Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: To enjoy fullness of life even in the troubles of life, trust Jesus to be Lord of your life.

Last year (2015), Tesco, a British supermarket in Wrexham, England, posted a help-wanted ad, seeking a part-time worker with a very specific set of skills: a “Christmas Light Untangler.” The posting said that the supermarket was launching a new service, allowing customers to bring in their messy Christmas lights to be untangled.

The ad called for candidates that could untangle 10 feet of Christmas lights in less than three minutes, as well as check the bulbs for signs of breakage. The posting also said that the ideal candidate for the 36-hour-per-week job would also “be passionate about Christmas.” (www.upi.com/Odd_News/2015/11/05/British-supermarket-seeks-Christmas-light-untangler/4261446749389/)

I don’t know about you, but I would find it difficult to be “passionate about Christmas” while untangling Christmas tree lights. However, despite the troubles of life, you can enjoy the fullness of life no matter where you are. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Colossians 1, Colossians 1, where the Bible shows us how.

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (ESV)

If you’re going to enjoy a full life, then 1st of all you must…


You must recognize that as the creator God, Jesus has the first place over all that He has made.

The Bible is very clear here. Jesus is God. “He is the image the invisible God.” When you look at a penny, you see President Lincoln’s image imprinted on that coin. He is invisible to us, but that image shows us what he looks like. Well, that’s the way it is when you look at Christ. He shows us what God looks like. He makes the invisible God visible.

John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made Him known.” And Jesus Himself said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

One of early church fathers in the third century, Origen, had a great analogy. He told of a village with a huge statue – so immense no one could see who it was supposed to represent. Finally, someone miniaturized the statue so people could see the person it honored. Origen said, “That is what God did in his Son.” Christ is the self-miniaturization of God, the visible icon or “image of the invisible God” to use the language of Colossians 1:15. (Dale Bruner, “Is Jesus Inclusive or Exclusive?” Theology, News, and Notes of Fuller Seminary, Oct. 1999, p.4; www. PreachingToday.com)

In other words, Jesus is the visible God, showing us what the invisible God looks like.

And as such, He has the first place over all creation. He is in charge of it all! That’s what verse 15 means when it says, “He is…the firstborn of all creation.” This is not to say that Jesus was the first created in sequence, no! Rather, Jesus is the first in status. The word “firstborn” speaks of a person’s status within the family, not the sequence of his birth. It speaks of the primary heir in the family, i.e., the one who would lead the family.

There are plenty of instances in the Bible where the one who was born first did not become the primary heir and the head of the family. For example, Abraham’s son, Ishmael, was born first, but Isaac, his younger brother, became the primary heir. Isaac’s son, Esau, was born first, but Jacob, his younger brother, became the primary heir. And Jacob’s son, Reuben, was born first, but Joseph, the one born next to last in the family of 12 children became the primary heir. And on I could go throughout the Old Testament.

The one who was born first does not necessarily have the title, “firstborn.” That is to say he is not necessarily the primary heir or the head of the family. So when Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, it does NOT mean that he was the first created; rather, it means that He is the head of all creation, the primary heir of it all.

Jesus is God. He is the Lord of creation, because He Himself created it all. Everything was created by him, through him and for him.

Colossians 1:16 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. (ESV)

Jesus made everything there is, material and immaterial, visible and invisible. He even made all the angels, the various powers and authorities in the spirit world. And Jesus is the first cause, the instrumental cause and the final cause of all creation. He is its origin, the means by which it came into existence, and its purpose. Everything was created BY Him, THROUGH Him, and FOR Him. Jesus is the creator God!

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