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Jesus is Everything to the Church

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Approximately 90 days ago the terrorist group Boko Haram stormed a school in northeast Nigeria and brutally kidnapped 100 teenage girls.
These girls in their early teens were kept in captivity until mid-March the terrorists returned most of the schoolgirls after negotiations with the Nigerian government.
However still as of this morning...90 days later one of these girls remains in captivity...if she is still alive…her name is Leah Sharibu.
Rebecca, Leah’s mother, can remember clearly how each parent celebrated the sudden and unexpected return of their daughter as she waited patiently as one-by-one the young girls were reunited with their families.
Then as it became clear that no more girls were coming it suddenly dawned on her that Leah was not among the group of girls released.
"Where is Leah?" she asked anxiously.
One of the freed girls told her that Leah was not release because...
She loves Jesus…and would not convert to Islam. She would not even say the words…I denounce Jesus Christ.
This 15 year old girl would not turn her back on Jesus…not matter what the cost.
Jesus is everything to her.
Why? Why would she not just say the words? How could she do this at 15 years old?
Because she knows Jesus is Lord. She knows the love of Christ that saved her is also the power of the risen Christ...that is holding her in His hands.
Jesus Christ is her all in all…her everything. Or as Spurgeon was once quoted as saying.
“If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you…if He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.”
Jesus Christ is Everything to Leah…and...
As we continue to study the Church and ask what are the foundational necessities that make a Church a Church…today we will see that...
Jesus is EVERYTHING to the Church.
Colossians 1:15–20 is one of the high points of New Testament. It is one of the most important paragraphs in the history of the world.
Here is the heart of why we are here to worship…why we live the way we do…the heart of the Church…here is why Jesus is worthy of all of our praise…our time…our honor…our decisions…our lifestyle…our commitments…our heart…our mind....our soul…why a radical commitment to Jesus the only logical option…
Why do we give our very lives to Jesus…Why is Jesus everything to the Church?
Here it is in one short paragraph.
Open to...
Colossians 1:15–20 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 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. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Amen!
Jesus is everything…in everything…created everything…was before everything…and holds everything together…because He is everything...He is God…and eternal peace…eternal joy....eternal salvation…only comes to anyone through Him…because of the blood of the cross.
Jesus is everything to us…and we are His people…and His people are the Church…so...
Jesus is everything to the Church.
This is why we worship. This is who we worship.
The primary thing Christianity is…the primary thing the Church is...is not a meeting…or even a group of people meeting in a building…or even the acts that we do…singing…sermons…serving...
The primary thing Christianity is…is a people set apart by God to live like Jesus is everything because they have been shown that Jesus is everything to they now believe in their minds AND hearts that Jesus is everything…so they lay down their old lives and receive Jesus as everything…and live a new life that shows and tells the world that Jesus is everything because Jesus is everything.
So what does that mean for the Church?
Jesus is everything to the Church.
Why?

