Summary: Inductive sermon outline ideas for Colossians 1:15-20.

The following notes reflect ideas based on the homiletics in "Preach with No Pants" ( It proposes an inductive-deductive five-point outline: Trip, Tension, Twist, Truth, Triumph.

In practice, you would need to add illustrations and subpoints that are relevant to your own heart and audience. If you have additional ideas, or if you try such an outline, please add your thoughts in the "Comments" for the encouragement of others. (Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is from the NET Bible.)

Note, since "Christ as the key to spiritual maturity" may be an idea not practical enough for some, I have chosen "abundant life" as the expression of the rich blessings of Christ gained through spiritual maturity.


Jesus is supreme over everything.


Make Jesus supreme in your life.

Make Jesus supreme every moment of your life.

Make Jesus supreme in every part of your life.

Make Jesus supreme in every detail of your life.

Abundant life means Jesus supreme in your life.

Abundant life means Jesus the king of your life.

Get abundant life by crowning Jesus as the king of your life.

Abundant life comes by crowning Jesus as the king of your life.


The most startling idea to me is how readily we acknowledge that Jesus is supreme yet how easily we push him off the throne of our hearts.

Another good Twist is that the supreme person of Christ actually fulfills our desire for abundant life.


Trip (Upset)

The first commandment may be the most often broken of the Ten Commandments.

Tension (Provoking the Questions, Opposites of the Truth)

* We chuckle at ancient peoples who worshiped idols. But Paul said greed is idolatry (3:5). Expanding idolatry beyond little graven images, even to ourselves as gods, makes modern man great idolaters. Basically, breaking the First Commandment makes one's substitute a false god. Then the advertising that bombards us constantly takes direct aim at the Tenth Commandment, coveting.

* We allow the god Evolution to take credit for and receive worship for God's marvelous creative work (1:15-16).

* We often make ourselves, our jobs, family, or entertainment more important than God.

Twist (The Most Startling Idea)

We automatically give lip service to Jesus as king and Lord of our lives, but our hearts are far from it.

Truth (Preaching the Bible's Solution)

Make Jesus supreme in every part of your life to get that abundant life.

Practically, this becomes a moment-by-moment, sometimes difficult exercise of making a hundred decisions each day, either toward God or away from him. It means we "take every thought captive" (2 Cor 10:3-4). Jeremiah 6:16 pictures it well.

The Lord said to his people:

“You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path.

Ask where the old, reliable paths are.

Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it.

If you do, you will find rest for your souls.”

But they said, “We will not follow it!”

This magnificent list of the preeminent characteristics of Christ has been broken down in various ways. Whatever way you list them, any connections you make with the Tension will be advantageous.

Jesus is the:

* Perfect revelation of God

* Creator of all things in the spiritual realm

* Creator of all things in the physical realm

* Sustainer of all creation

* Head of the church

* First resurrected, conqueror of death — "He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!" (2 Timothy 1:10b)

* First in all things

* Reconciler of all things on earth and in heaven

* Maker of peace with God through his blood on the cross

Triumph (The Nugget of Truth)

Keep Jesus supreme in your life and you will be following the path to abundant life.

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