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SERMON-notes Col 1 15-23 MH Shoreline 06-25-06

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Sermon:     MH:Shoreline June 25, 2006      The Supremacy of Jesus

Sermon Text:    Colossians 1:15-23

Steve Tompkins

Sermon Text: 

 

Colossians 1:15-23 (ESV)
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For 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. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And 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. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Intro:  Background – Paul sends Epaphras – fruit – begin well – lives changed.  Paul now in prison in Rome – Epaphras comes w/ news – false teachers – gospel beginners, but not enough – must move beyond – Religion and Philosophy from the culture – legalism and performance-based relationship w/ Jesus.  Undermining Gospel – severing connection with Head Jesus, and His power to transform our lives by his grace. 

Shoreline – we have begun well and laid a foundation of a clear and solid view of Jesus.  But we too will go astray if we lose clarity on the nature and person of Jesus.  We too will lose connection with the Head and his transforming power—and end up with a “gospel” that is empty powerless and meaningless—no gospel at all, just dead religion.

So Paul begins in verse 15 with one of the most powerful answers in all of scripture to the most important question of all:  Who is Jesus?

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Now, before we really dive into this text, I want first to point out that Paul uses the word “image.”  It’s a Visual Word.  Jesus is image of the invisible God.  Jesus makes visible what is invisible—namely God the Father

John 1:18 (ESV)
18No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 10:30 (ESV)
30I and the Father are one.”

John 14:8-9 (ESV)
8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus 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’?

WHAT IS YOUR IMAGE OF JESUS?

            2 Cor 11:4 Paul warns it is very possible to have “another Jesus”

Colossae:  Culture mixed bag Opinions, Speculations, False Conclusions

n  Lies and Deceptions –

n  reduce Jesus and his work on the cross to place insignificance

n  Our culture is FILLED with images of Jesus – Religious, Popular, blasphemous & mocking

POWER POINT:  IMAGES OF JESUS

PEOPLE WANT TO FASHION THEIR OWN VERSION OF JESUS

Right-wing Republican Jesus

Left-wing Liberal Jesus

Gay rights Jesus

Gay bashing Jesus

Downtrodden, powerless, poverty Jesus

Wealthy, Rolls Royce driving, Prosperity Jesus

Holly Jolly Santa Claus Jesus who brings them what they always wanted

Tongues speaking, miracle working, Holy Ghost Power Anointing Jesus

Uptight, Tea-Totalling, KJV-only fundamentalist Jesus

Robe-wearing “open and affirming” Jesus who hugs everyone, says “good for you”

tattooed Inde-rock, Goth Jesus

Eyebrow waxing metro-sexual Jesus

Gun toting, NRA, red-neck NASCAR Jesus

White Collar, tie wearing, institutionalized Jesus

Blue collar, hammer swinging, Copenhagen chewing, union member Jesus

WWJD bracelet wearing, Christian T-shirt Jesus, who only listens to Spirit 105. – Xn culture

Demon-Possessed

Glutton & Drunkard

Prophet (Islam: True Prophet,   Judaism: False Prophet and Deceiver)

Moral Teacher & Good Man

Healer—miracle worker

Incarnation of a Hindu God

Expression of the Buddha

Jesus himself :       Matthew 16:15 (ESV)
15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Again:  WHAT IS YOUR IMAGE OF JESUS?

            Not doctrine, statement, abstraction

            But HEART IMAGE – picture comes to mind?

Is it conditioned and shaped more by our culture, or by scripture? 

  • How accurate do you think it really is?
  • Living Lord you fall down and worship, or is he your peer, buddy
  • Is he stern and disapproving, or Welcoming,  Warm
  • Distant or Near?  Who is creating the distance?  You or Him
  • When you blow it and sin – Do you run to Him for Mercy, Grace and Help? 
      • Or do you feel you must keep your distance until you EARN the right to approach

           

What influences have shaped your image of Jesus? 

·         From childhood, Sunday School,

·         Author’s opinion book read, or

·         Professor in college Class or teacher in school

Sometimes its difficult to fully integrate our “earthly” images of Jesus with the Risen, Exalted, Glorified Jesus.

