Before all things (pro pantwn). Pro with the ablative case. This phrase makes Paul's meaning plain. The precedence of Christ in time and the preeminence as Creator are both stated sharply. See the claim of Jesus to eternal timeless existence in John 8:58 ; John 17:5 . See also Revelation 22:13 where Christ calls himself the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning (arch) and the End (telo). Paul states it also in 2 Corinthians 8:9 ; Philippians 2:6 . Consist (sunesthken). Perfect active indicative (intransitive) of sunisthmi, old verb, to place together and here to cohere, to hold together. The word repeats the statements in verse Philippians 16 , especially that in the form ektistai. Christ is the controlling and unifying force in nature. The Gnostic philosophy that matter is evil and was created by a remote aeon is thus swept away. The Son of God's love is the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe which is not evil.