Summary: An expository sermon of Colissians 1:15-20.
Paul’s Most Powerful Statement II
1. Introduction: Last week we began a two week look at this most important passage. This is the passage where Paul tells the Colossians these very powerful statements which describe Jesus and His attributes. Paul is writing these words to give the Colossians a fuller understanding of who Jesus was and is.
2. The Supremacy of Christ (1:15-20)
A. The Distinctiveness of Christ (1:15): It is felt by theologians that today’s message verses 15-20 are in fact a hymn of the early church. We can’t be absolutely sure, but, it is written in the Greek poetic writing style. This style was used for song writing both in Scripture and in secular writing.
1. We will see that the first stanza our Lord is presented to us as the visible presence of the Father, himself.
2. In the second stanza he is presented as the one through whom reconciliation came to be possible for all human beings.
3. As we go through the message today, hear me say this; Jesus is not a part of creation; rather he is the one who did the creating. He is also the one who does the reconciling – later in the message.
4. Image of the invisible God (1:15)
a. Basically that first phrase means that when you seen God it will be Christ that you actually are looking at. He – personally is the likeness or image of God.
c. The phrase goes on to declare that God – inferring the Father - is completely invisible.
5. First born over all creation (1:15)
a. That word there is the root of our English word Prototype. The first of a product line. Here it tells us that Christ is the number one ranking among those born of a woman. It is a phrase of identifying him with us as much as anything else. He is God and has always existed. But he was not always a human being. So among those born of a woman he is the ranking, or first born. The phrase does not infer that he was initially born in heaven prior to his being born by Mary.
c. He is the preeminent one of all creation; he is the only one who is superior.
e. Transition: So this first part of the passage sets the stage for whom and what Jesus is. Now we will move into the part where Paul describes for the Colossians exactly what Jesus has actually done for them and all mankind.
B. The Actions of Christ (1:16-17)
1. He created all things (1:16): Verse 16 is a powerful statement similar to ones Paul made in others writings. He tells them that Jesus created all that there is or has ever been or ever will be.
a. Scripture is clear that his method of creation was by the authority of his spoken word. He said it and it happened at that moment.
b. The verse goes on to describe some of the created realm that Jesus created.
iii. Then he gives a list of four things that we really can’t be sure what they are.
iv. But, some theologians believe that it is a listing of the hierarchy of angels or demons.
v. Beyond that it’s just a guess.
c. Everything was created by him for him.
d. These next two statements are pretty powerful.
2. He precedes all things (1:17): He is the first in an ordinal sense of ranking.
3. He sustains all things (1:17): In him personally all things consist or hold together. He spoke it all into existence and it is by his authority that all things remain as they are. He constrains the evil one who would wreak havoc if he were not held back.
C. The Standing of Christ (1:18-19)
1. He is the head of the body (1:18): He personally is the head of the Church. His Holy Spirit calls all men to himself. He is functionally and tactically in control of the church.
a. I use the word tactical because this is not a social club.
b. It is indeed a military organization. An army goes into a conflict and hopefully resolves it.
c. The church’s purpose is to go into a hostile world and share the salvation of Christ which entirely opposed to the ways of this world.
d. We are in church to learn salvation strategy.
i. That which we need to know personally.
a) How to be saved.
ii. That which we need to share personally.
a) How to tell others how they can be saved.
b) That is why Scripture tells us that a pastor’s job is to equip the saints for the work of their ministry. I give you God’s word – which is your battle armor.