Jesus on earth, the humble, margianalized Galilean Peasant IS OUR EXAMPLE for living daily life on this earth (BUT even HE EXERCISED ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY over ALL POWERS: including SIN AND CONDEMNATION, 

SATAN AND DEMONS, 

DEATH AND SICKNESS, 

ELEMENTS OF CREATION: Storms, Wind, Waves, Water, Trees, Mountains

Example:  John – the Beloved Disciple, meeting his old friend on Patmos, the risen Jesus

Revelation 1:12-18 (ESV)
12Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

That is JESUS THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD—THE ONE WE WORSHIP

Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

  • means rank and position, not first created being
  • Psalm 89:27 (ESV)
    27And I will make him (David) the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,

  • Anything left out?  All created things in the Universe – material or spiritual

 whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

  • Paul moves deeper.  Jesus didn’t just create them (author of their existence) he actively rules all activity of all created beings.  He is the authority behind all authority, the King and ruler over all kings and rulers—whether spiritual or material—ie. Satan, demons, angels, governments, kingdoms, nations, rulers, presidents, elections, leaders, philosophers, revolutionaries, rebels and warlords.  All of Human History!
  • FOR HIM!  And its all FOR Jesus, not for US!!!

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

  • John 1:1 (ESV)
    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 8:58 (ESV)
    58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

  • Hebrews 1:3 (ESV)
    3He 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,

  • Illustration: Walking among the Flatirons at Sunset (Beauty for Jesus, me for Jesus, Exalted Jesus present and upholding all actively, immanent and transcendant.

Colossians 1:18 (ESV)
18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead (as a MAN), that in everything he might be preeminent.

  • The purpose of our existence is to make much of Him.  We give him glory, and he gives us joy.  It’s how the universe is designed

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

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

  • Unlimited/universal aspect to what Jesus accomplished on the cross.  In other words, it was not something that only affected whatever number of redeemed people will spend eternity in New Heavens and New Earth with Jesus—rather it affects every created being—the same scope referred to above.  The cross represents (among other things) an utterly complete Victory that will result in Peace.  The same way there was peace through unconditional surrender of Japan and Nazi Germany at the end of WWII. 
  • Philippians 2:9-11 (ESV)
    9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   VICTORY!!

What has Jesus accomplished on our behalf? (Paul always points to Cross)

Colossians 1:21 (ESV)
21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
Colossians 1:22 (ESV)
22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

  • First: Paul points to Victory at the cross.  Jesus is not some effeminate, soft, dreamy eyed, long-robed drifter who is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good who floats around occasionally finding a few nice wooly sheep to pat on the head! 
  • Real Jesus:  FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN
  • Cross: Glory hidden in darkness,
  • Strength in suffering,
  • Power in weakness,
  • Authority in humility—won an Eternal Victory of Universal Cosmic proportions—but why???  He was already King and Lord with all Power—he didn’t need a victory,
  • But We did!  We were the one’s alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds  
  • He suffered on our behalf, He in our place, God in likeness of sinful human flesh, but without sin, paying the penalty and consequences of our sin—Death.  Sin always produces alienation from God and Death. 

  • That was me up to age 19 when I met Jesus . . .

  • And that is exactly what Jesus suffered on our behalf (Alienation and Death), SO THAT we might be forgiven, reconciled and redeemed, for the purpose of Eternal Loving Relationship!!!!!!!!

  • Some of you resist – NOT ME!  Compare with Pastor Mark:  Sin is internal, who I am, not external in what I do. 
  • Mark 7:21-23 (ESV)21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

  • We all need reconciliation & resist the truth

How then should I respond?

Colossians 1:23 (ESV)
23if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

  • Paul gives a warning (“if”) to signal the fact that although Jesus has accomplished all this on our behalf—we are not to be passive—rather we are to respond to God’s initiative in Jesus through the message of the gospel.

  • If you are a Christian (like the Colossians),  you are to continue on the firm foundation of the truth preached.  You are not to be led away from the true image, Reality, Nature, and Person of Jesus.

  • If you are not a Christian, then I invite you this morning to give your heart the True King of the Universe—give him your heart and life in faith—turn from your sin—and receive his grace, forgiveness and Reconciliation that you too might be HOLY, BLAMELESS, and ABOVE REPROACH.

  • REPENT:  For all of us, we must ask, “Where does my image of Jesus fall short of the true biblical reality?” 

    • Connect with Mark’s message on idolatry:  At the place where we fall into idolatry and the sin that results from it, WE HOLD TO A LESSER, WEAK, INADEQUATE IMAGE OF JESUS—AND LIFT UP SOME IDOL IN HIS PLACE IN AN ATTEMPT TO MEET OUR PERCEIVED NEEDS.        REPENT

 

A True and Healthy Image of Jesus—one we worship and follow every day:

  • Combines Earthly Example with Exalted King  
  • Both NEAR at all time, and Reigning over the Nations and all of History

  • Both Tremble in FEAR (Fall on Faces) and into whose Presence we BOLDLY AND JOYFULLY ENTER and DWELL

  • Like the Apostle John

  • Like the writer of Hebrews

Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV)
28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

This is not just HEAD stuff, this is EYES OF THE HEART STUFF

2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Ephesians 1:17-23 (ESV)
17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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