Summary: Paul starts his letter to the Colossians presenting the proper image of who X is and what He has done.
Sermon 8/13/06-Col. 1:15-2:3-Christ: The One and Only
Ill. John Phillips former assistant director of Moody Correspondence School: -young son
-reading Bible story of Elijah’s being caught up into heaven in a chariot of fire.
-asked “would you like to go to heaven one day?”
- “Why not, why don’t you want to go to heaven?”
- “Because Jesus is there”
- “why don’t you want to go to heaven if Jesus is there?”
- “Because He wears a dress.”
He had the wrong image of who Jesus was. That was the error of the false teachers attacking the church at Colossae. So that was where Paul starts His letter. Presenting the proper image of who Christ is and what He has done.
Col. 1:15-17- “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 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. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I. Who He is– Paul begins with the truth about who Christ is, He is God in the flesh, He is supreme, and He is the creator and sustainer of the universe
A. The visible image of God-In Christ the invisible God became visible.
Jn. 4:24-God is a spirit,
-He is immaterial and invisible. Everything about God is marvelous and mysterious to us. Our minds cannot begin to grasp the idea of One who has always existed, who is eternal, who never had a beginning. We can’t begin to understand the concept of One who is a pure spirit and who has no need for a body…..eternal & invisible? Our finite minds can not comprehend.
Then Jesus came. He was and had always been God
He did not become the image of God @ the incarnation, but has been God for all eternity and now here He was in human form.
–That is why He could say “He who as seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn. 14:9) If we want to know God, must get to know Christ. Want to know how God would have us to live, study the life of Christ.
B. Supreme overall-firstborn over all creation (vs. 15) first born from among the dead (vs. 18)
That is what is meant by firstborn. It can refer to chronology, but in the bible it primarily refers to position, or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the son who had the right of inheritance. But it was not necessarily the first born (throughout Genesis: Ishmael & Issac, Esau & Jacob, Ruben & Joseph)
-Israel called God’s firstborn in Ex. 4:22 & jer. 31:9.
-Ps. 89:27, God says referring to the Messiah “I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.”
-Jesus called the firstborn of the dead-Rev. 1:5-even though he was not the first ever resurrected chronologically, but of all ever raised, He is the preeminent One.
-rom. 8:29-refers to Christ as the firstborn in relation to the church, in each of these cases firstborn clearly means highest in rank, not first created.
So X is supreme overall, the only one deserving of all honor and glory and power.
Ill: In Leonardo Da Vinci’sThe Last Supper, Christ’s hands are empty.
-story. Da Vinci dedicated three years to this painting, determined that it would be his crowning work. Before the unveiling, he decided to show it to a friend for whose opinion he had the utmost respect. The friend’s praise was unbounded. “The cup in Jesus’ hand,” he said, “is especially beautiful.” Disappointed at once Da Vinci began to paint out the cup. Astonished, the distinguished friend asked for an explanation. “Nothing,” Da Vinci explained, “must distract from the figure of Christ.” Da Vinci focused attention solely on Christ by removing the distraction of the cup. Having removed the cup, he had to do something with the hand. The left hand was already outstretched just above the table, lifting, as if to bless and command. Now the right hand, also empty, was also outstretched invitingly.
Nothing in our lives must distract others from Christ-He alone is worthy to be praised and exalted and glorified.
Creator of all things (16-17)
Jesus Christ created the universe. Think about what that means!
Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe. He knows all about everything, w/out him nothing would exist.
MacArthur ill. Pg. 47-48
We are living in a complex universe. Nobody today can know more than a small fraction of the laws of science. But Jesus knows every law that is known to science and every law that is not yet known. He knows these laws not because He has investigated them, but because he has invented them.