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The Preeminent Christ (Colossians 1:18-20)

March 17, 2010

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

He is head (v. 18)

  • Head/body – uses material thing to illustrate spiritual truth
    • Head – Christ
      • Thinks for body
      • Directs body
    • Body – church
      • Servant to head
      • Powerless and dead without head
    • What is a head to a body?
      • Head cannot accomplish anything without body
      • Christ does his work through the church
        • No other way to do the work of Christ
        • Christ work is not accomplished by extra-biblical (para-church) ministries
        • To work for Christ, you must work through the church!
    • What a privilege!
    • Warning – an abused body cannot work
  • Beginning – creation & church
    • Not only at the beginning/or before the beginning, He IS the beginning
    • Fountain of authority and power
      • Compare with 3 John 9
    • Starts everything to uphold/save
    • No earth without Christ; No church without Christ
      • Church is the new creation of Christ
      • He is source of church life
      • He is director of church activity
  • Firstborn
    • Christ’s resurrection is the central truth of Christianity
      • We can know Him because He is alive
      • We can “experience” Him
    • Preeminent among all that are/were raised
    • Most illustrious, he went from death to immortality
      • First to rise to die no more
      • Our resurrection depends on Him
    • First means there will be a second (more!)
  • Preeminence – of rank, dignity, honor, & power
    • Sonship – we are sons by adoption
    • Salvation – we are chosen in Him
    • Human nature – He is fairer than all
    • Redemption – He alone worked it out Himself
    • Life – His purity, teaching, miracles…
    • Dying – conquered death and rose
  1. Over the universe – Creator, and Proprietor
  2. Chief among those who will rise from dead
  3. Head of the church – all churches subject to Him
  4. In affections of His friends:

Preeminent to us:

Affections of the heart

Contemplations of the mind

Desires of the soul

Praises of our lips

It pleased the Father (vv. 19-20)

  • For all fullness to dwell in Him – summation
    • The image of God – v. 15
    • The creator and sustainer – v. 16-17
    • The head of the church – v. 18
    • All fullness
      • All power of deity
      • All attributes of deity (2:9)
      • All the essence of God
      • All the glory of God (John 1:14)
    • In Him
      • All fullness will not, cannot be found anywhere else!
      • Was not given to Him, it is in Him
        • Pleased the Father
        • The mystery of the trinity
        • An economy, not a hierarchy
  • To reconcile all things to Himself by Him – the why?
    • Father – God’s mind was not changed by Jesus
      • We love Him because He first loved us.
      • Son – purpose was to save sinners
        • His name is Jesus
        • Not to be an example
        • Saving is transforming
    • Through the blood of the cross – the how?
      • Hebrews 9:22
      • 1 John 2:2
    • To all things – the extent
      • Removes the curse of the universe
      • This is a lovely world
      • This IS my Father’s world
        • If His redemption can presently (though not completely) be seen spiritually, it can in the same way be seen physically
      • The creation can now also fulfill its created purpose
    • In earth or in heaven –
      • Both earth and heaven were set at variance with each other
      • Christ reconciled heaven and earth
  • The purpose? (vv. 21-22)
    • Holy – He took our flesh that we could be holy as He is holy
    • Unblamable
    • Unreprovable
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