that the Son of God would be so merciful when He has the power of life to allow such rebellion to continue staggers my imagination.