The Supremacy of Jesus Christ (1-31-15)
Grab your Bible and let’s go deeper into Colossians 1
Read Colossians 1:15-19
- The Fullness of Christ as God
Colossians 1:15a He is the image of the invisible God.
Paul cuts right to the center of the debate as he proclaims the supremacy of Christ in saying that Jesus is the “Image of the invisible God.”
WE have a better understanding of who GOD is by seeing the image of God in the person of Jesus.
This is a reference to the Trinity; the Triune Godhead; a tri-unity or three in oneness.
The scriptures teach us that there is one God who eternally and equally exists in three persons:
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Each person is fully God, and the three make up our ONE GOD.
Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
This verse is emphasizing this point. Because Christ put on flesh, died in the place of sinners, and obeys the will of the Father doesn’t make Him any less “GOD.”
Just as Jennifer fulfills her God-given duty to help me, her husband, and submit to my leadership, she is not any less a part of the oneness of our marriage.
Jesus is an equal part of the Godhead. So when we say that he is God, we are not saying it is in absence of the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are saying He is God in equality with them.
Paul is saying Jesus is sufficient. Look to Jesus. To know God and grow in God, look to Jesus!
- The Eternity of Christ
Colossians 1:17a And he is before all things
This is the doctrine of eternal Sonship of Jesus.
This affirms that the second person of the triune Godhead has eternally existed as the Son.
In other words, there was never a time when Jesus was not the Son of God, and there has always been a Father/Son relationship within the Godhead.
This doctrine recognizes that Sonship is not merely a title or role that Christ took on at some specific point in history to serve a specific purpose, but it is the essential identity of the second Person of the Godhead. —Christ is and always has been the Son of God.
John 16:28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
This is an important clarity so that we do not diminish Christ’s supremacy or believe any heresy that might say Christ is of lesser importance than God the Father, or even worse, was a mode of God the Father at a certain point.
- The Power of Christ as the active agent of Creation: both originally and ongoing
Colossians 1:16a For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible
How supreme is Jesus in all creation? The utmost! WHY? Because all of creation is the result His command.
Everything that is, is because of the work of Jesus! Oh how SUPREME He is!
This is why He is worthy of our worship as we see and taste and hear all the marvelous things He has made.
This is why it is idolatry to make more of the beauty of the sunset than of the One who makes that sunset.
Or why it is idolatry to make more of the value of your child than the One who made your child.
Or to make more of the flavors of the food you eat than the One who makes the flavors in that food.
What about the Invisible things of the created order?
When it comes to invisible things, people typically make too little or too much of them.
Those who make too little only have in view what they can see… with no mind to the spiritual realm.
What this verse and others affirm is there are very much forces in creation that are beyond our sight.
But there is another group that is guilty of making too much of the spiritual unseen forces in creation.
If you lean this way, when things go bad, you think it is always because the enemy is at work
And when things go good, you think it is because the angels were with us.
The problem with this perspective is it makes too little of God.
What Paul is saying here is: it is Christ who created and rules over all things.
This means everything that is visible and invisible is under the ultimate authority and power of God.
So when bad things happen, it surly can be the result of evil or the consequences of sin, but we must not ever see those things as a power or force that is greater than God or outside of God’s ultimate reign and rule. Christ is Supreme!
Now, it gets better. If you want to truly begin to see how life changing it is when we understand that Jesus is supreme above all else, meditate on…
Colossians 1:17b and in him all things hold together.
This is no small statement!
Think about this: we say often in our prayers, “Thank you for this food or thank you for this day.”
Now, this is good because we see that these things are His provision but how often do you say to God…
“Thank you for holding my jaw together, so I can chew this food
…or my stomach together, so I can digest this food
…or the elements of this fire together, so I can cook this food.
God thank you for holding the ground together, so I don’t fall into the abyss.
Or for holding oxygen together, so I can breathe.
Thank you for regulating the temperature of the sun, so that I do not instantly burn up.”
Elihu says this of God in Job 34:14- 15: “If he should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.”
Jesus is so present and active that He is the one holding our very lives together.
This is why we must not diminish Him in any way. This is why we must see Jesus as Supreme!
This is why we must repent of any theology that makes too much of man and too little of God.
We give way too much credit to Satan, demons, angels, nature, and man, when it is GOD who stands Supreme over all these things!
I am not saying you should diminish your view of and respect for invisible powers, the power of nature, and the power of man. We should not walk blind to these things. But I am saying we should increase our view of Christ’s Supremacy and power over these things and walk according to faith in HIM in all of life!
