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The Supreme Question of Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2023 1:47 pm

The Supreme Question of Life

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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June 23, 2023 1:47 pm

June 21, 2023 – Message from Pastor Braydon Teach

Main Scripture Passage: Colossians 1:14-19

Topic: Christ, Creation, Supreme

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We'll be in Colossians chapter 1 verse 14 through 19 tonight, and the Word of the Lord says, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created that are in the heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Verse 18, and he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence, for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you, Lord, for this midweek service that we can come into your house to worship you, to hear from your word. Lord, I know many hearts may be troubled as they come in or busy about things of this week, and Lord, I pray that as we enter into your house that we would be able to set aside the distractions of this world to focus in on you and your word. Lord, I pray for the kids ministry that's going on tonight and that you would continue to see souls saved there, Lord, that you would continue to work mightily in the youth as they're away at camp, Lord, and we praise you for the great report that we're hearing and the work that you're doing in the young people's lives. Lord, we lift them up to you. We pray for more souls to surrender there, Lord. We pray not only for souls to call upon you as their Lord and Savior, but, Lord, that you would call men and women to the ministry at that camp, Lord. We know that the laborers are few and the harvest is plenteous, and Lord, we just pray for that. Lord, we pray tonight as we open your word that you would give me the clarity of thought and the boldness to preach it.

Lord, allow your words to come out of my mouth. Hide me behind the cross, and we ask this tonight. In Jesus' name, amen.

You may be seated. So tonight, as we get into the message, I've titled it The Preeminence of Christ, and as a way of introduction, why should Christ have first place in our lives? Why should he be first in our churches?

Why should he have the first and utmost preeminence in our church, in our communities, in our nation, in our families? And I think we can learn a great deal of the story from Leonardo da Vinci as he painted The Last Supper, and he had painted it, and he had a very close friend that he brought in to give him an honest feedback of his painting of The Last Supper. And as this trusted friend and confidant came and took a look at the portrait he had painted of The Last Supper before he unveiled it to the public, his close friend said, the most striking thing in the picture is the cup. The artist, Leonardo da Vinci, took the brush and simply wiped the cup out of the painting, brushed it away, and so now all you see in Leonardo da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper is the Lord's outstretched hand.

There's no longer a cup in his hand. And this is what Leonardo da Vinci said, he said, nothing in my painting shall attract more attention in the face of my master. Because Christ is supreme, nothing else should distract us from him. We must get rid of anything that keeps us from glorifying Christ in our lives, and often in our lives Christ can be marginalized.

He isn't often first place. Many times it's not the evil things or the bad things that distract us. Sometimes it's the busyness. Sometimes it's schoolwork. Sometimes it's a career.

Maybe it's hobbies. Oftentimes, maybe family takes precedence over the things of Christ and keeping him in first place or preeminence in our lives. And so often we have to reevaluate where we are at in our walk with the Lord, and is he in a prominent place or is he in the preeminent place?

And there's a difference. So the question tonight that we all need to answer, and even throughout the days of our lives, is Christ prominent in my life or is he preeminent in my life? And like da Vinci, we must take our brush and wipe away anything from our lives that takes away from his preeminence in our lives. And so what's difficult sometimes when you fill in is you're jumping into a text, and the way pastors always taught us is you take a book, you start preaching through it, and we just see that verse by verse expository preaching.

But when you're just jumping in and filling in in a moment, you have to kind of give some background to this. And as we unlay this text before us tonight, the background, the situation, what is happening? Why is Paul writing to the church at Colossae? And so the church at Colossae was facing a heresy of some false teachers. This false teaching had crept into the church, and they were trying to marginalize Jesus Christ. They were trying to attack his deity.

It was an early form of what was known as Gnosticism, and this Gnosticism taught that matter was evil, that anything that was physically created was evil, and that God would not indwell in a physical body because everything that was created was evil. And so they were teaching that Jesus was an emanation or an angel of God, and so he was he was never fully God in the flesh. And so this false teaching had crept in.

They also had a secret, basically attained a secret knowledge of the things that were required for salvation or attaining salvation. And this heresy was attacking the very foundation of the gospel. It was attacking Jesus Christ and his deity.

There's still a remnant of this going around in our world today. We see pseudo-Christian outfits, we'll call them the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, and they all attack the deity of Jesus Christ. And they, much like these Gnostists, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God.

They believe that he was a created being, and much like the Mormons do as well. And so you can see in these false cults and religions, they all attack the deity of Jesus Christ. And so that's the background setting into to why Paul is writing to this church of Colossae. And Epaphras was the pastor of the church at the Church of Colossae at the time, and so he has come to Paul.

