Summary: Jesus Christ is Lord, and He is love.
Read Colossians 1:15-23.
I. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD (1:15-19).
A. He is Lord over CREATION (vv. 15-17).
1. He is GOD in human flesh.
“He is the image of the invisible God” (v. 15a).
God became a man and His name was Jesus of Nazareth. The birth of Jesus fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah: “‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’—which menas, ‘God with us’” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus is God in human flesh.
The Bible says that man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation and is similar to God in some ways. For example, we have a mind, will, and emotions like God does. But man is far from being “the image of the invisible God.” Only Jesus is the perfect image of God. In Him, the invisible (God) becomes visible.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3a).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:1, 14, 18).
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If I want to know what God is like, I should look at Jesus.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).
2. He is the CREATOR of all things.
He is “the firstborn over all creation” (v. 15b).
Jesus is not a creature like us; He is the creator of all things. However, some argue that the phrase “firstborn over all creation” mean that Jesus was the first created being. Is that correct? NO. The Greek word for “firstborn” can mean firstborn chronologically (Luke 2:7), but it refers primarily to status. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the son who had the right of inheritance. He was not necessarily the first one born (example: Jacob & Esau; “the older will serve the younger”—Gen. 25:23).
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (v. 16).
“…whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Heb. 1:2).
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3).
3. He is the SUSTAINER of all things.
“He is before all things” (v. 17a).
Before the universe began, Jesus existed. He is eternal—with a beginning and without an end.
‘“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”’ (John 8:58).
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times [NIV note: or “from days of eternity”]” (Micah 5:2).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13).
“…and in him all things hold together” (v. 17b).
Jesus is the sustainer of all things. Christ is a kind of divine glue or spiritual gravity that holds creation together. God did not simply start things off and then withdraw from His creation; Christ continues to sustain the whole universe. As H. C. G. Moule put it, “He keeps the cosmos from becoming a chaos.”
“…sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3).
That means that this universe is not self-sufficient and neither are individuals, no matter how much people try to deceive themselves into thinking they are. Even those who do not acknowledge Christ’s reign and those who actively oppose Him are entirely dependent on Him.
B. He is Lord over the CHURCH (vv. 18-19).
1. He is the HEAD of the church.
“And he is the head of the body, the church” (v. 18a).
Jesus is the head of the church. He holds the chief position or highest rank in the church. This church doesn’t belong to us; it belongs to Jesus. We shouldn’t operate this ministry as we see fit; we should operate it as Christ wants us to. We are to live in submission and obedience to Him.
2. He is the ORIGINATOR of the church.
“He is the beginning” (v. 18b).
The Greek word for “beginning” contains the idea of source. That means that Jesus is the originator of the church. We are one with Christ and one another because of His death and resurrection.