Summary: A person fully acknowledges the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ after one has trusted Christ and made a full commitment to giving Christ preeminence in every area of one’s spiritual life.
THE ABSOLUTE SUPREMACY OF JESUS CHRIST Colossians 1:15-23
Proposition: One fully acknowledges the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ after one has trusted Christ and made a full commitment to giving Christ preemin-ence in every area of one’s spiritual life. .
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to give their absolute supremacy to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Illus: In a recent year a Washington Post tells about a church in the state of Maryland. Using market research and focus groups, this denomination has designed weekly services that deliberately de-emphasizes Jesus Christ. One of the founders of the church has said, “The sad fact is the name of Jesus Christ has become for many people exclusionary.” Using Hindu and Zen, intermingled with a few verses from the Bible and recorded music by Willie Nelson, the leader of this group is quoted as saying, “We’re enabling people to discover God themselves, maybe through Jesus, maybe through Buddha, maybe through any number of ways.”
Colossians is about Jesus Christ & is the most Christ-centered Book in the Bible. Its message is built around the theme of the supremacy of Christ. “Supremacy” means “a position of authority or authority over all others.” “Absolute” means “unbounded” & “out-and–out.” He is the exalted Christ, the sovereign Christ, the supreme Christ, & the One who is the Lord of all & over all. Christianity is a about a Person & that Person is Jesus Christ. It is important to note that much of the false teaching taking place in Colossae had to do with the minimizing of Jesus. Many people thought He was important but not essential. They had given Him a place in their lives, w/o recognizing that He demands 1st place. Jesus was prominent to them, but not preeminent. Here Paul refutes false teachings which were going around at the time. The 1st teaching going around taught that God did not create the world, because in their view matter was evil & God cannot create evil. Another, believing that matter was evil, argued that God would not have come to earth as a human in bodily form. Also, there was the teaching did not believe that Christ was the unique Son of God, but rather one of many intermediaries between God & people. These views eliminated the Incarnation & nullified Christ’s atoning work. These denied that He was the God-man, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.
Illus: David Jeremiah, “The Bible was written in 66 installments over a period of 1600 years in 3 languages on 3 continents. It has more than 40 authors from all walks of life, writing under diverse conditions, & writing on 100s of controversial topics. Yet it all fits together, seamlessly & w/o error or contradiction. When we hold the Bible in our hands, we aren’t holding an anthology or a bundle of scattered & miscellaneous thots. We’re holding 1 comprehensive, cohesive volume with a logical beginning & ending, telling us 1 story centered around 1 person—Jesus Christ.”
I. A PORTAIT OF REPRESENTATION: He is the Manifestation of God (v. 15) “He is the image of the invisible God”-- The Gnostic teachers claimed that God made the worlds through a series of “emanations.” Paul asserts that Christ is not an emanation from God, but God Himself! “Image” means “the exact reproduction.” Note that Christ is the very manifestation of God.
1. His image as God (v. 15a) “He is the image of the invisible God”— Image means “an exact representation and manifestation.” The writer to the Hebrews affirms that Jesus Christ is “the express image of His Person” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus was able to say, “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). In His essence, God is invisible; but Jesus Christ has revealed Him to us (John 1:18). Paul says, "Jesus is the portrait of God. In Him you see the personal characteristics & the distinguishing marks of God. If you want to see what God is like, look at Jesus.”
Illus: A little boy looked up & asked, "Is God up there?" When his mother assured him that He was, he replied, "Wouldn’t it be nice if He would put His head out & let us see Him?" What the boy didn’t understand was that God has let us see Him. We don’t have to guess what God is like. We have seen Him when we see Jesus.
2. His identity as God “the first-born over all creation”-- What does this mean? Some false teachers suggest that the Lord Jesus is Himself a created being, that He was the first Person whom God ever made. Some of them are even willing to go so far as to admit that He is the greatest creature ever to come from the hand of God. All this was contrary to the teaching of the Word of God. He is prior to, distinct from & highly exalted above. So, "First-born" denotes that Christ was before all creation in time & He is over all creation in authority.