Each Monday I’ll be putting up my sermon notes and audio file for the sermon series from Forest Hills Baptist Church “Christ Over All: A Study from Colossians”. This is an edited copy of my sermon notes, not a transcript of the sermon. You can listen to the sermon audio above or directly for at the church’s website.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15–20, ESV)
Christ is Lord over all as the preeminent Creator God who reconciles us by his blood. We must recognize that Jesus is Lord Over All, which includes your life.
Today we will look at 3 life changing truths that are foundational if we want to understand the supremacy of Christ.
1. Jesus is the Creator God
Jesus is the image of an invisible God. God is spirit. He is the unseen mover of all that happens. How can we know who God is? How can we know what God is like? If we were to look around the universe we could infer some things about him. He is a creative. He is intentional. He is logical and consistent. But there is a lot we would not know. Thankfully God has chosen to reveal himself to us. God has chosen to tell us about himself. One of the ways God does this is through his Word. God inspired the biblical writers to write His words.
Although God’s word is great, profitable, and good. God does us one better. God becomes a man. He sends Jesus to be the image of the invisible God.
This is like getting to know someone online whom you’ve never met in person. Internet dating has become a big thing here recently and a lot of people are finding spouses through connecting online. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but you can pick a spouse through an online dating profile. You might be able to read about them. You can read their interests, their likes, and such. You can even message back and forth and converse via email. But how do you really get to know someone? You’ve got to meet face to face! You can’t just read about them, you have to meet them!
God in his grace does this for us. Not only is he gracious in speaking to us about himself, but he also comes to meet us. This is who Jesus is – He is God in the flesh.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:1–3, ESV)
Do you want to know God? Do you want to know what he’s like? Then get to know Jesus. He is the image of the invisible God.
He is the first born of all creation. This is first born in a positional sense, not a created sense. The first born came with a lot of rights and privileges. Usually this was held by the first born son, but often others receive the positional privilege of the first born.
Jehovah Witnesses (Arians) deny the full deity of Jesus and believe that Jesus was the first created by God. In other words, they deny that Jesus is fully God.
How do we know that jesus being the “First born” doesn’t mean he was created? Well look at the next sentence, “For by him all things were created”. If Jesus was a creature how could he create all things? Wouldn’t he then have to create himself? Paul is not teaching here that Jesus is a creature, that is to grossly and heretically and wrongly misinterpret this passage. Rather, Paul is making the opposite point. Jesus is the Creator God!
- In Heaven and Earth - The whole universe
- Visible and Invisible – Both the material and spiritual worlds
- Kingdoms of Earth – Thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities
Jesus isn’t a creature, rather he is the creator. All that exists from the smallest electrons in an atom to the gigantic masses of the galaxies Jesus created by the Word of his power.
How else does this Christ hymn show us that Jesus is fully and completely God? Well look at v. 19. All the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Jesus isn’t a quarter god. He isn’t half god. He isn’t 99% god. Rather he is 100% divine. All the fullness of God is in Jesus. He isn’t a half human half God hybrid, rather Jesus is fully divine. This means Jesus is the all powerful and all knowing God. He is God of love and compassion and the God of judgement and justice. Do not let anyone tell you the Bible doesn’t say Jesus is God. Just take them right here to Colossians 1, you can’t get any clearer than this passage on Jesus’ deity.
“Through Him all things hold together”. Not only is Jesus the creator God, but he is the sustainer of it all. Without Jesus’ continual active involvement in sustaining the world, it would collapse into nothingness.
We have a high view of our progress as a society don’t we. We look back over just the past 100 years and all that has been accomplished. I think of Richard Ward, our 101 year old man who went to be with Jesus a week ago today. Imagine all that he’s seen in his life? From cars to telephones to aviation to computers to the internet to smart phones, it seems like we are completely sustaining ourselves doesn’t it? Who needs Jesus when you have an iPhone? Who needs answers when you have Google? We have become so self-sufficient in our technological progress that we think Jesus is obsolete. We can sustain ourselves so we think. Yet, we forget that the whole universe is only in existence this very day because Jesus allowed it to be. He holds it all together.
“He’s has the Whole World in His Hands” – A simple song but a powerful truth if we grasp it.
This goes contrary to the way we think of Jesus doesn’t it? The world pictures him as a ordinary guy weak and powerless. We think of him as weak and impotent unable to defend himself. The world thinks of him as a poor sap who found himself martyred unjustly.
Yet, even Christians worship a tiny Christ. We talk about Jesus as our friend or buddy. We treat him as a therapist to help us with our problems or a comforter in need. We pray to Jesus unsure if he can help and often just to make ourselves feel better. We sing to him with eyes glazed over, apathetic and unconcerned.
Church, do you realize who it is you worship? Do you realize just who Jesus is? He is the creator God! He is the Great I AM! He is the King over All, Lord of the Universe! He rules the world by the Word of his power. He brings his will to pass and accomplishes all that he sets out to do! He is the image of the invisible God, the creator of all that is and the sustainer of it all. When we come here to worship and treasure Christ, we are worshiping God himself! Do you get that? Do you understand this? Because based off the glazed over expression on some of your faces it doesn’t seem that way.
