Summary: A sermon about the power of Christ.
I. Intro: You know the Bible is an amazing book. It records wonderful miracles, testimonies of healing and redemption. It describes the human condition and gives us the cure for it. It gives us instruction on how to gain eternal life and how to lives out our lives on a day to day basis. But supremely it is a book about Jesus Christ. The gospels present him as God in human flesh. They describe how He lived a sinless life, died for our sins and was resurrected. In Acts the message of salvation in Christ begins to spread throughout the World. The epistles deal with the theology of Christ’s work and of the Church. And finally Revelation presents Christ on His throne, reigning as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
B. In all of Scripture there is perhaps no more important teaching about Christ than that found in Colossians 1:15-19. Sadly false teachers had already confused many believers in just a short 50-60 year span of time since the resurrection of Christ. In the Church at Colossae these false teachers denied the humanity of Christ. They insisted that Jesus was simply a lesser spirit descending from God. They said that all matter was evil and there was no way the Jesus ever existed in the flesh. Paul refutes this idea in the clearest possible terms in His letter to the Church at Colossae. Sadly, even today, this same type of false teaching is all around us. Many today would say that Jesus never walked the earth, or that He is not adequate for salvation, that you need Christ plus something else like good works in order to be saved. Sadly many Christians hold to this belief. But in this passage we see that there is no one like Jesus. Paul reveals to us much about the identity of Christ as he shows Him in relation to God, the universe, the unseen world, and the Church.
II. First Paul presents Jesus Christ in Relation to God
a. In this passage as we previously talked about Paul refutes the heretics idea that Jesus is inferior to God. Paul gives two powerful descriptions of who Jesus is.
b. First He is the image of the invisible God. Now you and I are also made in the image of God in that we have a rational mind, we possess intellect, emotion and will which enables us to think, feel and choose. Man has used his these gifts to achieve amazing things like space travel, medicines that cure terrible diseases and the like. However we are not made in God’s image morally, because He is perfectly holy and we are sinful. Nor are we all powerful, all knowing, or able to be all places at once. We are human.
c. Unfortunately the fall marred our original image. Before the Fall Adam and Eve were innocent, free of sin, and designed to live forever. But they chose poorly and forfeited these qualities when they sinned against God. Ever since then we have struggled with ourselves, our soul is born stained black with sin. But the good news is that forgiveness is found in Christ alone.
d. And we gain so much more than the forgiveness of sin when we place our faith in Christ. You see, when someone puts their faith in Christ they are promised that the image of God will be restored within them. Romans 8:29 tells us that “For whom he foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.”
d. And Jesus is the absolute perfect, accurate image of God. He did not become the image of God when He came to earth, but He has been the perfect image of God from all eternity. Hebrews 1:3 describes Jesus as the “radiance of God’s glory.” Jesus radiates the image of God like the sun radiates its rays of warmth. Furthermore He is the exact representation of Gods nature. Jesus perfectly possesses all of God’s character and love. That is why He said “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
e. Paul is emphasizing here that Jesus is both the representation and manifestation of God. He is God in human flesh. To think anything less of Him is evidence of a mind blinded by Satan.
f. And Paul goes on to describe Jesus as the firstborn of all creation. Some people think that this phrase argues for Christ as a created being, but that interpretation ignores the context here. The word used here for first-born means the son who had a right to the inheritance of the father. Jesus is the One who has the right to the inheritance of all creation. Everything in the universe belongs to Christ.
g. So far from being a created being, as the false teachers in Colossae, and many false teachers today claim, Jesus both existed before the creation and is exalted in rank above the creation. Simply put, He is Lord and Master of everything.