This week Pastor Shaun will continue teaching from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae with a section that most Bible translators have titled, “The Preeminence of Christ.” As we approach corporate worship this Sunday, I want to draw your attention to a few aspects of this text and its implications for our lives.
Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
“He is the image of the invisible God…”
John 14 records the following exchange between Phillip and Jesus:
“8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
If you want to know the Father, look to the Son. He is the clear definition of God in the flesh. If you want to know the thoughts, feelings, and actions of God, look to Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures. He is the image of our invisible God. Are there times in your life when Jesus would have good reason to ask you, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?”
“…the firstborn of all creation.”
This statement does not refer to Christ being a created being. This refers to the preeminence of Christ in all of creation. Consider Jesus’ statement in John 8, which makes this clear:
“56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple.”
The Pharisees understood that Jesus was claiming to be the eternal God, which is why they wanted to stone Him. It is all too easy for us to criticize the Pharisees for their hostile response toward Jesus’ claims, though our flesh reacts the same way- desperately trying to keep Jesus off of the throne of our hearts.
“All things were created through him and for him.”
Christ was not only intimately involved in creation- ALL things were created for Him! He is the heir of the inheritance of the Father and all things were created for His glory. Christ is ruling and reigning supreme over all- whether we recognize it or not. As C.S Lewis said in The Problem of Pain, “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” I think the struggle for most of us is much more subtle though- the busyness of work, relationships, parenting, and even ministry can all distract us from recognizing the preeminence of Christ in our lives. When we allow pride and idolatry to take root in our hearts, we deceive ourselves into living as though Christ is not the supreme and central one. We must daily proclaim to ourselves that our very lives were created through Him and for Him. We must daily recognize the preeminence of Christ.
“He is before all things and in Him all things hold together”
Be encouraged that Christ is sovereign over “all things,” your life included. He is ruling over all of your circumstances and He is sustaining you. He is holding you together. Believer, your life and your salvation are secure in Christ. How will this affect the way you live? Will you look for the work and the glory of Christ in even the most mundane parts of your daily routine? Will you daily recognize the preeminence of Christ?
As I pray for you this week Coastal, I want to echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:9-12. I ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen.