Christ worthy of Preeminence

Doug Post
Vernon, Connecticut

There was a time when a championship boxing match could be viewed on television for free. In fact, some of the greatest matches in boxing history were viewed on ABC’s Wild World of Sports. Throughout the year one might be able to see great boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, etc. But that all changed in the late 1980’s with the introduction of “Pay for View”. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that is the way the boxer is introduced, especially if he is a champion. Concerning a particular boxer, the announcer might say something like, “In this corner, wearing white trunks; the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world …” Yet, when one reads the first chapter of the book of Colossians one gets the distinct impression that the apostle Paul was giving Jesus the same kind of introduction. In Colossians 1:12-18, Paul simply breaks out in praise and exaltation, describing our Lord, Jesus Christ. It as if he is saying, “In this corner, the undefeated, undisputed, greatest Champion ever – the most powerful, the most awesome, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!” Paul then provides six reasons why Christ is so great:

  1. Because we have been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of God’s Son, – the church of Christ (Col.1:13). First, the words “kingdom” and “church” are used synonymously. The Christians at Colosse had been translated or conveyed into the kingdom, the church or body of Christ. Contrary to denominational dogma, Christ is not coming back to set up His kingdom, rather He has already established His kingdom. In fact, when He comes again, Christ deliver the kingdom back to the Father, not establish it (1 Cor.15:24; cf. Dan.2:44; Mark 9:1). The kingdom of Christ is established and Christians have been in it since its establishment on the day of Pentecost, which we read of in Acts 2.

  2. Because we have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ and provided forgiveness for our sins (Col.1:14). There are two passages in all the Bible which use the word “wash” with reference to the forgiveness of sins in the same sentence: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev.1:5). “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). We are washed in His blood, only when our sins are washed when we are immersed in water. Therefore, one cannot experience any washing of the blood of Christ until and unless they are, first, immersed in water in order to wash away sins.

  3. Because God is invisible, yet Christ is the image of the invisible God (Col.1:15). No one has ever seen God at any time (John 1:18; 1 Tim.6:16). Although God manifested Himself in various ways to certain people, no human could ever see Him and live (Ex.33:20). However, it was the second person of the Godhead who came in the flesh, revealing God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to mankind. Jesus Christ made the invisible, visible; the inaccessible, accessible; and the unapproachable, approachable.

  4. Because Jesus was the One who created everything (Col.1:16). “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John1:3). He created sun, the moon, and stars. He created the air we breathe and the water we drink. He created all of the angels and things visible and invisible. “When I consider You heavens, and the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him …” (Psa:8:3-4).

  5. Because He is before all things and in Him all things consist (Col.1:17). Not only did Jesus create the entire universe and everything in it, He sustains it all together, managing it through His word: “…through whom also He made the worlds; who being in the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by word of His power” (Heb.1:2-3).

  6. Because He is the head of the body or church (Col.1:18). Christ is king of his kingdom and no one else is. There is no such thing as a democracy in the Lord’s church. There is no such thing as an oligarchy in the Lord’s church either. There is only a “Christocracy” where Christ is the only Head of His church. His church belongs to Him alone. He is the only One who has the right to control it. Church is not so much about us, as it is about Him! This also means that there is only one person we are to please and only one audience to make happy. Unfortunately, many churches have decided to go out of their way to make people the audience and to make the people happy, especially when it comes to worship. Modern church growth proponents often advocate “meeting the needs” of the people or shifting the focus to the non-Christian visitor in order to make them happy. This often comes in the form of compromising doctrinal standards when it comes to worship, such as introducing instrumental music, praise teams, or some other unauthorized addition. Of course, we love people and it’s our heart’s desire as Christians to make both God and people happy, but the simple truth is, if it comes down to upsetting people or pleasing God, we will go out of our way to please God, always!

After putting forth six reasons and explaining why Jesus is our Great God and Savior, Paul then then adds one more thought that demands our immediate attention. “That in all things He might have the preeminence” (Col.1:18).

The word little word “all” is a rather comprehensive term. Although the word is small, its meaning is vast in scope. It suggests an absoluteness or a completeness. It means “everything” – the entirety of life or every aspect of life. Therefore, we are to give Christ the preeminence in “all things”, “everything”, in every aspect of our lives. But what exactly does that mean? It means giving Christ the preeminence in our homes, in our marriages, in the words we use, the thoughts we maintain, and in all our actions. It means that if I am out with my buddies, I make sure to give Christ the preeminence He so richly deserves. It means when I am at work, I make sure to give Christ the preeminence He so richly deserves. It means when I am assembled with Christians on the Lord’s Day for worship, I make sure to give Christ the preeminence He so richly deserves. Brethren, if all of us took this verse to heart, routinely applying it to every aspect of lives, we would all have happier homes, happier marriages, and happier churches. Let’s challenge ourselves to give Jesus the preeminence in everything!

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Author: jfm

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