Chapter 1, Verses 18-20
The Preeminence of Jesus!
Review: “Jesus Did It All!”
Colossians 1:13-17) [KJV] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16) 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.
(NAS) And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Hebrews 1:3) [KJV] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
“Here is a simple explanation of a profound scientific problem. Scientists grapple to discover what holds molecules together. We learn here that Jesus Christ is the great Sustainer, and He does it by His powerful word [BBC].
QUESTION: What did we learn last week?
- Jesus delivered us from us from the power of darkness [vs. 13] by paying our ransom [vs. 14]; and He has moved us to a new reality, living in His Kingdom.
- He has forgiven us all our sins [vs. 14].
- He is an eternal being Who is every bit like His Father [vs. 15].
- He created everything that has been created, making Him eternal [vs. 16].
- He literally, by His Word, is holding everything together [vs. 17].
This Week’s Lesson: “The Preeminence of Jesus!”
Colossians 1:18-20) [KJV] 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.
QUESTION: Who is this Jesus that “is the head of the body, the church”?
- He is the image of the invisible God [vs. 15].
- He is the firstborn of every creature [vs. 15].
- He is the One Who created absolutely everything that is created [vs. 16].
- He is the One that everything that has been created was created for [vs. 16].
- He is the One that holds everything together [vs. 17].
- He is the beginning [vs. 18].
- He is the firstborn from the dead [vs. 18].
- He is the One that has “preeminence” over everything and everyone [vs. 18].
QUESTION: What does it mean that Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead”?
Matthew 27:50-53) [KJV] Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51) And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
ANSWER: There are stories throughout the Bible that certain individuals were raised from the dead prior to the resurrection of Jesus: Lazarus being an example. However, all of those who rose from the dead, prior to Jesus rising from the dead, died again. Their resurrections were simply extreme healings that allow them to live a while longer; but eventually they had to die again. Jesus was the first to rise from the dead never to die again.
QUESTION: What does the Scripture mean when it tells us that Jesus has the “preeminence”?
“preeminence” – “to be first, hold the first place” [Thayer].
“preeminence” – “Christ is first with Paul in time and in rank.” [Robertson].
1 Corinthians 15:25-28) [KJV] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
ANSWER: At this time in God’s economy Jesus is first place in everything. Eventually, when death ceases, “God” will “be all in all.”
[Barnes] “That is, might be first in rank, dignity, honor, power. He has the pre-eminence:
- as over the universe which he has formed – as its Creator and Proprietor;
- as chief among those who shall rise from the dead – since he first rose to die no more, and their resurrection depends on him;
- as head of the church – all synods, councils, and governments being subject to him, and he alone having a right to give law to his people; and,
- in the affections of his friends – being in their affections and confidence superior to all others.”
19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
(AMP) For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently.
(BBE) For God in full measure was pleased to be in him;
(CEV) God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son.
(ERV) God was pleased for all of himself to live in the Son.
(GNB) For it was by God’s own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God.
(GW) God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ.
QUESTION: What is this verse telling us?
ANSWER: God, the Father, was pleased to have the full measure of Who He is dwelling in the human body that was housing the very Son of God.
NOTE: Little did the angry mob know that this Jesus they were about to crucify housed all of God inside of Him. They were mercilessly beating the very One Who said, “Let there be!” and there it was. They were hatefully driving the nails into the hands and feet of the very One Who was, at that very moment, holding the very universe they were living in together. They were, with great distain, mocking the very One Who, in three short days, would snatch the very keys to death and hell from the devil himself.
20) 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.
2 Corinthians 5:19) [NAS] namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
QUESTION: What are the above two verses telling us?
ANSWER: God, the Father, redeemed His creation by using His Son, Jesus. The death of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross was sufficient to bring salvation to all who will place their faith in the Lord Jesus.
“(1) it relates only to those things which are in heaven and earth – for those only are specified. Nothing is said of the inhabitants of hell, whether fallen angels, or the spirits of wicked men who are there.
(3) it can mean then, only, that he had executed a plan that was adapted to this; that if fairly and properly applied, the blood of the cross was fitted to secure entire reconciliation between heaven and earth. There was no enemy which it was not fitted to reconcile to God; there was no guilt, now producing alienation, which it could not wash away” [Barnes].
A CLOSING NOTE: When Jesus died on that cross a sacrifice was offered that was sufficient to take away the sins of any individual on this planet who would turn to Jesus as their Savior.
John 6:37) [NAS] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church