Not only is Jesus the Creator God, Secondly, Jesus is also Preeminent.
2. Jesus is Supreme Over All
So if Jesus is the creator? Why did he create it? What’s its purpose? Mankind has struggled and debated especially these last few centuries over the purpose of the universe. Why does the Universe even exist at all?
Creation Has a Purpose – through him and for him. There is great power in these little prepositions. They are powerful little words. Paul tells us through this Hymn that the world was not only created through Jesus, but for Him. In other words he is the reason it exists. Jesus is the purpose of it all. He is the reason all that is, is. Paul says that God does all that he does in Jesus so that he might be “Preeminent”.
What does this word mean? It means he is first. He is supreme. He is of first importance. It means to have the highest of status. There is no one greater and there is no on more exalted. Jesus is Supreme over all, he is preeminent over the universe.
You, me, the universe ALL of it exists so that Christ might be made supreme over all!
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1, ESV)
“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 57:11, ESV)
“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”” (Isaiah 43:7, ESV)
“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” (Isaiah 42:8, ESV)
Jesus is Supreme Over All
If Jesus is preeminent. If he is the purpose of the universe. If rules over all, shouldn’t he rule over our own lives? Should we be living every area of our life under his authority?
He is Supreme in your marriage. As the husband sacrificially leads his wife and as the wife submits to her husband, picturing and displaying the Gospel of Christ. Jesus is Lord of the marriage both in defining the roles each plays as the two grow together in sweet love. Both man and woman are in union together and friends and companions together. Both husband and wife seek to live together in submission to the will of Jesus.
He is supreme in your family. You love and raise your children for the purpose of Christ. You parent and disciple and do family devotions so that your kids might come to be saved by Jesus. He is the priority of your home and comes first before academics and athletics, entertainment and lifestyle. Your first and foremost priority in your home is to display Christ as supreme over all to your family.
He is supreme in your friendships. You seek to serve the friends in your life. You pray for them, encourage them, correct them, and love them as Christ has loved you. You love your brothers and your sisters in Christ because Christ is Lord Over All, even your friendships.
He is supreme in your church. Not seeking what you can gain from the body but rather seeking how you can serve Christ’s people. You come, active engaged, with humility and a servants heart so that you might demonstrate Christ as supreme in your service to His body.
He is supreme in your calendar. He’s the priority in your time. Putting him before any and other activity you may have. From church attendance to time in prayer your relationship with Jesus comes before any other demand or any other responsibility.
He is supreme in your work. Your not working merely to make money but to show Christ as supreme. You work diligently and hard doing all for his glory. Yet you work with contentment knowing your identity is not found in your job but in in Jesus.
He is supreme in your sexuality. As you submit your sexual desires to him. You channel God’s good gift in the way he has directed, in the covenant of marriage or your deny yourself. He is Lord of your bedroom, for you are not your own. You were bought with a price therefore honor God with your body. He is supreme over your sexuality.
He is supreme in your money. You recognize that every penny you own isn’t yours, but given to you by Jesus. He owns it all, and you are but a steward. Every financial decision is made with Jesus’ Lordship in mind, as we use the money God has given us for provision and our wealth for generosity towards others for their good. He is supreme over our bank accounts.
He is supreme in your speech. You guard your your mouth and bridle your malicious tongue. You are careful in what you speak making sure whatever you say is beneficial for building others up. You submit your tongue to Christ, because he is first and preeminent in your speech.
He is supreme in your passions. There is nothing you love more than Jesus. He is your chief love, your highest treasure, your all consuming passion. He is your hope, your peace, your joy, and your song. Anything else you may care about is secondary compared to the love you have for Christ. He is Lord over your passions.
He is supreme in your hobbies. He is supreme over your hobbies. Not allowing sport or dance or tv or golf get in the way of living your life for the glory of God. You are careful not to participate in hobbies that are either dishonoring to God nor distracting from your pursuit of him. Recreation is secondary compared to your primary purpose of living for Christ. He is Lord over your hobbies.
He is supreme in your purpose. He is the beginning and the end of why you exist. You live for his glory and you live for his name. With the Gospel on your lips and holiness displayed in your life you are living for God and God alone. He is why you exist and he is why you breathe. Every beat of the heart is another gift from God to live your life for his glory. Jesus is preeminent, he is supreme over all, and he is primary over EVERY area of your life.
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” – Abraham Kuyper
So if Jesus is so preeminent, why is it? What is it about Jesus that makes him so great? Why should I make him Lord of my life?
3. Jesus is the Reconciler
- He is the head of the Church as he purchased the church by his own blood.
- He makes peace by the blood of his cross and was raised as the firstborn from the dead.
- Have you been reconciled to the father by Jesus?
- Do you worship Jesus as the Creator God?
- Is Jesus Supreme Over You Life? Is he preeminent?
- Have you been reconciled to Jesus?