He's given him an update of what is going on. And so this letter before us tonight is Paul refuting the false teachings of the Gnostics. And so the big question again tonight, according to the text, is why should Christ be exalted and have first place in our lives, in our churches, in our society, and in all of creation?

So with that as a way of introduction, the four points tonight, I'm going to give them to you for type A personalities because sometimes I don't get to all the points, and at least you can have them written down. First, the first point is that why we must keep Christ preeminent is that we must exalt Christ because he is the revelation of God. Because he is the revelation of God. Secondly, we must exalt Christ in preeminence because he is supreme over all creation.

Again, he is supreme over all creation. The third thing tonight is that Christ must be exalted because he is the head of the church. And lastly, Christ must be exalted to preeminence because he is the firstborn from among the dead.

And so with God's grace, we are gonna try to get through four points tonight, and the first point as we unpack is exalting Christ because he is the revelation of God. And we see that in verse 15. It says, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature? And so with this verse is that the great Christological passage of this epistle begins, that it aims to refute the false teachings and the false doctrines according to which the, they say the angelic mediators usurped the place and function of the Son and nature and grace of the Son. He and he alone, Christ alone, is the creator, he's the redeemer, he's sovereign, and he is the over all of creation.

He's over everything that was ever created, including angelic powers. And so Paul is refuting this false teaching here. Christ must be exalted because he is the revelation of God. The word image, you see that there, the third, the fourth word in verse 15, who is the image of the invisible God. And so this comes from a Greek word ekon, or icon, which means an exact representation or revelation. It was used of an idol or a picture or a statue.

It is the word from which we get our English word icon, where we also use and get the word iconograph, which were used in Orthodox religions. You see in a lot of the Orthodox churches, the stained glass, the paintings on the ceilings, and so a lot of this is drawn from here, and the same exact word is used in Matthew chapter 22 of Caesar, and his imprint on the coin. And Jesus said in Matthew 22 verse 20, and he said unto them, who is this image and subscription? And so this image that Jesus is referring to, he's using the same terminology that Paul's using here in Colossians chapter 1 verse 15. And so it's also used again in Luke 20 verse 24, show me a penny. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, and he says whose image and subscription hath it?

They answered and said Caesar's. And so this inscription, this imprinting, this is an identical inscription as to what would be stamped into a coin. And so basically Paul's terminology here is that Christ is the exact representation of God. He is the, he is not a mere likeness, he's not some form of it, no, he is exact representation of God and full deity, full glory, and Revelation actually speaks of the same type of terminology as an exact representation and image of the Antichrist.

It says this in Revelation 13 verse 14, and deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means and those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying they that dwell on the earth and they should make an image to the beast. So here this image, this icon, is the exact terminology used, but Paul is referring to it as Christ as the exact representation of God. And so what does Paul mean or infer to about Christ here by saying he is the image of God?

It seems to mean one of two things, actually means two, both of these. First, it is through Christ that we see and learn about the characteristics of God. And what I mean by that, Scripture teaches us that God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth, and so therefore he does not have flesh and blood like we do and cannot be seen. There have been many times where God had revealed himself in the Scriptures, which is known as Theophanies, and if you don't know what a Theophany is, a Theophany, God often would appear in different forms like a fiery bush or by a cloud or even he would take the form of a man and he would reveal himself to his people, Israel. And so it was tangible ways, there were temporary ways that God revealed himself, but these did not fully depict God's person, his character, his nature, and so we see that as Christ comes into the picture, we get that full image of what God would be and his characteristics, his nature, and it has always been man's desire, I would say, to see God. We see this in examples of Scripture, and before I jump into it, sometimes when I'm out witnessing to people and you're witnessing, you're sharing this, well if I could just see it, I would believe it.

And I'm like, you don't want to see it. No man could see it, the Bible says, because we would die if we caught God's full glory. And what I mean by that, Moses even asked to see God's glory in Exodus chapter 33 verse 18, and he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And so Moses is talking to God, he's asking God to reveal his glory to him, and God's response is recorded in verse 20, and he said, this is God, and God said, thou canst not see my face, for there shall no man see me and live.

