The Preeminence of Christ
Sermon – The Pre-eminence of Christ
by: Pastor in Training – Rebecca Robinson
1. Text – Colossians 1:15-20
“15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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 (surpassing all others. Very distinct, authoritative). 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
(Colossians 1:21-23 ESV)”
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Theme – The Pre-eminence of Christ
Introduction of the Sermon
Jesus asked Pontius Pilot a very important question. “Who do you say I am?” This is one of the most important questions to which any person must know the correct answer. Who do you say Jesus is? There are many religions who say that Jesus was a prophet or a teacher. Some say he was just a radical man. Others say, He is The Lord, Messiah, Saviour, Christ which means anointed one, Redeemer, Son of God, God and this same Jesus is referred to many other names throughout the Bible. He is light, life, truth, flesh, bread of life and so on.
Some people only say the name Jesus when they use it as a swear word. In doing so, blasphemy (offend) the living God, the Creator of the universe. On the other hand, there are many people today who believe in God and stop there. They don’t know God the Father. If they did they would know God the Son (this Christ, the one who carries the name above all names (Jesus) and they would know God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that He and the Father are one. If you know Jesus, you know the Father. (Look up ref. John 6 and John 10).
Colossians 1:19 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” The fullness of God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would not leave us. Though he was going away He would send The Holy Spirit to dwell within the believer to help us, teach us. The believer has been given access the fullness of the living God. Wow! This is mentioned again in more detail Col. 2:9-10
Who do you say Jesus is? Many artists have painted their images of what they thought He looked like. Movie makers tend to stereo type Jesus as being white skinned, handsome, with brown hair, blue eyes, a beard and long hair. Some see Him as a man. It makes it is easy to relate to him on a human level. While Jesus lived a life on earth in human form, he was 100 percent human, yet he was still 100 percent God.
Colossians 16-17 – “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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” ESV
Today Let us look at the bigger picture of Christ Jesus, in actuality the Pre-eminence of Christ.
Colossians 1:18 ESV – “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”. (surpassing all others. Very distinct, authoritative).
Body of the Sermon (points)
History of this letter: Author of the letter to Colossians is stated by most theologians to be the apostle Paul written in his time of imprisonment in Rome. Mentioned in Acts 28:16-31. The reason for this letter was because of the uprising against Christianity and false teachings and heresies being spoken:
(Colossians 2:4-16 ESV)
“2 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
“6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
Ref – Col. 2-6 – Jesus is your Lord. The secure foundation of your faith. He is all authoritative. (Fullness of deity – creator and supreme being (God). Indwells the believer when born again.
As followers of Jesus we are to learn and know the precepts of Christ and don’t fall under teachings that hold you captive by putting you back under legal demands. This is a clear statement made in:
(Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)
“16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”
A)Ceremonialism – what you should eat drink and festivals
(Col. 2:16-17) and (circumcision )
B)Asceticism (definition – severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons) . Do not handle! Do not Taste! Do not touch! (Col 2:21; 2:23)
C)Angel worship (Col 2:18)
Depreciation of Christ – Supremacy of Christ (Col 1:15-20, 2:2-3,9).
D)Secret knowledge Gnostic teachings.
E)Reliance on human wisdom and tradition. See (Col 2:4,8)
These false teachings lead Paul’s disciple (Epaphras) to travel by boat back to Rome and The Pre-eminence of Christ points out to Paul what was going on at the new church in Colosse. (See – (Colossians 1:7-8 ESV) “just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.”
The Supremacy of Christ: Paul tells us exactly who Christ Jesus is in the opening paragraph. Christ’s supremacy in creation and Christ’s supremacy in redemption. Who is JESUS?
– image of God
– radiance of God’s glory
– exact representation of his being- invisible God in that no one has ever seen God for God is Spirit.
See John 1:18 ESV – “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
He is invisible – No man has seen God at any time. Paul calls Him the invisible God. (Col. 1:15, Rom. 1:20) Men saw the reflection of God’s glory, but not God. There are instances in the bible of theophanies or manifestations of deity in visible form. Ex. Jacob wrestled with God and said, “I have seen God face to face” (Gen. 32:30) or “The angel of the Lord” was a visible manifestation of deity. (Gen. 16:7-14) “The angel of the Lord” is identified as “the Lord”(incarnate Christ). Like Moses at the burning bush. He did not look at God.
– Christ is the eternal Son of God who became God-Man.
– firstborn over all creation – certain rights in relation to Creation. He has priority, pre-eminence (the face of surpassing all others who claim to be God. The sovereignty of Jesus Christ. (Col. 1:16-18)
The Ends Towards Which Providence is Directed.
1) God governs the world with a view to the happiness of the creature
2) with a view to the mental and moral development of the race
3) with a view to the salvation and preparation of a people for his own possession.
