Keys To Discernment: Christ As The Preeminent God

Are we supposed to have favorite verses or passages in the Bible? Probably not.

But I certainly do have a favorite passage, and I won’t apologize for having it! I love that passage because it shows us Jesus as God incarnate — a doctrine that has fascinated me since my first few months as a born-again Christian. 49 years later, the concept still fills me with wonder and adoration, as well it should!

Last week we looked at the first few verses of my favorite passage, exploring how Paul refuted the false teachings of both the Judaizers and the pre-gnostics by proclaiming that Jesus is God. Why don’t we look at the passage again and enjoy the reminder that Jesus Christ indeed is God Himself:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. ~~Colossians 1:15-20

The passage doesn’t stop with an assertion of His deity. It continues with a glorious explanation of His majesty as the supreme ruler over His creation. Verse 18 introduces this idea by stating that He is the head of the church.

The first thing we notice in the verse is that the church revolves around Jesus. He has authority over her (Ephesians 1:22-23). Much later in church history, Roman Catholicism claimed that the Pope held the distinction of being the head of the church, but we can see here what a blasphemous claim that really is.

To be honest, I don’t know why Paul inserts the clause about Christ being the head of the church. Was he aiming this remark at the Judaizers, who undoubtedly regarded Moses as the ultimate authority? That would be my guess.

Immediately after declaring the Lord’s authority over the church, Paul goes on to teach that Christ is the firstborn from the dead. In saying this, the apostle makes reference to Christ’s resurrection. Although a few people had been miraculously raised from the dead prior to Christ’s resurrection, Christ experienced the first resurrection with a glorified body.

Paul knows exactly what he’s doing at this point. If you’ll recall that the First Century Jews hotly contested the fact of Christ’s resurrection, coupled with the pre-gnostic insistence that bodily resurrection violated their understanding of separation between the material realm and the spiritual realm, you’ll easily see that Paul attacks both heresies.

In everything, this Lord Who is both the beginning (1John 1:1) and the first to experience resurrection (Acts 26:23, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23) must be preeminent (Matthew 28:18). He alone deserves all worship and honor!

I had planned to cover verses 19 and 20 today, but I think we’ve worked through quite a bit for one day. Has verse 18 given you a desire to worship this awesome Lord Who is preeminent in His creation? Lord willing, next Monday we’ll see even more evidence of His preeminence to encourage even more worship.

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