But in God's grace, and mercy, he hides Moses in the cleft of a rock, and he allows him to see a glimpse of his glory, just the train, like that, just as he passes by, and it transforms the countenance of Moses. And so here, mankind, you know, we want to see this glory, but because no one could look at the full display of God's glory and live, God showed Moses only a portion of his glory. And so then the question is, so how can we see God? We can see God through Christ, we can see him in the scriptures, and we can know him more as we study and follow after Christ. John 1 18 says, and the word was made flesh. All right, I'm sorry, John 1 18 says, and no man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. And John 1 14 says, and he, and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld the glory, and beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

And I love Hebrews 1 3, it says, who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. And so we see that Jesus is God, the embodiment of God, and God speaks of Christ as being his Son and the embodiment of him. And so Jesus said to his disciples in John 14 verse 9, Jesus said unto him, I have been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? And so Philip is asking Christ these questions, and he, Jesus goes on, and he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, in how sayest thou then, show us the Father. And so here his disciples are asking to see the Father, to be revealed, and all these things, and Jesus is saying, you've been with me so long, I have shown you the Father.

And it just lays it out there, it's like, he hath seen me, and see the Father, and how sayest thou show us the Father? And so in Christ, God was manifested in ways that had not clearly been demonstrated before in the Old Testament. And so we might ask, well in what ways did Christ uniquely demonstrate God the Father in his incarnation?

What ways were he, in what ways, Braden, did he reveal himself that was not previously shown as far as fully known in the Old Testament? And I would say that Christ revealed God through his teachings, and we see that Jesus told Philip the following, and see he followed that question up, and John 14 verse 9, he follows it up, and verse 10 he says, Believest thou not that I am the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. And so Jesus claimed to say only what God was giving him to say. He came to only do his father's will, right? And so John chapter 8 verse 28, Jesus said, Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And so Jesus claims to only speak what the Father has given him to do.

He claims to only do the Father's will for his life. He was perfectly obedient to the Father's will, and the best illustration I believe in Scripture that we see is from John chapter 1, the Apostle John. He lays this out in verse 1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And so the false cults and religions of the world, the Jehovah's Witnesses attack this scripture, and they'll say, In the beginning was a Word, and the Word was a God, and so they say these many forms, and so they attack the scriptures. And so here, when John calls Jesus the Word, he is giving us an expression of one of the functions and purposes of Christ. And that is by using the name Word, it was meant to convey that Christ is the expression of God.

We see Word, it's the Greek word logos, and so here I love the comment that Warren Wiersbe had on this. He said, regarding logos, or the Word, much of our words that we say day in and day out, they reveal our hearts and minds. And so Jesus Christ is God's Word to reveal God's heart and the mind of God to us. And so just a beautiful picture there of the logos, the Word, and he is revealed to reveal God's heart, God's mind to us.

We obviously have his scriptures, and when we look at the scriptures, we look at the life of Christ, and we can see the nature of God. When we look at the teachings of Jesus, we see the very Word of God. When Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to pray for them, and he taught us that hate was equivalent to murder, and that lust was equivalent to idolatry, these were the very words of God spoken to us. And these words we find a standard much higher than our standards, because they come from the Father in heaven. And so if we want to know how to live, you know, how to live, how to be a good parent, how to be a good spouse, how to get saved, how to make decisions in life, it all comes through God's Word.

And Christ came to reveal these words in a much greater way than had previously been known. He demonstrated, he lived it out, and sometimes we too, as we go about our lives, I've heard the saying that people see better than they hear. And what that means is people are watching us, aren't they? They see how we live our lives, but do our actions reflect our words? And so oftentimes we can watch, the greatest example of this, I think, is in, you ever built something? And you, I know as men, we do not like following instructions, we just throw that thing out, we get done, and it's not put together right, there's extra pieces. Or what I typically do is just go to YouTube, watch the video on it real quick, because I don't want to read, right?

I'd rather watch it, move on, and get the thing built, right? And so here we are, you know, and Christ comes and he's living, he's demonstrating God's nature, his essence, his character, out before people. And so it's a real-life demonstration of God revealing himself to mankind. And so God, Christ revealed God through his person. Jesus revealed many characteristic traits that were not fully known about God through his personage.

And one of those was that he was a servant, he came to minister, didn't he? Philippians chapter 2 verse 6 and 7 says, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, we have that next verse, but made himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and made in an image and likeness of men. And so this word form here, it comes from the Greek word morphe, which is used in verses 6 and 7, and it means an outward expression of the inward nature.

Again, that word form is a, it basically means an outward expression of the inward nature. Christ did not become God because he was always God. He existed eternally.

He's from eternity past to attend, throughout all of eternity, he has always been. Jesus, the man, was an outward expression of who he was as God, previous to his incarnation. And it is the same with his servanthood. God has always been a servant, but in Christ's incarnation, he demonstrated that outwardly to his disciples and to those who are around him. Jesus was a prototype of a servant. Not only did he serve God the Father, but he served us. We see in Mark 10 45, it says, for even the Son of Man came not to minister unto, not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life, his life a ransom for many.

