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The Bible by the Numbers > Day 2

Dispensable Me (Colossians 1:15-17)

The number one is the primary number, though it serves as the source of all other numbers, it stands alone independent of them. It also denotes unity. Therefore, the number one may be seen in Scripture as representative of God; that is, of the one and only true and triune God to whom all things are dispensable, but who is Himself indispensable to all things.


Creation is not indispensable to God, but God, the Creator, is indispensable to creation. In Colossians 1:15-17, the Apostle Paul teaches us that Christ is not just the Creator of “all things,” but He is also sovereign over all things and the sustainer of them, regardless of whether they are “things in heaven [or] on earth, visible [or] invisible, thrones or powers or rulers or authorities.” It is Christ that holds “all things…together.” If the hands that made this world and were later nail-scarred by it were ever removed from it this world would disintegrate into oblivion. 


I’ve often heard it insinuated in a sermon that Christian inactivity can stop the advancement of the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom can be stopped in its tracks by our reluctance to toil for its furtherance. If we don’t do this or that, then it will go undone. Such teaching tends to feed an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Although it is important for each of us to do our part in advancing the Kingdom, God’s Kingdom is not halted in its tracks by our failure to do so. God’s plans and purposes will be fulfilled, regardless of whether or not we are faithful.


Since God is indispensable to us, not us to Him, failure on our part merely results in God using others or other things to fulfill His plans and purposes. It was this teaching of Christ, in particularly that the Jews’ rejection of the Gospel would result in the Gentiles’ reception of it, that so infuriated the folks in our Lord’s hometown synagogue (Luke 4:14-30). It also explains why Jesus taught that the rocks will cry out in place of those tight-lipped in their praise of Him (Luke 19:40).


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want some rock taking the place of a dispensable me in the service of our indispensable God.

Don Walton