What does it mean when we use the word supreme? By definition supreme means....highest in authority; holding the highest place in government or power. In the United States, the congress is supreme in regulating commerce and in making war and peace. In our country of Canada we have our House of Parliament who governs over us.
The parliament of Great Britain is supreme in legislation; but the king is supreme in the administration of the government. In the universe, God only is the supreme ruler and judge. His commands are supreme, and binding on all his creatures. But what if you add [A. C. Y. and removed the E] to the end of that word supreme........We would get supremacy! See supremacy gives a deep understanding to what it means to be supreme! It’s a state of being supreme or in the highest station of power; highest authority or power! So if God is creator and self existent of everything.....wouldn’t that make Him supreme over everything? And I mean everything!1 Chron 29:11-12 says “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” Job 23:13 says “But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.” Rom 9:20-21 says “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? As Ps 2:9 says “You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Like a supreme King with his sceptre as he rules over his people with authority. Spurgeon said “God’s absolute supremacy and unlimited sovereignty naturally flow from his omnipotence, and from the fact that he is the source and support of all things.” We come to this powerful letter to the faithful saints of Colosse .....A house church which was in the Lycus River Valley in the Roman province of Asia [which is a part of modern day Turkey]. The pastor or leader of this church is Philemon by what we see in [Col 4:8-9] This is about 100 miles east of Ephesus. This letter was written by Paul on his with an urgency of the heresy that floating around the area which was ending up in the church! Reason being! There was a mix of Gentiles and Jewish people in city of Colosse! Jewish legalism and Gentile pagan mysticism and today’s heresy of Gnosticism which means “that God is good, but matter is evil” Paul starts his letter off with his standard greeting which can be found in his 13 other letters! [v1-v2]. Paul wastes no time as he gets to the heart of the church! Which is all our worship....servanthood and time for the glory of God. See, God must get the pre-imminence in our lives and in our church at all times! If not! He isn’t pre-imminent in your life or this church! What do I mean by that?
Is He supreme in your farm or employment?
Is He supreme in your finances or in your tithing?
Is He supreme in your marriage?
Is He supreme in your behaviour?
Is He supreme in your discipleship of your children?
Is He supreme in your decision making?
Is He supreme in your service to this church?
Is He supreme in your worship?
Is He supreme in your scripture memorization?
Is He supreme in your prayer life?
Is He supreme in your in everything?
Seriously think about that! Because the truth of those answers will reflex the way you live and treat this church and your life today!Paul proclaims to the church in what we call “the prison epistles” that Christ is and must be supreme first and foremost! He is and must be supreme in the GOSPEL! He must be at the center of the Gospel ....not to the side or an afterthought! He is the Gospel!
1. THE GOSPEL IS TO BE LIVED OUT WITHIN THE CHURCH WITH CHRIST AT THE CENTER OF IT! (V3-V6)
Do you realize that.......We are God’s holy and faithful ones, saints. We are brothers and sisters with a common Father. We are “in Christ” and are part of the joyous mystery of His body. The grace of God has been freely poured on us “grace upon grace” John 1:16. God has given us faith, love, and hope. (v3) “faith in Christ” Apart from faith there is no Christian experience! (v4) ”love for all the saints” one of the visible changes in a person when they are transformed by the Gospel is they have a love for fellow believers. (v5) ”hope stored [laid up, reserved] up in Heaven” The blessed promise of the Gospel message by making us His sons and daughters. (v6a) “word of truth.....which has come to you...also in the whole world” The Gospel is a universal message and it’s true! Why? Christ is at the center of it.
2. THE GOSPEL [GOOD NEWS] WILL ALWAYS BEAR FRUIT...IT’S A LIVING, MOVING, AND GROWING REALITY! (v6b-v8)
It bears fruit and spreads like a untamed fire! The Hebrew writer says “the word of God is living and active” Heb 4:12. Just like the small mustard seed which is about 1 or 2 mm in diameter and it grows to its full potential of about 10 to 15 feet tall! Remember what Jesus said in Matt 13:31-32 "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." The Gospel will always grow! Why? Christ is at the center of it! What’s more amazing is that a genuine Christian will grow as well... just like the mustard tree. “since you heard it” and up to now! Gordon MacDonald said these words “He regards men not as they are merely, but as they shall be; not as they shall be merely; but as they are now growing, or capable of growing, toward that image after which he made them that they might grow to it.” The Gospel bears fruit and so must the church! How?
3. THE GOSPEL WILL ALWAYS GIVE WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING TO WALK WORTHY (V9-V11)
When wisdom is given it is usually accompanied by understanding. When you read the word of God you are receiving information or instruction from God’s which His wisdom is for you! This gives us understanding into how we are to live our lives. The first principle is that Christ must be at the center of it......not riding shot gun or sitting at the back of the bus....He must be first in everything! “Walk” according to the Bible refers..... to one’s pattern of daily conduct. A mind or a life controlled by the word of God will produce a life worthy of the Lord. This should be what we are striving for...but again it’s going to be hard work “spiritual sweat” Remember God has not left us to our own resources for walking worthy! “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20. Christ dwells in us in the person of the Holy Spirit “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man...” Eph 3:16-17. As John MacArthur puts it! “trying to walk worthy in our own strength is doomed for failure.” A fruitful life will always bear fruit and strive for walking in a manner that is pleasing to Him! Because Christ is at the center of their lives. (v11) “according to His glorious power”
4. THE GOSPEL PROMISES US AN INHERITANCE THROUGH CHRIST’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION (V12)
“qualified” we made the cut or the team by His saving grace so to speak! We are not qualified by our own efforts....God has qualified us by the finishing work of Christ. Basically what this verse is saying is that “God by His grace qualified the unqualified to share in the inheritance.” This means God has given each and everyone who is born again a portion or an allowance......which is eternal life.......forever in the presence of Jesus Christ. Matt 19:29 says “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” It will be ours forever......because of Christ!
5. THE GOSPEL HAS THE POWER TO DELIVER US FROM DARKNESS (V13-V14)
God has rescued us from the sinking ship, drowning in the lake, the burning fire, the bullet as you stand before the firing squad “delivered” which means “draw to oneself” We have been delivered from the bondage of sin and Satan.....not progressively but completely.....“if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.....” 2 Cor 5:17 or read Romans chapter 6. As John said “greater is He who is in you that he who is in the world” 1 John 4:4. God has removed us from the domain of darkness which is referring to the supernatural forces of Satan....This doesn’t mean we are exempt from sin but we no longer are in bondage to Satan and his fallen angels! But what it does mean is! The chains of darkness have been broken by a holy God who gave Himself so that He could “draw us back” to Him and His saving arms of grace. That’s the power of the Gospel! The gospel redeems the unregenerate from darkness into His marvellous light! The Gospel is about Him.....that’s what makes the Gospel supreme in the church! It’s all about Christ.
It begins and ends with Him....that’s why He is supreme. This is why He gets the pre-immense in the life of the church. See! Without the gospel there is no Christ and He is not supreme in your life or the church.....He must me center of everything! The unsaved masses want to forget Him.....remove Him....or ignore Him! For this simple truth......We by nature what to be supreme, king, controller of our lives....we want to be in control of our domain, existence. Satan did and so did Adam and Eve at the great fall of all humanity. Paul writes to this little church like ours and tells us that Christ must be supreme in order for us to continue. “O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. 1 Chron 29:11. So let me leave you with this one simple question! Is Christ truly supreme in your life?