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Jesus: Central & Supreme

Colossians 1:15-17, “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.”

In this section of Scripture, the apostle Paul addresses the Colossian church on the identity and nature of Jesus Christ.  In doing so he is confronting a false teaching that was leading the Colossian Christians to question the authority and supremacy of Jesus as Lord, God, King and Christ, much like many of us do in our day.  Paul seems to be illustrating that what Jesus has done is only made possible because of who he is.

 

Jesus as God.

In verse 15, Paul states that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” which means that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s character, attributes, and qualities.  (Hebrews 1:1-4) In other words, Jesus is the perfect picture of God.  When I take a picture of my wife, I see her exactly as she is.  When we look at the qualities of Jesus, we see God exactly as he is.  Basically, if you want to know what God’s like, look to Jesus because Jesus is God.

Jesus as King.

In the latter half of verse 15, Paul states that Jesus is “the firstborn over all creation.”  This is not to say that Jesus was created by God.  The use of the word “firstborn” seems to indicate the rights of a firstborn son.  In Paul’s day, a firstborn son inherited all of the father’s possession.  Therefore, though uncreated and self-existent as a member of the Trinity, Jesus has the rights of a firstborn son, to inherit authority over all of creation as King of all kings. (Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:11-19)

Essentially God the Father, the eternally existent first member of the Trinity, created the world through Jesus, the eternally existent second member of the Trinity, as the first portion of verse 16 describes.  It’s much like when, as a child, my grandfather would put a pencil in my hand and draw pictures of cars as he guided me by the wrist.  The pencil was in my hand, but he was drawing through me in much the same way that God created the universe through Jesus.

Jesus as Christ.

Paul concludes the section by saying that all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus – and that all things are held together by Jesus.  Since we are created by Jesus we are to freely offer ourselves back to Jesus in worship of God. The Bible tells us repeatedly that God created us for him (Romans 11:36).  We exchanged the truth of God for a lie and became slaves to sin (Romans 1:21, John 8:31-36).  Since we could not free ourselves, God sent Jesus to die on the cross, in our place, for our sin to bring us back to God.  (1 Peter 3:18, Romans 5:9-11). As a result, we are to freely worship God by faith in what Jesus has done to forgive our sin and restore us to God; just as the Old Testament promised the Christ would do.

Jesus as Lord.

Lastly, if all things, including the universe, fall apart without Jesus and you can guarantee that your life will fall apart without Jesus as well.  Likewise, if Jesus is ruling and reigning as central and supreme over all creation, we would do well to ensure that he is ruling and reigning as central and supreme in our lives also. Thus, Jesus is Lord, who rules and reigns over all peoples, languages, tribes and nations as the One who is worthy of all obedience, love, affection and attention.

Jesus sinless life, atoning death and Satan defeating resurrection were only possible because Jesus, as central and supreme over all the universe, was, and is, the only One capable of defeating Satan, sin, hell and death on our behalf. There is no mistake about it, Jesus is Lord, God, King and Christ.  How much different would your life be if Jesus were truly central and supreme in it and over it?

Question: How does understanding Colossians 1:15-17 help your faith in Christ?  You can comment by clicking here.

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  1. February 21, 2012 at 6:36 AM

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