– The primary end of God’s government is his own glory: “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. (Isaiah 48:11 ESV)”
In outward affairs:
God employs the laws of nature, instinct for self-preservation, and a sense of moral responsibility, supplemented by miracles – bringing things to pass by his powerful word. In the gospels we see that Christ Jesus did about 23 healing miracles. He did everything from healing the blind, casting out demons, healing people of leprosy, healed a paralyzed man and many more. The disciples witnessed at least nine miracles over nature:
Miracles showing power of nature
Calming of the storm – Matthew 8:23-27,Mark4:37-41,Luke 8:22-25
Walking on water – Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48-51, John 6:19-21
Feeding of the 5,000 – Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44,
Luke 9:12-17, John 6:6-13
Feeding of the 4,000 – Matthew 15:32-38, Mark 8:1-9
Coin in fish – Matthew 17:24-27
Fig tree withered – Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-14,20-25
Large catch of fish – Luke 5:4-11
Water turned into wine – John 2:1-11
Again another large catch of fish – John 21:1-11
Miracles of the Raising the Dead
Jairus’s daughter Matthew 9:18-19, Mark 5:22-24, Luke 8:41-42
Matthew 9:23-25, Mark 5:38-42, Luke8:49-56
Widow’s son at Nain – Luke 7:11-15
Lazarus – John 11:1-44
Christ was the first to demonstrate God’s power through miracles since Moses. No man could do what he did, but man-God could do, including prophesying his own death and resurrection from the dead. Among the miracles Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, calmed a storm, walked on water, turned water into wine and multiplied the loaves of bread and the fish to feed the thousands. The fullness of God indwelled Him. No other prophet or person other than Christ Jesus can truly claim this pre-eminence. All other proclaimed prophets died and stayed in the grave.
Through Christ’s death and resurrection He reconciled all things. His death did not save all people. Scripture speaks of an eternal hell and makes clear that only believers are saved. Through Adam and Eve’s sin, all harmony between creation and God was broken. Through Christ only, could peace be restored. A relationship bridged between the believer in Christ and the Father God. Old Testament prophesies of the coming Messiah Christ Jesus and a New Covenant declared, to bring about sanctification, justification, redemption and salvation through the gift God’s grace, mercy and love, was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21 ESV)
Conclusion of the Sermon
As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— (Isaiah 52:14 ESV) This was a prophecy of what would happen hundreds of years in the future in regard to the coming Messiah and Saviour Jesus Christ. Isaiah describes the death of Christ in detail years before it happened.
We are all here today searching to know God or you wouldn’t be here listening to me trying to explain who Jesus is. I’ve given some scripture verses from the Bible and tried to interpret them for you the best that I can. Many of you like me sit in church every Sunday clinging to the Pastor’s sermons trying to take away another nugget of gold that might make us more knowledgeable in the word of God. Do you believe the entire Bible to be the infallible Word of God? Has church become a ritualistic thing Christians do every Sabbath or Sunday? Hopefully it is not become just a social place to fellowship or we are all in trouble. The last scripture verse from Isaiah 52:14, should shake your chair or the foundation you live your lives upon. Jesus died on a cross to accomplish your justification and salvation. It wasn’t pretty. It was horrific and gruesome, painful and humiliating. You have all heard it before. Many times. Who do you say Jesus is? Who is He to you? That is one question each one of us better figure out fast. The Bible says some will be raised from the grave either to eternal death or eternal life. Which one will you choose? Quit taking up space and make a decision to believe in the one true God, in the Saviour Christ Jesus. Walk the talk and let us get off our butts and do something in return for what Jesus did for us. Save the lost while there is still time.
If you have never come out of that darkness and into the light and life with Christ. Don’t wait. Tomorrow is not a sure thing. While God is loving, he is also a just God. The punishable will not go unpunished. The word of God tells us so. Do you know Jesus? Best place is on your knees.
If you have never received Jesus as your Saviour, and you want to answer his call at this moment, then pray with me now. Let us bow our heads before His mighty throne. Let’s pray.
There is know special formula for receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour. The Word of God instructs us to repent of our sins and believe in the preeminent Christ Jesus.
Prayer – Our Father who is in heaven. Holy is your name. I ask you to forgive my trespasses (sins) as I also forgive those who have also sinned against me? Lord Jesus, will you come into my life and lead me in the way everlasting? I desire for you to teach me your ways by the power of your Holy Spirit, that I may walk in your truth and your life. I believe and confess you Jesus as the preeminent Saviour and Lord and that you suffered and died on a cross for the redemption of my sins. I believe you arose from the grave. In doing so, taking the punishment of my sin through the death of Christ on the cross, to offer me eternal life. Thank you God for such a great grace and gift of eternal life. For it is by grace I am saved, not of works, but the gift of God found in Christ Jesus The Lord. In Jesus name I pray.