What really broke me to my knees in regarding “In Him, all things hold together”, is when I began to understand that as Christ’s flesh was dying on the cross for me, He was the one holding the very wood of the cross together so His torture will continue and be complete. WOW. Praise Jesus.
There is no part of Christ’s deity that is incomplete. He is God. There is no part of anything that happens in this existence that surprises Him or makes Him duck. He is Supreme over it all. AMEN!
- The Authority if Christ
Colossians 1:15b the firstborn of all creation.
Now, this does not mean that Jesus was the first thing created or that God and the Holy Spirit were standing around having this conversation when the Holy Spirit said, “You know we should add another person to the Godhead. Three is so much better then two.”
Jesus is not a part of the creative order. In fact this term “first born” is used 130 times in the OT and it’s almost always used to describe status or power. For example: in Exodus 4:22, Israel is called, “My beloved firstborn son.”
So the point is NOT that Jesus was the first thing created; the point is Jesus is prominent over all things created.
He has all the authority. So you could go outside on Monday and scream, “Stop raining!” and it wouldn’t stop. But when Jesus says to the storm “stop,” it does!
We could go back through all the pages of history and see that no one is able to exhibit the type of authority and power over creation that Christ does. He is clearly the firstborn over everything that is.
Colossians 1:16b whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.
John refers to Jesus like this in Revelation 1:5: “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.”
Jesus Christ is “the ruler of kings on earth.” This is what John means when he says that Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Jesus Reigns Over All
This is what I want to declare today: Jesus Christ is the ruler of all the kings and presidents and chiefs and premiers and governors and prime ministers.
What this means is: Jesus Controls Who Becomes King and Who Doesn’t.
Daniel 2:21 says, “God changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that every king lives an obedient, Christian life or pleases the Lord.
It means Jesus overrules the sinful acts of evil rulers and makes their sin and their folly a part of His wise plan for history.
The ways of Christ’s rule are not simple to understand. We must say again and again, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Romans 11:33
What this means is: Don’t read the newspaper or listen to the news the way non-Christians listen.
Listen with the ears of Scripture and hear the works of Christ, the ruler of the kings on earth.
We read that God “makes nations great, and he destroys them: he enlarges nations, and leads them away.” Job 12:23
The reign of Christ today over the rulers of the earth means He regulates what the kings of earth do: sometimes holding them back from evil, and sometimes ordering international events to further His purposes. So when we see evil rulers selfishly reigning injustice and madness over nations and people, we don’t fold our hearts in despair. We pray in line with the commands of God and trust in the sovereign decrees of God who is supreme above all authorities all the time.
Have you ever thought about the fact that Christ’s Supreme rule over all nations means He can and will claim whomever He wants to be a part of his kingdom? No one else rules in this way.
Notice the connection between Matthew 28:18 and 19: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. THEREFORE go and make disciples of all nations.”
In other words, the fact that Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth—the fact that He is the ruler of the kings on earth—means He can take their citizens to be citizens of His kingdom.
This means Christian missionaries are rightful emissaries and ambassadors of the King who is over all other kings, and no one has a right to keep them from calling all people everywhere to submit to the King, Christ Jesus.
This is us, Soldiers! If God is for us, who can be against us?
When Jesus says in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me,”
He really means all things! Jesus Christ is Supreme!
Colossians 1:18a And he is the head of the body, the church.
The Bible is clear the ultimate authority and leader of the church is Jesus Christ.
1 Pet. 5:4: Jesus is referred to as the Chief Shepherd.
Eph. 5:23: Jesus is referred to as the Head of the Church.
The one who reigns supreme over the church, our church included, is Jesus.
We are His body, and He is the head. Eph 4:15: “We will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
Our International and National officers don’t reign supreme, or the longest standing members don’t reign supreme, our patch doesn’t, our bi-laws don’t reign supreme…Christ does!
Make it personal for you today: is Jesus Supreme in your everyday life?
The implications of this truth are huge. This means everything in your life:
*Every view, *every relationship, *every cross-road, *in everything in your life, He must have the Supremacy, the highest position, the highest affection.
The point is: if you truly see the supremacy of Jesus, then everything in your life that once was primary becomes secondary to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ as LORD.
If the God you know is just rounding out your life, if He is just helping your life get better,
You don’t know the one true God. Because when you do know Yahweh, He is everything.
When Jesus becomes your everything, the change in your life is not a casual. It is a LIFEQUAKE!
Soldiers, may Christ reign supreme in all things in our lives and testimony. Fewer things are as important.
By His grace and for His glory,
Soldiers for Jesus MC