1. Jesus Is the Lord of All Creation (verses 15–17)

Colossians 1:15–17 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Did you notice how many times the word All is in that paragraph?
Have we said all or everything enough yet?
Count the ALLS...five just in the first three verses:
Jesus is firstborn of all creation
In him all things were created
All things were created through him and for him
He is before all things
In him all things hold together
Let’s jump in with the first “all.” What does it mean that Jesus is “firstborn of all creation”? To our ears, two thousand years later, that sounds simply like he was born first, or created first.
Jehovah’s Witness actually use these verses to say that very thing…that Jesus is created not the creator.
That is not what it means…Jesus was not the first created thing because He was there at the beginning and is the God who created all things…it says that in the next verse and in John 1.
John 1:3 ESV
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Jesus was not made…He is not part of creation…He is the creator.
The term “firstborn” is used throughout the Bible, firstborn has the meaning of most significant or, as we’ll see in verse 18, preeminent — “firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (verse 18).
Supreme…the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is without comparison…in His power and glory and beauty and holiness…because Jesus is everything.
Jesus being “firstborn” here also has some time significance to it…technically before time.
Verse 17 “he is before all things.”
He is the most important thing in all of creation because He is also…the image of God...
So what does it mean to say he IS the Image of God?
Colossians 1:15 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Jews and Christians use this “image of God” language quite often, because of the creation account in Genesis 1:27
Genesis 1:27 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
How often do we pause to ask what this really means?
You were created in the image of the invisible, creator, Holy God…you were created in the image of the creator who created you.
You were created to show this world what God is like by showing them what God means to you by imaging or displaying His Glory…by showing the world God’s glory…not because of your glory…but because of how the glory of God has changed you and is everything to you.
By living for Him and through His power and loving Him the creator…you show the world who He is...
One letter makes quite a bit of difference here…in to is...
We are in the image and therefore live for His glory.
We ind our satisfaction…our direction…our joy...our everything in God when we live for His glory.
Because we are created in the image of God...
Jesus however is the image of God.
Colossians 1:15 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
We are in the image. Jesus...although all human…IS the image of God.
Before God created the world…the Father and the Son and the Spirit…the one and only God of the universe...planned what it would be like for he himself to enter into His creation and for His people as a creature in the person of the Son....Jesus.
Jesus, God and man, is the visible image of the invisible God…because He is the great I AM.
John 8:58 ESV
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
He is the one God...who foreknew before the foundation of the world what it would look like for Himself the eternal Son to enter in as a creature.
Humanity was created on the sixth day, but God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) did all his creating with the plan to show His glory and grace by one day entering into His created world.
Colossians 1:16 ESV
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.
All creation is by Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus. Which means everything in your life and all of life relates to Jesus because it is about Jesus and for Jesus.
Who made the world? Who created the universe? Who scooped out the oceans? Who built the mountains? Who flung the stars into space? Who created Jupiter and the milky way and the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon and Volcanoes and butterflies and you and me?
Every created thing in all the universe (including you and me) bears the stamp: “Made by Jesus!”
He is the originator, architect, and builder of all things.
Jesus created everything.
Therefore all things were created for him.
So Jesus is the most important thing in creation…but not because He was created...
Because He is the creator of All things…and
Jesus is author of Creation and the goal of creation:
He is the point!
All things were created through him and FOR HIM.
Philippians 2:9–11 ESV
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The point of Creation is to give God glory…and therefore the point of our lives is to Glorify God…by trusting Him and living for Him and Enjoying Him…in Jesus Christ.
For the Glory of God.
Whatever questions you have in life. Whatever fears you have.
Whatever doubts you may have about the utterly extensive sovereignty and power and control of Jesus in this world...
Know this....this you can know…there is not a square inch in the universe where Jesus does not right now look upon it and say “Mine!”
Andnot only is it His…he isnot just watching it from afar…He is holding it together…all things and happening and events…are held together by Jesus.
Colossians 1:17 ESV
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
“In him all things hold together.”
He is supreme…He is central…He is preeminent...
He also right now “holds all things together.”
Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
Not only is his power and complete control ever present in creation…this is true in every moment of every day.
He is not a watchmaker that makes the watch and sets the gears and walks away. He holds it in his hands, and actively keeps it ticking every single second of every single day…by His very Word.
Jesus did not create the world to let it run on its own.
Jesus is the creator and the sustainer of the world for His glory.
Why is it that the universe is not in complete chaos?
Why is it that the earth remains just close enough to the sun that we don’t freeze up but far enough from the sun that we don’t burn?
Why is it that the sun keeps rising every morning?
Why is it that winter, spring, summer, and fall continue to come in seasons?
Why is it that the flowers keep budding, blooming, fading, and falling?
Why is it that some crazy dictator has not fired an atomic bomb that would blow the earth into smiterines? And even if He does…we know for certain one thing is true!
Jesus holds all things together!
This is also true in your life, whether you see it or give Him glory for it or not! The only reason you are alive and breathing and here right now...and your life has not utterly fallen apart is because Jesus holds all things together.
Therefore we as His Church stand in awe of the supreme Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ over all reality…over all creation…over all people…over all time…over all space…over all things.
Jesus is everything to us…to the Church…because...
He IS the image of God…by Jesus all things were created…all things created through Jesus and created for Jesus…Jesus was there before the foundation of the world and right now Jesus is on the throne holding everything together.
And...

