The next declaration that Paul makes is both comprehensive and profound. It reveals the fact that God is central to everything. For from him, through him, and to him are all things created. God stands in the center of history. In terms of the created order, God is central. In terms of the human experience, God is central. In terms of the continuance of the universe, God is central. In terms of the future of humanity, God is central.
Take a look at the prepositions Paul uses. Regarding God he says that all things are from, through, and to Him. In other words, God is the originator, sustainer, and goal of everything. He created all, maintains all, and will receive all back to himself. This truth is stated in Colossians 1:16-17:
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
The God we serve is an awesome God. Just in his creation alone, he has revealed his awesome power. Chuck Swindoll gave an excellent illustration of the enormity of God’s creation:
Imagine a perfectly smooth glass pavement on which the finest speck can be seen. Then shrink our sun from 865,000 miles in diameter to only two feet . . . and place the ball on the pavement to represent the sun. Step off 83 paces (about two feet per pace) and to represent proportionately the first planet, Mercury, put down a tiny mustard seed. Take 60 steps more and for Venus, put an ordinary BB. Mark 78 more steps . . . put down a green pea representing Earth.
Step off 108 paces from there, and for Mars put down a pinhead. Sprinkle around some fine dust for the asteroids, then take 788 steps more. For Jupiter, place an orange on the glass at that spot. After 934 more steps, put down a golf ball for Saturn.
Now it gets really involved. Mark 2,086 steps, and for Uranus . . . a marble. Another 2,322 steps from there you arrive at Neptune. Let a cherry represent Neptune. This will take 2 ½ miles, and we haven’t even discussed Pluto!
If we swing completely around, we have a smooth, glass surface five miles in diameter, yet just a tiny fraction of the heavens. On this surface, five miles across, we have only a seed, BB, pea, pinhead, some dust, an orange, golf ball, a marble and a cherry.
Guess how far we would have to go on the same scale before we could put down another two-foot ball to represent the nearest star. Come on, guess. Seven hundred paces? Two thousand steps more? Forty-four hundred feet? No, you are way off. We would have to go 6,720 miles before we could arrive at that star. Miles, not feet and that is just the first star among millions. In one galaxy among perhaps hundreds, maybe thousands. All of it in perpetual motion, perfectly synchronized, the most accurate timepiece known to man.
Eventually this awesome God is going to receive all that He has created back to Himself, and right now he is sustaining everything that is existing. Without YHWH, this entire universe would fly apart. To encounter Him is to understand his centrality in all things.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome