KNOWING CHRIST AS THE ONE WHO IS PREEMINENT
A Sermon By Wayne Camp
SCRIPTURE: Col. 1:12-22
TEXT: Col. 1:17-19
INTRO: I want us to look at these two verses very carefully. As a matter of fact, if time permitted it would be profitable to look at the entire passage I have read for it all sets forth the theme of this message. Christ is preeminent in all things. It is the sovereign will and purpose of God that Christ shall be preeminent in all things. Colossians 1:17-19 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 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. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
I will confine myself to the three verses I have emphasized as our text for this message in these introductory remarks. First, Christ is declared to be before all things. Then, Paul tells us that all things are held together and move along toward their predetermined end because Christ is in control of them. He then declares the headship of Christ over the church. He is the beginning, the Alpha and he is the firstborn form the dead. He is to have preeminence in all things because it has pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell.
If nothing else were said in all of the Bible concerning Christ, there is sufficient ground given in this passage to declare unequivocally that he is preeminent in all things. If I were to broaden the introductory remarks to the rest of the chapter even more evidence would be seen of the preeminence of Christ. And, then, I look at the third verse of chapter two and I see yet another evidence that he is to have the preeminence in all things. Colossians 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT WITH IN THE TRINITY
A. Christ is preeminent with the Father.
1. It has pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell in Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
2. It has pleased the Father that Jesus Christ should be the only manifestation of the Trinity that man will ever see. John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
3. God has highly exalted Jesus Christ.
a. He has exalted him to be a prince and Saviour. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
b. He has given him a name that is above every name. Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
c. He has given all things into his hand. John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
B. Jesus Christ is preeminent with the Holy Spirit.
1. He speaks of Christ first and foremost. John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
2. When he convicts of sin he does so primarily because men do not believe on Christ. John 16:8-10 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.
II. CHRIST WAS PREEMINENT IN THE CREATION
A. John was inspired to attribute creation to Jesus Christ. John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
1. Note that John sets forth the positive side of this matter when he declares that all things were created by Jesus Christ.
2. He then sets forth the negative by saying that nothing was made without Christ being involved.
B. John also states the matter in another way. John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
C. Paul declares that God made all things by Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
D. Paul makes a more comprehensive declaration on Christ as creator in his letter to the Colossians. Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
E. In the book of Hebrews Paul again sets forth Christ as the creator. Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
F. David attributed the creation to Jesus Christ as is seen when we compare Psa. 102:25-26 with Heb. 1:10-12
1. Consider David's words. Psalm 102:25-26 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.
2. Consider Paul's applications of those verse to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
G. Paul sets forth Christ as the builder of this house we call the earth. Hebrews 3:3-6 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
H. In the Revelation Jesus is set forth as the sovereign creator of all things. Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
I. It is abundantly evident that it has pleased God to set forth Jesus Christ as the sovereign creator of all things created and to reveal that they were all created for his glory. He is preeminent in the creation.
III. JESUS CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IN THE SCRIPTURES
A. He is mentioned more times than God the Father or God the Spirit.
1. The word God appears 3878 times.
2. The word Lord, which is used of Christ, appears 6668 times.
3. The name Jesus appears 942 times.
B. In Genesis he is first the creator. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
C. Then he is the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent.
D. In Revelation he is the Faithful witness, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the one who once and for all crushes the head of Satan and casts him down into the torments of hell where he will suffer forever.
E. Read through this entire sixty-six books and you will come in contact with Jesus Christ in his various offices and names more than any other single person.
F. It has pleased God that he have preeminence in all things and that is certainly true of the word.
H. Between Genesis and Revelation he is the focus, or as one write called him, the copus of Scripture.
IV. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IN THE DOCTRINES OF THE WORD OF GOD'S WORD
A. He is preeminent in the doctrine of salvation. Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
B. He is preeminent in the doctrine of the church. Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. More on this later but wanted to mention it here.
C. He is preeminent in the covenant of grace. Psalm 89:27-36 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
D. Christ is preeminent in the doctrine of election.
1. We were chosen in him. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
2. We were predestinated to the adoption of sins by him. Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
3. We were predestinated to be conformed to his image. Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
E. He is preeminent in the doctrine of redemption. Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
F. He is preeminent in the doctrine of the preservation of the saints.
1. We are his sheep and he gives us eternal life and assures that we will never perish. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.
2. We are his sheep and we are held securely in his hand. neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
3. In him there is no way we could ever be condemned. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
4. We are preserved in him. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.
5. He is able to keep us from falling and will one day present us faultless before the presence of his glory, and he will do it with exceeding joy. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
V. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IN THE CHURCH
A. He is founder and builder of his churches. Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
B. He is head of his churches. Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.
C. He is central in the ordinances of the church.
1. Baptism is a picture of his death, burial and resurrection.
2. In the Lord's Supper we show forth his deathChis broken body and shed blood.
D. Each local church is a body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
E. Members of the Lord's churches will compose the bride of Christ.
VI. HE IS PREEMINENT IN END-TIME EVENTS.
A. It is his glorious coming which is the hope of ever saint of God. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
B. It is before his judgment seat that the saints will all appear. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
C. It is the marriage of the lamb that will be one of the great events of the end time. Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
D. It is Christ who will rule and reign on the earth for a glorious thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
E. It is Christ who will judge the lost at the great white throne judgment. John 5:22-23 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
F. Christ is preeminent in heaven. Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand. Philippians 2:9-10 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
G. He will be the object of our praise and worship throughout all eternity. Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
CONC: Since it has pleased the Father that Christ should have preeminence in all things, should we not guard our lives very carefully to see that we give him preeminence in our personal lives. We cannot praise him more than he is worthy to receive. We cannot exalt him in excess.
If you are lost, let me assure you that Christ is preeminent in God's way of salvation. You will trust Christ or you will be lost forever. He is the only way to the Father. He is the only door to salvation. No one can come to the Father except through the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Thursday, May 15, 2003