Summary: Jesus Christ is preeminent over the original creation and new creation. Christ Is Preeminent in the New Creation (vs. 18-20)
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 4
The Preeminence of Christ
February 8, 2015
We are in the midst of our series, “The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ,” based upon the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the Colossian church. Today we get to the heart of the letter where Paul paints a grand and compelling picture of Christ as preeminent in both the original creation and the new creation. He is the agent, the sustainer, and the goal of creation. He is at the center of everything! Paul's goal is to show us that Christ is enough for everything we need.
Big Idea – Jesus Christ is preeminent over the original creation and new creation.
Jesus Christ is Preeminent Over the Original Creation (vs. 15-17)
Jesus Christ is described as, “the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation. ” The phrase 'the image of God' reminds us of the creation of the first man, Adam. The difference is that the first Adam was created in the image of God but Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is the better and last Adam and the visible revelation of the invisible God. And because he is invisible, Paul is talking about the revelation of God's character, attributes, and divinity. This is why, when the disciples ask Jesus to show us the Father, he responds, 'if you have seen me you have seen the Father.' If you want to know what God is like get to know Jesus! Not only is he the image of the invisible God, he is also the firstborn over all creation. Firstborn in the Jewish and Greco-Roman world meant rank and supremacy. For instance, David is called the 'firstborn, the highest of kings of the earth.' David was not literally the firstborn but was the firstborn in terms of priority, superiority, and rank. Paul is pointing to Jesus' unique relationship to both God and to creation. He is exalting Jesus as preeminent, the eternal son of God, 'by whom all things were created.' All things includes all that is in heaven and earth, whether visible or invisible. But he does not stop there, he includes all angelic beings, described as thrones or dominions or ruler or authorities. He is referring to angelic creatures, good and evil, and their potential influence upon the earth through political structures, organizations, and businesses. His point is that they are not outside or beyond his sovereign authority and control. Then he sums up Christ's role in creation, “all things were created through him and for him and he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Jesus conceived all things, created all things, and all things have their purpose in him. Jesus is the agent, the architect, the project manager, and the contractor in creation, and all things have their purpose and goal in him. This is a staggering idea. From the very beginning all things were created with Jesus in mind, including his incarnation and death and resurrection. When God conceived of and created everything, the fall and redemption and restoration were all part of the plan as the best of all possible worlds. Not only has he created all things but he sustains all things. He is the glue that binds all things together and he is the one who guides all things to his own end. Everything works this moment because of Christ - your ability to hear, the light switch that turns on the lights, gravity holding everything in place, and the sun shining. But because of humanities rebellion against God, sin has contaminated everything in creation and so not is humanity in need of reconciliation but all of creation is in need of reconciliation. That is why Jesus Christ is also preeminent in the new creation, so let's look at that for the remainder of our time.