Following a series of phrases that articulate the full divinity of the Son, the creed turns our attention from the Son’s relationship with the Father to the Son’s relation to creation and to us.
Quoting John 1:3, we confess, “through him all things were made” or “through him all things came to be.” Our confession here elaborates what we’ve already confessed concerning God the Father, who is the “maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” The Father is Creator and the Son is Creator. (The Spirit’s identity as Creator is later acknowledged when we confess that he is “the Lord and giver of life.”)
The opening verses of John’s Gospel echo the opening words of Genesis. The declaration that “through him all things came to be” in John 1:3 corresponds with Genesis 1:3: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” The Son of God is the Word of God. Through him, all things came to be.
We need to account for the reference to “all things.” All things means all things, including the things that are made, such as a beehive, a bird’s nest, a child’s sandcastle, or Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. All things – sandcastles and symphonies – came to be through him.
This confession implies a Christ-centered view of the cosmos and Christ-oriented teleology, which the Apostle Paul captures in his hymn, “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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17) Think for a moment about the staggering implications of these two verses for how you view the world and your day-to-day life in it.
On a personal level, the “all things” of John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 includes you and me. You came to be through him and you are for him, which is why Augustine confesses to God, “you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you” (Confessions I.1.1). And the same Word, through whom and for whom are all things, summons, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).