Summary: Colossians 1 presents Jesus as supreme in his relationship to God, to the Universe, to His Church, and to each Believer
Colossians Series # 1 CHCC: November 5, 2006
Jesus the One and Only
Creator and Sustainer
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:15-20
INTRODUCTION: Last week we looked at the question “Why> Jesus” This Sunday we’re going to look at the way Apostle Paul taught the Supremacy of Jesus in the book of Colossians. This is probably Paul’s finest theological treatment of who Jesus is and what he means to the church.
Most Bible Scholars think that the scripture ____________________ just read was a Hymn of the early Church. Those few verses probably contain more concentrated information about who Jesus is than any other section of scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to a fledgling congregation in the city of Colossae. It was a church he never visited, but --- from Paul’s prison cell in Rome --- he had heard reports that this 5-year-old congregation was in danger. The Colossian congregation was being corrupted by false teachers.
We don’t know exactly what the false teaching was. Bible scholars just call it “The Colossian Heresy.” What we CAN tell is that the heresy included LEGALISM and some sort of ANGEL WORSHIP. The point is that Paul doesn’t talk about the details of the Heresy. He spends his time talking about the details of the TRUTH. After all, the best way to spot a counterfeit is to recognize the REAL THING.
1. Christ’s relationship to God Colossians 1:15
The false teaching that was going around in Colossi did not exactly DENY Christ. Instead it tried to DETHRONE Him. It’s probably the most common false teaching that goes around today. People want to give some sort of respect to Jesus, but they don’t want to Worship Him as LORD of all.
Paul confronts this head on in his first bold assertion that Jesus is: the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
Jesus is not the IMAGE of God in the same way that you and I were made in God’s image. Jesus is God Himself, made visible. We know that many levels of reality are invisible to the human eye.
We can’t see cells or molecules or atoms or sub-atomic particles – but we know they exist. In a way, Jesus became our microscope to let us see the invisible reality. He is God made visible to the human eye.
Most of you’ve probably had the experience of hearing your doorbell ring and opening it up to find a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door. Whenever I talk to them, I explain my belief that Jesus is God who came to earth as a human. I point out that their church teaches that Jesus is not God, but is actually the Archangel Michael. (This is something they don’t usually bring up … in fact, some members of the JW’s don’t understand that this is what their church teaches.)
On one occasion, they sent their “big guns” back to my door to talk to me the next week. They actually used Colossians 1:15 to show me that Jesus had to have been a creation of God since he is called the firstborn. I explained to them that the original Greek word translated as firstborn refers to status rather than to birth order. The FIRSTBORN was the one who ruled within the family structure – the supreme one --- the one who had first importance.
Then I pointed them to scriptures like John 14:9 where Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Do you want to know what God is like? Look at His Son. Some people argue that as a Son, Jesus cannot be Eternal. From human logic, a son always comes after the father and can never be as old as His father. But even from our limited understanding, it makes sense that the Son of the Eternal Father would be the Eternal Son.
John 1:1-3 makes this clear: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Susan and I invited the Jehovah’s Witnesses to come back and study scriptures with us, but they didn’t take us up on it. Maybe we planted some seeds, though. The New Testament is clear about Who Jesus is. In the book of Colossians, Paul explains Jesus is not a CREATION of God – He is the CREATOR of the entire universe.
2. Christ’s relationship to the Universe Colossians 1:16-17
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. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17