Colossians - The Preeminence of Christ
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (ESV) It is supremely significant that Christ is divine. More than possessing the attributes of God and performing the acts of God, Jesus is the full totality of God in human form. God became flesh in order that He might deliver, redeem, change, forgive, and rule us. May Christ always be preeminent in our lives.
You have received Christ Jesus (believed the message of the Gospel and embraced Him by faith), so steadfastly pursue Him. Be devoted to growth through the truth of scripture, and overflow with heartfelt gratitude.
In Colossians 2:1-5 Paul explains how healthy, mature believers and churches should be established. Church leaders must be vitally involved with their congregation, struggling in prayer for them. Members should have a spirit-generated unity, being “knit together in love,” and every individual should be a fully engaged part of the whole. Lives will be transformed as believers grow in their assurance of all things that relate to Christ.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is the message to which Paul had a single-minded devotion, the Good News that we can all be reconciled to God. Paul was convinced that this message worth dying for and worth living for with all his energy. We too, are to be Christ’s ambassadors, sharing in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Saving faith has three essential components, all described in Colossians 1:21-23. We must recognize our condition apart from Christ, alienated from God and falling short of His holiness. The next step is reconciliation, in genuine repentance accepting the forgiveness that we could not earn for ourselves. Once we have found peace with God, we must continue to move foward in confident hope, steadfastly walking with Christ.
Our world, filled with war and injustice, awaits the reconciliation of all things to God mentioned in Colossians 1:19-20. Sin brought personal separation from God and disruption to the universe (Romans 8:20-23). But God initiated reconciliation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The final restoration will occur when the enemies of Christ will one day be destroyed (1Corinthians 15:24).
Colossians 1:15-20 provides a glimpse into the majesty and glory of Jesus. He is preeminent in His very being – the image and manifestation of the invisible God. He is preeminent over all all of creation – the source and force that holds the universe together. He is preeminent over the church, its head, ruler, and guide. Let us pursue Christ over all else.
In Colossians 1:12-14, Paul expresses gratitude to God for many reasons, all related to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. We have been qualified for heaven, delivered from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are eternally forgiven and redeemed from our sins. Our expressions of gratitude should be natural and habitual. Thanks be to God!
The prayers of Paul for the church are frequent and habitual. We too should pray the truths of scripture into our lives, never settling for spiritual mediocrity. Access to the Father through prayer is a privilege purchased for us through the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf.
Paul in Colossians 1:9-12 encourages the Colossians to “Live a life worthy of the Lord.” We are to conduct ourselves in balance with all that Jesus is by bearing fruit in every good work and growing in a personal, experiential knowledge of God. We can be strengthened by His glorious might, filled with thankfulness and in tune with God’s will.
The Gospel is the core truth that we are to grasp and to apply to our lives. It is the Word of Truth, containing specific, true information about the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf. The Gospel is spreading throughout the world. Let’s proclaim it, speaking with clarity and boldness.
Pastor Gregory explains how the apostle Paul is filled with gratitude to God for what God is doing in the lives of all the saints in Colossae. Paul points out three areas for his thankfulness. He is thankful for: their faith in Christ Jesus, their love for all the saints, and the hope that is laid up for them in heaven. Gratitude should be a distinguishing characteristic in the life of a believer.
In Christ we are saints, not because of what we do, but because we are set apart for God, His treasured possession. We are faithful brothers in Christ, sharing a deep family bond with all who have put their faith in the Lord. Where are we? We are in Christ, part of a new kingdom, a new mindset. Yet we are also still “in Colossae,” part of a particular earthly community. We are called to engage with the world in order to win it for Christ.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, he addresses false teachings by proclaiming the truth about Christ and challenges the Colossians to remain in the truth. Jesus is preeminent. In Him we can be redeemed and reconciled to God. Christ can live in us by faith — He is our life, our strength, and our hope.