*Text*: Colossians 1:15-20
*Title*: The Preeminence of Christ
*Theme of the book of Colossians: *Jesus Christ: The preeminent and all-sufficient Savior* \\ Theme of Text: *Christ is preeminent!
*Proposition: *Christ must have preeminence in your life!
The first 14 verses of Colossians are Paul’s introduction to the epistle.
His introduction not only greets the readers, but it gives them doctrinal and practical teaching.
The introduction also prepares the readers for the teachings against the false teachers.
In verses 13-14, Paul mentions that believers are transferred into Christ’s kingdom, and that Christ redeems and forgives.
This brief explanation about Christ’s work leads Paul into one of the most important Christological passages of the New Testament.
We know that the whole Bible talks about Christ.
Even though Christ’s name may not be mentioned in every book of the Old Testament, we know that those books were geared toward the Messiah.
In Luke 24:27, Christ says, “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, he explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
Christ explained how the whole Bible was teaching about himself.
This passage in Colossians is possibly the most important Christological passage since it explains Christ so well!
This is a crucial passage for us to understand.
Some have said that these verses, Col. 1:15-20, are the most significant teachings about Jesus Christ in the whole Bible.
This passage is defiantly the most important passage to defend the deity of Christ.
Some other very important passages dealing with the doctrine of Christ are the following: Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 2:9-15, Ephesians 1:20-23, and Hebrews 1:1-14.
These passages are important for every Christian to study.
This passage in Colossians is critical to our understanding the deity of our Savior Jesus Christ.
One of the main purposes of this section was to refute the Colossian heresy.
The false teachers were telling the believers that Christ was not God.
The false teachers were denying the deity of Christ.
They were promoting the Angels above Christ.
Paul writes to the church to tell them that Christ is above all things.
He is preeminent over all creation, over the entire universe, and over all the church.
To deny Christ’s deity is to deny Christ.
As Christians, we owe all our honor, glory, and praise to Jesus Christ for his triumph of sin, death, and hell!
Make Christ preeminent in your life!
In this message, we will study Colossians 1:15-20.
We will look at Christ’s relationship to the Father, Christ’s preeminence over all Creation, and Christ’s preeminence over the church.
*I. **Christ’s relationship to the Father v 15a, 19*
Christ is the exact image of God.
The word here for image comes from the Greek word εἰκὼν.
The English word “icon” is derived from this Greek word.
It means an exact “copy” or “likeness.”
Jesus Christ is in the perfect image and likeness of God.
He has been in this perfect form of God for all eternity.
Just as a stamp produces the exact impression of the original, so Christ is the same as God- Christ is God.
Christ is a /representation/ of God; he is not the image of God by accident.
He is the exact image and representation of the Most High God.
He is not just similar, but he is the exact same.
Christ did not become the same, but he always has been and will be the same as God.
Christ is our /manifestation/ of the invisible God.
We cannot see God, but Christ is the physical manifestation of the almighty God.
We cannot behold the invisible God; neither can any man comprehend the infinite, invisible God.
To know God, we must depend on the manifestation of God- Christ.
This word image is the same word and idea that is in Genesis 1:26-27 speaking of man being made in the image of God.
The major difference between man and Christ is that Christ /IS /the image of God.
Man was /made/ in the image of God.
Man was created, so we are finite beings.
Christ is God, and did not have to be created in the form of God since he already existed as God.
Christ is the infinite God!
Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 say that in Christ, all the fullness of God dwells.
Christ is fully God.
In these verses, we see that Christ is God.
We cannot deny that Christ is deity.
Look at these other passages:
-Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
-Hebrews 1:2-3 has in these last days spoken to us by /His/ Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of /His/ glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
-John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
/(He that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father;/ that is, he hath seen the same Being.
He that hath known the Son hath known the Father, Jn. 14:7-9.
For the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son; the personal distinction is no other than will consist with essential union.)
**Christ’s preeminence over all creation v. 15b-17*
These verses describe Christ as the preeminent one over all creation.
We know that Christ is the creator and Lord over all creation.
We cannot deny or even dispute that Christ created the earth.
He is God over everything!
-John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
-Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to /the point of/ death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and /that/ every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ /is/ Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
**Christ’s relationship to creation v.
Verse 15 says that Christ is the firstborn over all creation.
The Greek word here is πρωτότοκος.
This word has caused much confusion over the years.
Some false religions (Jehovah’s Witnesses) stake much of there belief on a misunderstanding of this verse.
Some think that this means that Christ was actually the first thing that God created.
They think that Christ is just another part of creation.
This is a sad misunderstanding.
The following verses state that Christ is the creator of ALL things, so therefore he was not part of creation nor was he created.
To understand this verse properly, one must look at the way this word and idea was used in the Greek and Jewish culture.
The “firstborn” many times does refer to the one who was born chronologically first.
It can also mean the one that has the preeminent position or rank.
This is what it means in this passage.
The idea is that Christ has priority over everything!
/Illustration: /Think back on the story of Jacob and Esau.
Jacob received the birthright even though Esau was the older son.
God clearly elevated Jacob over Esau and gave him the position of priority.
Romans 9:10-14 says that God gave priority to the younger son, Jacob.
This language of the firstborn often does not mean the chronological firstborn, but the one that has preeminence.
In each of the following verses, the term “firstborn” refers to priority or preeminence Revelation 1:5; Romans 8:29; Psalm 89:27; Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9.
From this verse, we know that Christ is preeminent and he has priority or superiority to all creation.
This proves that Christ existed before creation and he has priority over it.
This is a direct attack on the false teachers infiltrating the church of Colossae.
He has preeminence over creation since he is the creator of all things!