Summary: A classic sermon from the Adrian Rogers Legacy Collection on the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ and His necessary pre-eminence as a result.
Find God’s Word, and turn to Colossians chapter 1. And, in a moment, we’re going to begin reading in verse 15. And, because it is an extended passage, we’re going to break in, into the middle of a sentence—Colossians chapter 1.
John Blanchard has estimated that, of all of the people who have ever lived since Adam and Eve till today, there would be, in round figures, about 30 billion people that have lived on the face of planet Earth. And, of those 30 billion, many of them—most of them, almost all of them—have lived, have died, and have been forgotten. There have been just a few people—just a handful of people—who have risen to great prominence, whose names are known through history, whose names, today, are household names. But, there is one person, of all history, who’s absolutely, totally, uniquely in a class by Himself. That one individual has been the subject and the combination of more attention, more devotion, more criticism, more adoration, and more opposition than any other person in all of the 30 billion who’ve ever lived. Every recorded word that He spoke has been studied, analyzed, discussed, scrutinized, and criticized by generations of philosophers, and scholars, and theologians, and historians. There’s not a single moment since His life here, on this Earth, till this very present time, in which there are not millions of people who are talking about, or talking to, Him. It’s an amazing thing. This individual, that person, that singular person, that unique person, the person that Betty Stalnecker just sang about—His name—say it with me: Jesus—Jesus, that is His name—a man born in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago. And, when He was born, His cradle rocked the world.
I want us to look at this scripture, here, breaking in at verse 15. It speaks of Jesus, “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him”—that is, in Jesus—“should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:15–21). Hallelujah! What a wonderful passage of Scripture!
This is an amazing person. Jesus Christ, when He was born, divided all of history into two categories: B.C. and A.D.—A.D. simply meaning Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”. He splits the centuries. It is amazing to think of the influence of the Lord Jesus, when you consider these factors: He never wrote a book; but, more books have been written about Him than any man in history. He never painted a picture, so far as we know; He never wrote a poem, or composed a song; yet think of the art, think of the music, think of the literature, think of the sculptures, think of the pictures, the films, and the videos that have been done concerning this person. He never raised an army; and yet, millions have laid down their lives in His cause. His travels—why, He only went a few miles from His birthplace; but, today, in Memphis, Tennessee, and around the world, His influence is felt.
When He spoke, He never spoke, at one time, to more than a few thousand people; but, today, over 30% of the world’s population names His name, and worships Him—the largest religious grouping that has ever been known worldwide. Why, His ministry lasted only three years, His public ministry and His influence, at that time, was compacted; but, today, His name is being broadcasted on radio, television, by publishing houses. And, the very word that I’m speaking now will go up to a satellite and come back down, and these very words will be broadcasted in the Middle East, in Lebanon; these very words will be broadcasted in Jerusalem; these very words will be broadcasted in Egypt, telling about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And, huge satellites have been put into nether space to send the message of Jesus Christ around this world.
It is an amazing thing. He never had a formal education. He was a carpenter’s son; and yet, more universities, and seminaries, and schools, and centers of learning have centered around Him than any other person. He never really owned any property. When He wanted to sail, He had to borrow a boat. When He wanted to feed, He had to borrow someone’s lunch. When He wanted to ride, He had to borrow a donkey. When He wanted to pay His taxes, He had to borrow a coin, or find a coin, in a fish’s mouth. And yet, think of the buildings and the edifices that have been erected to preach and teach the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.