Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 16-17 (Colossians 1:16-17)

For by him were all things created, etc - These two verses contain parts of the same subject. I shall endeavor to distinguish the statements of the apostle, and reason from them in such a way as the premises shall appear to justify, without appealing to any other scripture in proof of the doctrine which I suppose these verses to vindicate.

Four things are here asserted:

  1. That Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe; of all things visible and invisible; of all things that had a beginning, whether they exist in time or in eternity.
  • That whatsoever was created was created For himself; that he was the sole end of his own work.
  • That he was prior to all creation, to all beings, whether in the visible or invisible world.
  • That he is the preserver and governor of all things; for by him all things consist.
  • Now, allowing St. Paul to have understood the terms which he used, he must have considered Jesus Christ as being truly and properly God.
      I. Creation is the proper work of an infinite, unlimited, and unoriginated Being; possessed of all perfections in their highest degrees; capable of knowing, willing, and working infinitely, unlimitedly, and without control: and as creation signifies the production of being where all was absolute nonentity, so it necessarily implies that the Creator acted of and from himself; for as, previously to this creation, there was no being, consequently he could not be actuated by any motive, reason, or impulse, without himself; which would argue there was some being to produce the motive or impulse, or to give the reason. Creation, therefore, is the work of him who is unoriginated, infinite, unlimited, and eternal. But Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, therefore Jesus Christ must be, according to the plain construction of the apostle's words, truly and properly God.

    - Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible