Colossians 1:15-20

0 Shares
0
0
0

Colossians 1:15-20

Lesson 3

Colossians 1:15–20 ESV “1:15 ¶ He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 

1:16 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. 

1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

1:18 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. 

1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 

1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Just how important is your view of Jesus Christ?  How much does it matter what you think about Him?  what is your perception of Him?  Does it matter if you think He was some kind of superhuman, not really human?  Does it matter if you think He was a created being?  How important is the doctrinal teaching on Jesus Christ?

The world’s religions have differing opinions and beliefs about Jesus Christ.  Some believe that Jesus was only a good man, or a great teacher, or even a lesser God than the Father.  What happens if a person has a wrong belief about Christ?  Can it affect whether or not that person has eternal life?

The church at Colossae dealt with false teachers, teaching that Christ was not both God and man in the flesh.  Some taught He was some kind of superhuman.  Others taught that He did not really have a human body; it was only some kind of apparition.  Others taught that He was born a human but the Spirit of God indwelled Him when He was baptized and left Him right before He died on the cross.  

Does it matter what they taught?  Absolutely!  When Paul heard about what was happening in the church, he made it a matter of prayer.  Also, he sent a letter to the church outlining the preeminence and importance of Jesus Christ.  He gave the right view of Christ in relation to God the Father, all of creation, and the church.  He wanted to make sure that the church understood Christ and the Gospel of Christ.

Mark 8:27–30 ESV “8:27 ¶ And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

8:28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 

8:29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 

8:30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.” 

The disciples knew who Christ was and is.  They knew that He was the Messiah, the Son of God.  They dedicated and gave their lives to share Christ, the Lord, with the world.  How much more should the church understand who Christ is and how much more the church should be sharing Christ with the world!

We must see Jesus Christ as who He is!  He is the Son of God, Saviour, Messiah, Lamb of God, and equal with the Father.

Christ and God the Father

Colossians 1:15 ESV “¶ He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

Paul explains to the church at Colossae who Christ is in relation to God the Father.  

There is so much difference of opinion about Christ in relation to God the Father.  Some believe that Christ is under the Father, not equal but lesser.  However, Christ is the image of the invisible God.  He is God in the flesh.  He is both God and man.  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  

He is not under God; He is God.  He is not less than God; He is equal to Him because He is God.

John 10:22–31 ESV “10:22 ¶ At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 

10:23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 

10:24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 

10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,

10:26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

10:30 I and the Father are one.”

10:31 ¶ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” 

In relation to God, Christ is God.  Christ is the Son of God.  Christ is the Creator.  Christ is the Redeemer.  Christ is the Sustainer.  Christ is the Messiah.  Christ is the express image of God.

John 14:9 ESV “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

Christ and creation

Colossians 1:15 ESV “¶ He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” 

He is the firstborn

Many have misapplied the word, ‘firstborn.’  They teach that Christ was the first created being before the worlds were created.  They look at Christ as a creation, not as God.  The word firstborn has two main emphasis:  time and rank.  Time in relation to when something was created.  Rank in relation to the importance or authority level.  Paul is using the word in reference to rank, not time.

Christ is over all of creation because He as the One who created all things.  Christ is not a created being, but is the Lord who has always been here.  Consider the following passages on the eternal nature of Jesus Christ.

John 1:1–3 ESV “1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 

1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” 

John 1:14 ESV “¶ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

The Word is another name for Jesus Christ.  He was with the Father before the world began.  He created the heavens and the earth.  He was there in Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1:1 ESV “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Christ is over all things because He is above all things.

He is the firstborn of creation because:

He created everything

Colossians 1:16–17 ESV “1:16 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. 

1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” 

The reason that Christ is above all things in rank is because He created all things.  Christ created everything that exists from the smallest atom to the most magnificent world; Christ created it all.  He created what can be seen and He created what cannot be seen.  He is the creator of the heavens and the earth.

The psalmist wrote how the earth belongs to the Lord because He created all things.

Psalm 24:1 ESV “¶ The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,”

Hebrews 1:1–3 ESV “1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 

1:2 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. 

1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

He created all things for Himself

The reason for creation was God created it for Himself.  He created man for His pleasure.  He created the stars, moon, earth, and all the universe for His pleasure.

Revelation 4:11 ESV “¶ “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.””

He holds the worlds together

Colossians 1:17 ESV “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” 

The word translated consist is the Greek word, suni÷sthmi sunistemi, soon-is´-tay-mee; which means to sustain or hold together.  Christ preserves the world.  Christ holds it all together.

There has been a huge amount of books, tales, and movies produced based on the destruction of the world.  Some of these disaster movies lately have been based on a comet or asteroid hitting the earth and destroying all life on the planet.  This world will not be destroyed because God is holding it all together.  He will accomplish His plan on this world and it will continue until the day He pours His judgment out on the wickedness of man.

Christ is over all the creation because He holds it all together.

Christ and the church

He is the head of the church

Paul wrote to the church at Colossae to instruct them on the relationship between Christ and God, Christ and creation, and Christ and the church.  He wanted them to understand the preeminence of Christ in relation to the church, not the building but the people.  Christ is the head of the church, the firstborn among the church.

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.” 

Just as Christ created the heavens and the earth, He created the church.  And Christ is the head of the church, the one who is in authority over all the church.  Every person who has come to know Christ as Saviour is part of the true church of Jesus Christ.  He is a new creation in Jesus. 

Paul wanted the church at Colossae to understand the preeminence of Christ over the church.  

Not only is Christ the head of the church, He is the beginning.  This phrase has the same meaning as the verse in Revelation chapter 3.

Revelation 3:14 ESV “¶ “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.” 

The word translated as ‘beginning’ is the Greek word ajrch/ arche, ar-khay´; a commencement, or (concretely) chief (in various applications of order, time, place, or rank): — beginning, corner, (at the, the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.  In this verse, it means that Christ is the one power, one principle, and one rule over the church.  He is the preeminent One in the church.

Christ is the head, the power, and the preeminent one over all in the church.

He is the preeminent one in the resurrection.  He is the firstfruits of the resurrection because He through His power gained victory over death and the grave.  Therefore, the Christians will be resurrected unto everlasting life because of what Christ accomplished.

1 Corinthians 15:20–23 ESV “15:20 ¶ But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 

15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 

15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” 

Notice the word ‘order’ in verse 23.  It is the Greek word ‘tagma’ that means in succession or order.  Christ was first and all those who follow in the resurrection unto life is because of what He has done.

Hebrews 2:9 ESV “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” 

Hebrews 2:14–15 ESV “2:14 ¶ Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 

2:15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” 

Truly, Christ is the preeminent One.  He is the creator, sustainer, redeemer, restorer, saviour, and so much more.  He is the visible image of the invisible God who has brought redemption by His own blood.

He is the head of the church because:

Colossians 1:19–20 ESV “1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 

1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” 

Please notice that the little word that begins verse nineteen is ‘for’.  It is the same word that begins verse sixteen where Paul explains why Christ is the preeminent one in creation.  Here Paul explains why Christ is the preeminent one in the church.

Christ is the preeminent one because the fullness of God dwells in Him

Christ is the head of the church because within Him rests all the power, authority, majesty, goodness, grace, and ability of God.  He is totally adequate in all aspects to create, sustain, redeem, and complete His wonderful plan.  Christ truly is the Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings.  There is nothing lacking in Him.

Christ is the preeminent one because He is able to reconcile man unto God

Notice verse twenty; Christ made peace between sinful man and the holy Lord.  By His precious blood, He is able to cleanse away all the sin and make the person righteous through Him.  He is the Saviour; He is the Redeemer.

2 Corinthians 5:19 ESV “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 

Part of the work of reconciliation is making peace with the Lord.  Jesus, the Messiah, gave His life so that a person can be at peace with God.  Christ paid the price with His own blood to bring about reconciliation.  Sin separates man from a holy God and only by dealing with sin can a person be reconcile with God.  Christ took care of the sin issue on the Cross of Calvary when He shed His blood for the remission of sins.

John 14:27 ESV “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” 

Christ is the preeminent one because He gave His life as a ransom for the sins of the world.  He brought peace.  He brought salvation.  He brought eternal life through His sacrifice.

Hebrews 2:17 ESV “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” 

Ephesians 2:16 ESV “and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” 

Reconciliation is when an enemy has become a friend.  It is the work of Christ where He brought peace between sinful man and a holy God.  Now, a person can have peace with the Lord through Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:10 ESV “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” 

Conclusion

Jesus Christ is the expressed, visible image of the invisible God.  He is both God and man.  He died on the cross for our sins so that we might be reconciled to God.  He was and is all-sufficient; He lacks nothing.  He is truly the Preeminent One, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  He is the only way to eternal life.

He is the head of the church and the focus and ministry of the church must be Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Without Christ there is no salvation!

1 Corinthians 1:21–24 ESV “1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 

1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 

1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 

1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

 

Copyrighted 2020 – Michael K Hudson – all rights reserved

0 Shares