Col 1:15-20Christ is before everything! Christ is behind everything! The Bible is all about the supremacy of Christ
• The Old Testament records the preparation of His coming
• The Gospels present Him as God in human flesh coming into the world to save wretched sinners.
• The Book of Acts the message of salvation through Christ begins to spread throughout the land
• The Epistles give us understanding to the theology of Christ’s work and representation of Christ in His body, and in the church.
• The Book of Revelation presents Christ on the throne, reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords
When you pick up the bible it screams Christ! He is the reason we are allowed see and breath another day. He is our redeeming mercy and hope. He is our Lord who is seated at the right hand of the Father. The bible is supremely the book about the Lord Jesus Christ, as Isa 9:6 says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Every part of Scripture testifies about Christ Jesus! Luke wrote about the 2 men on the road to Emmaus “And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke 24:25-27....In John 5:39 Jesus said of the scripture “it is these that bear witness of Me.” This portion of Paul’s letter would have struck a chord with the heretics of that day and more so today! Why? Many denied His humanity and deity; they viewed Christ as a lesser spirit being that emanated from God.
• The New Aga Movement says that Jesus, is to be their spirit-guide.
• The Jehovah's Witnesses Jesus is actually Michael, the Archangel. He was the first creation of God who became a man.
• The Mormons Jesus is a Spirit child of Elohim who is in the class of Spirit. He is the Spirit brother of the Lucifer who became the Devil.
• Mary Baker Eddy founder of Christian Science said that “Jesus was only a man and that Christ is a Divine idea.”
• Freemasons teaches that Jesus was only a moral teacher. He was no better than Buddha, Confucius, Moses or Mohammed.
• Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard claim that Jesus is a false dream.
• Islam says in Sura 43:59 “Jesus was no more than a mortal whom Allah favoured and made an example to the Israelites.”
You may be asking yourself! Why do I care about this.....I know what I believe, I’m fine......ARE YOU SURE? Can you truly defend what you believe? Can you with confidence take a person like this through the scriptures and show them their error? Can you defend the authority and the divinity of Christ to someone who says Jesus was nothing more than a mere man? I say this because! This is a growing problem that is not going away any time soon! As one writer puts it “It is estimated that there are over 1,000 cults in America alone with some 25-30 million followers! And each of these false cults promotes their own man-made version of “Jesus Christ” who is not the Jesus of the Bible.” All cults have one thing in common! They deny the fact that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone and that He is God in the flesh. But, we know that’s not true! Remember what Jesus said to the man after he was given his sight then brutally beaten by the religious and thrown outside the courts! John 9:35-41 “Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains." We come to this beautiful passage of scripture which is meant to strengthen the heart of the believer and to confirm the facts about who Jesus is! A passage that speaks very clearly that Christ must be supreme and given the glory to His sovereign right as Lord over all things! I like what John MacArthur said “He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine, and yet He healed more broken hearts than the doctors have healed broken bodies. This Jesus Christ is the star of astronomy, the rock of geology, the lion and the lamb of zoology, the harmonizer of all discords, and the healer of all diseases. And throughout history great men have come and gone yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. Death could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. This is our Christ the preeminent one.” Christ is supreme over all things! He is not only our Saviour He is God in flesh to show humanity the love of God for fallen sinful man and woman. Look what Paul writes in these verses!
“the image of the invisible God” (v15a)...........This means “likeness”......“Image” is the Greek word “eikon” This is where we get the English word for “icon” which is an image or representation. Paul is making a profound statement about the deity and sovereignty of Christ! By saying that Jesus is the perfect, absolutely accurate image of God in the flesh. Jesus didn’t become this image at His incarnation.....He has always been God in eternity past, present and the future! Jesus is exact likeness of God “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.....” Heb 1:3. This is why Jesus spoke with such authority and power! "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9. This is a vital and non-negotiable biblical truth to the Christian faith! Jesus is the God man. You want to know who God is......His character....His attributes.....His mercy and justice? Look to Christ! “the image of the invisible God”
Not only is He the image the exact representation of God for all humanity........He is also!......”the Firstborn over all creation” (v15b- v17). Many have distorted this text as a springboard to their heresy! The Watchtower uses this text to twist it into what they believe to be true! They use this text to make a case that Jesus was created, which removes that non-negotiable doctrine of the divinity of Christ. The word “firstborn” though it can refer to a first child...but in the context of this passage it’s referring to a position or rank! In both the Greek and Jewish culture ‘firstborn’ was a son who had the right to the inheritance” So this word that Paul used to describe Christ’s supremacy in this letter would have made sense to them....... when he used the word “firstborn”. For example!
Israel was God’s firstborn 'Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son,” Exo 4:22. David was the firstborn though he was the last of eight sons “And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” Ps 89:27.....“firstborn” clearly means highest in rank....not first created child! Why? By what we read in the following verses...CONTEXT...CONTEXT....CONTEXT! (v16-v17) He is before everything “our sustainer”. He is above everything “our sovereign King”. He is in control of all things “our omnipotent Lord”......The firstborn to receive glory, honor and praise from everything created!!
What’s more important to the church is that He must get the pre-immense in the church (v18-v19). He must be given the highest of praise in the church because He is the Head. The scriptures describes the church to be a .....A family....A kingdom.... A vineyard....A flock....A building....A bride. But here Paul calls it a body and Christ is the Head of the body! And you what that means? A body without a head is good for nothing! If Christ isn’t the firstborn in the church then we’re a dead church going through the motions of life.......A body [the church] remove the sovereign authority and divinity of Christ [which is the head] ........and we are left to ourselves [a decaying body full of sin and pride]. Without Christ at the head of the church we are doomed for failure! The body has different parts so that it can function properly but it must stay together in order to work properly “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”Rom 12:3-5. But this is only possible when Christ is supreme in the church! Jesus Christ is the foundation of the church and that was only possible through His death and resurrection. That’s why He is the ‘firstborn’ [again first in rank] from the dead.......Jesus was the first to be resurrected and never die again!....... (v18b). He is supreme in the church and He is supreme over death! This is our living hope of eternal blessing! Not even death can stop the almighty power of God found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christ is everything to the Gospel.....Creation.....the Church......the Resurrection! He has been given a name that is above every name. He is so supreme the Bible says that every knee will bow and everrry tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. That’s what it means to be supreme! All the false cults, unconverted masses who deny: His existence...His deity.....His wonderful work of redemption found in the Gospel, will confess that Jesus is truly God in the flesh and He is who He claimed to be. Which is scary for some and exciting for others? Think about this! One way or another Jesus will receive glory due His name whether by your exaltation found in salvation or your damnation! Why? He is the pre-imment One who has the divine powers and attributes to reconcile all things to Himself (v19-v20) The fullness of deity....all divine powers and attributes was not spread out among created beings, but completely dwelt in Christ alone. And what’s amazing about that statement! Christian’s get to share in His fullness “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16. Let me leave you with this final thought! Since we are as believers partakers of this fullness of grace....there is really only one thing that everyone of us here in this place needs to do......Make Christ supreme! Which means first place in everything?
• First place in our families
• First place in our marriages
• First place in our professions
• First place in our missions and ministries
• First place in matter of the intellect
• First place in time
• First place in love
• First place in conversation
• First place in pleasures
• First place in eating
• First in play
• First place in what we watch
• First place in worship
• First place in this church
He must be first in your life period! So the question I want to leave with you is this! Is He first or last in your life? To answer that question properly! We [meaning you and me] really need to stop and evaluate our lives in light of what scripture says here is this text! Is Christ supreme in your life?