Summary: A classic sermon by Adrian Rogers about the pre-eminence of Jesus in the life of a Christian.
Take God’s Word, and find Colossians chapter 3. And, when you’ve found it, look up
here to me, if you would, and let me ask you a question: What is Jesus Christ to you? You say, “Well, Jesus Christ has a place in my life.” Jesus Christ does not want a place in your life. “Well,” you say, “Jesus Christ has a big place in my life.” He doesn’t want a big place in your life. Jesus desires, deserves, and demands pre-eminence.
Now, does Jesus Christ have pre-eminence in your life? I ask myself that same question. I want you to look at this scripture with that question in mind: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:1–5). And then, skip down, if you will, to verse 11: “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
Now, I want to talk to you tonight about this: “When Christ is All.” Verse 11 says, “Christ is all”—a-l-l. Well, if Christ is all, then that leaves nothing out. It means He is everything. Now, that’s a big question: Is Jesus Christ all to you? I mean, is He all, and is He in all? Well, Paul just said it another way in verse 4, when he says, “Christ…is our life” (Colossians 3:4). Now, Jesus doesn’t just give life; He is our life. “For to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21), is what Paul said, in another place. He is our life; He doesn’t just point to life. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in John 14, verse 6. So, Christ is our life.
Now, the cults don’t believe this. For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe this. As a matter of fact, they have twisted the Scripture to try to distort this. They go from door to door with their New World Translation. And, it’s very interesting that they would quote John chapter 17, verse 3 this way, in The New World Translation: “This is eternal life, that they may receive knowledge about You, the only true God in Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” Does that sound good to you? Well, it sounds fairly good, but listen to it carefully: “This is eternal life, that they may receive knowledge about You…” Now, what does The King James Version of Scripture say? John 17, verse 3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
Now, you can have knowledge about someone without knowing that person. You could have knowledge about a senator, or a president, or a king, without knowing that person. But, you see, we don’t just receive knowledge of Jesus; our life is knowing Jesus. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). It is Jesus only. He is all and in all. It is not knowledge about Jesus. It is not Jesus plus anything. It is not something after Jesus. Now, you can get to know Jesus better, but you can never know anything better than Jesus. You can go deeper into Jesus, but you can never go beyond Jesus. Paul says, in verse 11, that, “Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
Now, notice how he puts it, in this passage of Scripture, as we prepare for the Lord’s Supper:
A. We Have Been Crucified with Christ
First of all, we have been crucified with Christ. Look, in verse 3: “For ye are dead” (Colossians 3:3). Did you know you’re looking at a dead man? I’ve been crucified; so have you. I died with Christ; His death had my name on it. The old Adrian died when I was buried in that liquid tomb called baptism. That was my funeral service. The chief mourner who was there was the devil; he hated to see his old buddy die. But, we are dead.
B. We Have Been Raised with Christ
And, not only are we dead, but, according to this passage of Scripture, we have also been raised. Look, in verse 1: “If ye then be risen with Christ…” (Colossians 3:1). We are dead with Him; His death had our name on it. And, we are risen with Him.