Summary: This is the second in our series, Resolution Revolution. It looks at the Authority we’ve been given in Christ.
This is the second message in our series called Resolution Revolution. last week we looked at how because we’ve been rescued and redeem and transferred and forgiven, we ought to catch on to our importance to Christ... You matter to God. That’s huge! Well, this week we begin to look directly at Christ. We are also going to talk about authority...
You know what authority is right? Webster defines Authority as “...person(s) in command; power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior; convincing force...”
Last week I dealt with authority in my own life... I was pulled over by a police officer. Don’t you hate that feeling. You pass a cop, and you look in your mirror to see if he moves - There is no worse feeling than seeing the lights go on, and no greater feeling of relief when he slips around you to get someone else... Well last week, I was coming up to a school zone. I saw the officers. I slowed down to 20. I think I even gave them a little “good job guys” wave - and sure enough I saw the lights, and I was pulled over... You see, at the rate of speed I was going - 20 miles an hour - the officer can see my windshield very clearly. He could tell in an instant that my registration is out of date! And there wasn’t really much to argue about... It was out of date. I have a brake light that’s not working, and of course, I didn’t have proof of insurance with me either. The good news was that “with a little footwork from me, I can get everything taken care of and only be out $20”
Authority... “power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior...” What/who is the authority in your life? Who influences your behavior - or your actions? Christ has authority in your life - but you have to recognize his authority...
In this passage in Colossians, Paul sets up Jesus as one in Authority. There apparently was some “heresy” going on in the church at Colosse. Scholars debate what the actual nature of the controversy was... It probably was a lot like our culture - a mixing of this and that to come up with an individual belief - so here, Paul sets the record straight. READ TEXT (Colossians 1:15-20)
He mentions some things about Christ - (David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Colossians)
He is the image of the invisible God (That is both likeness, as in a mirror, and manifestation, or fullness - God is fully revealed in Jesus)
He is the first-born of creation - that doesn’t mean he was created first... (It means that he is the first-born and entitled to all the inheritance ...think of the story of Jacob and Essau - Jacob got the blessing of being firstborn, even though he wasn’t first.)
He made the heavens and the earth - we tend to think of God as being creator, but here Paul reminds us that Jesus was part of the creation story too..
He is above the angels - part of the “heresy” was that the angels were mediators between God and man, Paul reminds us that Jesus is over the angels.
He is the head of “the body” the Church - Christ is head over the church. There really isn’t much more to say about this point...
All the fulness of God dwelt in him - I remember preaching a message early in my preaching days at a retirement community. I had preached a Christmas message about how Christ was half God and half man and how both of those parts were important to remember... A little lady passed me after the service , Gladis Vaughter, and she said, great message, but just remember Christ was fully God and fully man...
And through Christ the work of salvation is complete - ...by means of Christ’s blood on the cross we have been reconciled to God
So, Paul lays out this great image of Christ and his Authority - but Authority doesn’t exist if it’s not recognized... What if I had just kept driving after seeing the police officers lights? What if I stand before the judge and I declare that I do not recognize your authority?
For the believer there are three (at least three) ares where the Authority of Christ should show up...
First - in Salvation. Part of the salvation process is to submit to the authority of Christ in your life.
Scripture tells us, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
To be saved, one has to understand that I am a sinner, and my sin has separated me from God. I can try to earn my way back to God all I want, or I can realize that is hopeless - nothing I can do can wash away my sin - only Christ’s blood - only his sacrifice is acceptable to God, so I have to give up trying and submit to him... (There was a powerful example of this on ER this past week. ER is a TV show about a hospital ER, and a boy had been brought in that had fallen into freezing water. A man was brought into the ER with him. The man had jumped in to save the boy. As the show unfolded, we learned that the man had been a prison doctor. He was responsible for administering the final cocktail of drugs on death row. he had been responsible for killing men on death row, but he’d had a change of heart, and he’d spent the last few years going back to the families to try to find forgiveness - he’d tried to buy forgiveness - hoping that he could do enough for God to forgive him. He’d saved this boy, but the show illustrated that it’s not enough... Forgiveness from God for our sin is not something we can do - God’s word tells us that only in Christ can we find real forgiveness.)