November 21, 2010
Colossians 1:12-20

Have you grown accustomed to knowing Jesus? The opening verse of our passage reveals that knowing and following Jesus is intended to be a life of continuous and joyful thanks—as though one just can’t get over it and constantly collapses to his or her knees in overwhelming gratitude. The attentive Christian can restore that sort of joy to life by remembering what God has done: 1) “[He] has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints; (2) rescued us from the domain of darkness; (3) and transferred us to His Kingdom, where we have redemption and forgiveness of sins.” The reason a Christian has such a superior standing is because Christ Himself is the Supreme Being. Paul described four basic aspects of Christ’s supremacy.

I. Image of the Invisible God
First, He is the image of the invisible God. “These words assert that the glorified Son sets forth, to those who behold Him, the nature and grandeur of the Eternal Father. The image includes the glorified manhood in which the Eternal Son presents, in created and visible form, the mental and moral nature of God. Men knew the Father because they had seen the Incarnate Son (John 14:9).” Paul repeats and magnifies the idea in Colossians 1:19: “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.” All there is of God is in Christ.

II. Firstborn over All Creation
This is further demonstrated in Christ’s relationship to creation. “He is the firstborn over all creation.” Firstborn does not imply that Jesus is a created being; rather it is a statement of His position relative to created things: He preceded Creation, and He is sovereign over Creation. For example, in referring to things “visible and invisible,” Paul alludes to the world of angels, making it clear they are subordinate to Christ because He created them.

“All things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” All things, all things, all things—the phrase is repeated four times. Everything is subject to Christ because “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:3). Christ is the eternal One; in the beginning He was already there.

III. Head of the Body—Firstborn from the Dead
Thirdly, Christ is supreme in relation to the church. He is its head and beginning, the firstborn from the dead. Christ has authority over the body. He led the way in resurrection. As Hebrews puts it, He is the captain of our salvation. Thus, “He is preeminent. The same eternal logos (John 1:1) who became flesh (John 1:14) and humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8) is now exalted by God the Father to the highest place and has been given the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9).”

IV. Peacemaker
Finally, the supremacy of Christ is in His work of reconciliation. In Philippians 1:20, we read Christ is the agent by which all things are reconciled to God the Father. By sin, mankind put things out of sync with God—even the natural universe (see Romans 8:19-22). By His death, Christ has made peace; He sets everything back to unity with God.

Remember what a great and glorious thing it is to be associated with the Lord Jesus Christ! Knowing Him is the highest knowledge, for He is the Supreme Being. Yes, He is God Himself, and He is God’s chosen instrument for setting things straight—you included—which He did by taking on a body, dying in your place and rising again. God Himself has revealed this perfect knowledge of Christ to you. We will keep the joyful and thankful perspective God intends if we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

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