‘He is the Head of…the Church Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead…. It pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell…, having made peace through the blood of His cross…to reconcile…you that were previously alienated and enemies!’ Colossians 1:18-21.
Calvin comments: “Having discoursed…on Christ’s excellence and…sovereign dominion over all creatures, he (Paul) returns to…what relates peculiarly to the Church…. The word ‘Head’…serves as the Root from which vital energy flows to all the members…. It is Christ Who alone has authority to govern the Church…. Peter…and the other Apostles were members under one Head!…
“Christ…is ‘the Beginning,’ because He is the Firstborn from the dead…. In the resurrection there is the restoration of all things, and thus it is ‘the Beginning’ of the second and new creation…. As then Christ in rising again has inaugurated the Kingdom of God, He is rightly called ‘the Beginning’…. He is called ‘the First-begotten from the dead.’ Not only because He was the first to rise again, but because He has also restored life to others…. He is the Author and Restorer of all things…. All things are subjected to His rule….
“‘It has been the good pleasure (of the Father)…by Him to reconcile all things to Himself.’ This also is a magnificent commendation of Christ, that we cannot be joined to God otherwise than through Him…’making peace through the blood of His cross.’ He says of the Father, that He is propitious to His creatures through the blood of Christ…. The Son of God had to become an expiatory victim and endure the punishment of sin, so that we might be the righteousness of God in Him. ‘The blood of the cross’ therefore means the blood of the sacrifice which was offered upon the cross for appeasing the anger of God…. Men have been reconciled to God, because they were previously alienated from Him by sin….
“And you, being in time past (alienated and enemies…, He has now reconciled)!’… You were ‘alienated’…from God. Your were ‘enemies.’ Now, you are received into favour! Whence does this come? It is because God, appeased by the death of Christ, has become reconciled to you!… For we are born children of wrath, and every thought of the flesh is enmity against God…. We all, however, need Christ as our Peacemaker. Because we are the slaves of sin. And where sin is, there is enmity between God and men!”
Calvin also says in his Institutes II:12:7 &:14:5 : “Infer from the words of Paul…that inasmuch as He (the Son) is the eternal Word of God, He is the Firstborn of every creature not because He was created…; but because the entire structure of the world…had no other Beginning! Then, inasmuch as He was made man, He is the Firstborn from the dead…(Colossians 1:15-18)…. Christ always was the Head, ‘the Firstborn of every creature’…. He existed as the Son of God before…creation!”
Calvin further says in his Psychopannychia: “I would like our (Anabaptist) opponents candidly to tell me on what ground they have any hope of resurrection — unless it be because Christ rose? He is the First-begotten of the dead, and the Firstfruit of them that rise again. As He died and rose again, so do we too die and rise again…(Colossians 1:18)!” Christ is the Firstborn from the dead!