Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Colossians: Maturing Over False Beliefs By Christ's Supreme All-Sufficiency
Part IV: Appreciating The Supreme Sovereignty Of Jesus Christ
(Colossians 1:15-20)
  1. Introduction
    1. We Christians are usually quite familiar with the sufferings and human humiliation of Christ on the earth, that He condescended to suffer on the cross as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.
    2. Yet, lest we focus only on that state and so have a diminished view of Christ's Person to our own lack of trust in Him and thus vulnerability to false cults and legalism, it is good to recall the infinite supremacy of His divine nature and of His conquest of weakness as our risen, ascended, enthroned, exalted Lord God!
    3. We thus dwell on Paul's explanation of the supreme exaltation of Christ in Colossians 1:15-20:
  2. Appreciating The Supreme Exaltation Of Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:15-20.
    1. The Epistle to the Colossians has as its theme "the supremacy and all-sufficiency of Christ", and Paul promoted this theme to equip his readers to resist errant beliefs that tended to hinder their trust in Christ's supremacy and all-sufficiency, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., p. 1690, "The Colossian Heresy."
    2. Thus, having given his introductory remarks in Colossians 1:1-14, Paul "moved naturally into his epistle's main emphasis -- the exaltation and preeminence of Christ," Bible Knowledge Commentary, N. T. , p. 672.
    3. That emphasis is supplied in a great sevenfold description of Christ as deity in Colossians 1:15-20:
      1. First, Christ is "the image of the invisible God" (KJV, NIV, ESV), the "exact representation of [the Father's] being' (Heb. 1:3)," Ibid., a claim to His full deity and equality with the Father, Col. 1:15a:
        1. The term "image" in Colossians 1:15a is from the New Testament Greek term, eikown, a word not always denoting a "perfect image," but in this context where Christ is obviously being exalted, it demands that Jesus be the "exact representation of [the Fathers'] being (Heb. 1:3),'" Ibid.
        2. Thus, Jesus is the exact representation of the being of God the Father, cf. also John 14:8-11; 10:30.
      2. Second, Christ is "the firstborn of every creature" (KJV), or "the firstborn of (over) all creation" (NIV, ESV), Col. 1:15b, a claim to Christ's preceding the Creation in time and being Sovereign over it:
        1. The term "firstborn" does not mean Christ is the "Firstborn in Creation'" as if He were created, for the context argues Christ is superior to all things, and Colossians 1:16 (with John 1:3) teach Christ created all things that were created, something that would be impossible if He were ever created!
        2. The Jehovah's Witnesses add the word "other" six times in this passage in their New World Translation, suggesting Christ created all other things after He Himself had been created, Ibid.! Yet, all that was ever created was made by Christ (John 1:3), and since it is impossible for Him to have created Himself, and since any word rendered "other" does not appear in the Greek text in Colossians 1:15-20 ( U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 694), this Jehovah Witness claim greatly errs!
        3. Rather, "firstborn" means Christ "preceded the whole Creation", and, like a firstborn child in an Old Testament family, He has priority, dignity and superiority in His role, Ibid., Bib. Know. Com., N. T .
      3. Third, Christ made and sustains creation as the Creator God, Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3b; Ibid., p. 673.
      4. Fourth, Christ is the Head of the Church, Colossians 1:18a; Ibid.
      5. Fifth, Christ heads the new creation order as its "Firstborn" (Col. 1:15) via His resurrection, 1:18; Ibid.
      6. Sixth, Christ embodies all the full essence and attributes of divine deity as God, Col. 1:19 with 2:9:
        1. The word "fulness" KJV ("fullness" NIV, KJV) comes from the Greek term, pleroma and means in this context what it means as used in the similar context of Colossians 2:9 -- the completeness of God's essence and attributes, Ibid., p. 673-674; Ibid., U. B. S. Greek N. T., p. 694, 697.
        2. Hence, the full essence and attributes of deity dwell in Jesus Christ, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Col. 1:19.
      7. Seventh, Christ is the Reconciler of all things regarding victory over sin and its effects, Col. 1:20.
Lesson: The Lord Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God the Father's being, the Preceeder and Superior of all creation Who created and sustains the creation, the Head of the Church, the First of the new created order by way of His resurrection, the Embodier of all the essence and attributes of God and the Reconciler of all things in the universe regarding victory over sin and its effects.

Application: May we cleave to Christ alone as our Supreme, All-Sufficient God and Source of blessing!