2. Jesus Is the only way to All Salvation (verses 18–20)

Colossians 1:18–20 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. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
As awesome as it is for Jesus to be Lord of all that exists in this world, it is even more awesome for us that he is Lord of all in the world to come.
He is the God not only of the first creation, but also the Lord of the ultimate creation, the new heavens and new earth.
This world was designed for His glory…in His entrance into it as the Savior and in His death and resurrection.
The new world will be designed for his endless reign as supreme over all and head of His saved people called the church.
We can not understate the importance and the power of Jesus role in relation to the church…as the headofthe Church.
As we just read in Ephesians...
We are called to radically live life as the Church...
Ephesians 3:10 ESV
so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Did you catch that…that is the importance of the Church.
To make known the manifold wisdom of God.
And we the church is the people among which God’s glory and praise reach their highest point.
Ephesians 3:20–21 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
That Jesus is head means that he is leader of this Church and every true Church and He is the provider for the church.
And when He returns in His glory it is to redeemed His people…His bride…the Church..
And when He reigns in glory for all eternity…the Church…His people are with him…in all Joy and Worship of Him for all eternity.
But how does that happen?
The heart of this second part...that Jesus made peace by the blood His cross.
So when the eternal Son of God finally returns and enters into the world as the one in whom and through whom and for whom the world exists, his mission is to make peace — not by killing the enemies of his Father, but by giving up his own life to atone for their sin against his infinitely worth and glory.
He shed his own blood in grace in place of those whom He came to save.
And who is that? We will get there...
II. JESUS CHRIST IS SUPREME OVER THE CHURCH.
The New Testament does not define the church as much as it describes it. It describes the church as an army, bride, flock, family, and temple. But the primary metaphor for the church is a body. The picture of a body teaches that the church is a living organism, not a dead organization. This metaphor is typically used to emphasize the mutual dependence of the members of the body. Here it is used to emphasize the total dependence of the body to its head. Anything without a head is dead. Anything with more than one head is a monster. Jesus Chris is the only true head of the church.
Secondly, verse 18 says, “He is the beginning.” In Revelation 22:13, Jesus declares, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Thirdly, verse 18 says, “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” This is the second time Paul calls Christ “the firstborn.” Verse 15 calls him “the firstborn of all creation.” Verse 18 calls him “the firstborn from the dead.” Jesus was not the first person raised from the dead. Jesus himself raised three people from the dead. They experienced resuscitation, not resurrection. They eventually died again and are still dead. In Revelation 1:17-18, Jesus says, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
Why does Paul ascribe these sovereign titles to Christ?
Verse 18 answers: “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.” This term is used only here. It means Jesus is the supreme one who is to have first place, full control, and final authority in everything. He is to have first place in all creation. He is to have first place in the church. And he is to have first place in your life.
This is because for you personally to be saved and for the Church to be the Church...

3) Jesus Is the Focus of Our Satisfaction (verses 19–20)

Not only he is Lord of all creation and agent of all salvation and the head of the Church...but he is the source and focus of all our soul’s final satisfaction. And where we see it is in two phrases in verses 19–20.
First, “reconcile to himself.” To reconcile means to remove the barrier, removethe gap, removethe chasm we have created between us and our joy and satisfaction…which can only be forund in Him...
He came to restore the relationship.
And what is the goal of that relationship...
His glory from us and our eternal joy in Him.
When Jesus makes peace by the blood of his cross, he doesn’t restore us to the creation to enjoy creation as our ultimate joy and satisfaction.
He reconciles us to himself. Yes, to each other. Yes, to the creation.
But ultimately and etrnally and thankfully to him. He is the final focus.
Second, “all the fullness.” Verse 19: “In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”
All the fullness of God…remember…God in His fullness…is supremely and infinitely happy in the fellowship of the Trinity from all eternity.
And all the fullness is in Jesus, and through him and Him alone we will experience all the fullness of God as our sipreme and infinite and unending joy…forever.
All the fullness, all the joy, is in him.
And so Paul prays in Ephesians 3:16–19 that
according to the riches of his glory [the Father] may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
All the fullness of God is in Jesus whom we will one day see face to face and for those whom He has saved…He will be the fullness of our happiness forevermore.
He is creator, and more. And he is redeemer, and more.
He is the supreme treasure who can satisfy our souls for all eternity.
We were created for him to experience in Him...all the fullness of God. He reconciled us for himself, for relationship with him.
And that relationship is why without Him this world...we aches, wants, desires, search, wander.
Our hearts will be restless until we finds rest in the one who made peace through the blood of his cross.
That is why we are the Church.
To live for His glory…to know Him more…to fully experience His presence…to boldly be on His mission with His people…to bring others into a saving relationship with the one Who is everything. And to do so because He is everything to us.
Jesus.
Church…He is everything.
Amen
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