And so this is Immanuel, God with us, that allowed us to observe this nature of God. Jesus, he bends down, he stoops down to wash his disciples feet. This was something that was shocking to Peter, right? And Peter said this in John chapter 13 verse 18, it says, Peter saith unto him, thou shalt never wash my feet. And Jesus answered him, if I wash not, thee not, thou hast no part with me. And Peter's like, whoa, okay, okay, Jesus, you can wash my whole body.

He's like, just wash me head to toe. And he Jesus just came and he demonstrated this servanthood. He came to minister. In fact, Christ taught that he would serve us and a future kingdom as well.

He gave a parable in Luke chapter 12 verse 35 through 37. And it says this, let your loins be girded about and your lights burning and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord when he will return from the wedding that when he cometh and knocketh they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watch. Verily I say unto you that he shall gird himself and make them to sit down to meet and will come forth and serve them.

And so here in this passage, this text here, this parable that Jesus is giving of a master and his servants, here Christ gives a paradoxical story or it's inverted, right? He is sharing that basically that the servants will be served by the master, which is opposite of what we tend to think. When the master returns, you might expect maybe a thank you from the boss.

Hey, thanks for keeping an order while I was gone, you know? Or maybe he would just go about his business and not even acknowledge it. But here in this passage, the master simply goes to beginning to serve his servants, which is a paradoxical thing that we see. This specifically refers to Christ and his second coming. He will reward his faithful servants. It tells us in the scriptures he will reward us with crowns, with authority, and one day we'll be co-reigning with Christ here on earth during the millennial reign, and maybe Aaron you'll be set up over Xenia, I don't know, maybe get another town, I don't know.

But we all will co-reign with Christ because we have been faithful to the things of God. And so the second thing that it can mean in this image in verse 15, it also carries the idea of a representative. Christ is a representative icon as used 29 times in the the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, also known as the Septic Jewent.

The first use being in Genesis 1 26. Speaking of Adam, Adam was an image bearer, right? And it says, God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness. So the word image was used of Adam here in Genesis, and Adam was a representative to all of creation. He was called to rule earth, you know, God says you have dominion over the earth, right?

He says multiply, have dominion, put it in subjection. Adam was to help rule the earth just as God had ruled over the heavens. Yet we know from Scripture that Adam failed, he fell into sin and it ruined that fellowship. Scripture also calls Christ the last Adam. And 1st Corinthians chapter 15 verse 45, and so it is written, the first man, Adam, was made a living soul.

The last Adam was made a quickening spirit. And verse 47 goes on to say, the first man of the earth earthly, the second man is the Lord from heaven. And so where Adam failed to represent God as he fell into sin, Christ has not and will not ever fail to represent God.

He is the perfect embodiment, he is God from eternity past to eternity future. And so as this representative, Christ represents the Father specifically in having his authority. And wasn't that the thing that they tried to blast, the Pharisees tried to blast Jesus for, was that he was he was blaspheming God because he was forgiving sins and only God can forgive sins, and that's what Jesus had authority to do. He came and he had authority to forgive sins, he had authority to give eternal life, and so God chose the Son to be the channel through which salvation would be made available. John chapter 17 verse 2, it says this, as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. Acts 4 12 says, neither is there salvation in any other, for there's none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. John 14 6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No man comes unto the Father but by me. And so Jesus, he is the representative, he has God's authority. Jesus represents God's authority by being the judge over all the earth, too. It tells us this in John chapter 5 verse 22, the Father gives the judgment over to Christ.

It says in John 5 to 22, for the Father judges no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. So our second point tonight is the reason why we must keep Christ preeminent, not only because he is the revelation of God, but secondly because he is supreme over all creation. And we see this in verses, the second half of verse 15 through verse 17, it says, the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created that are in heaven and in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.

All things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And so Paul here is making the argument that not only should Christ be exalted because he is the exact representation of God, he is the image of God, but Christ should be exalted because he is the firstborn or the supreme over all of creation. And so this passage of Scripture, note this tonight, that this is often misinterpreted by those people that I mentioned earlier, Jehovah's Witnesses specifically, and they misuse this and they basically use it to say that this term firstborn teaches that Christ was created and then therefore is not God. But that's what all false cults and teachers do, they take Scripture and they take one verse and they take it out of context and Scripture must be verified, Scripture with Scripture, right? And you can see even in the same passage here that it had they just gone a little bit further in the next verse, it says it clearly refutes their claims that Christ was created.

Scripture must interpret Scripture, and it's proper hermeneutics. And so as we see here, however, not only is this a misunderstanding of the phrase of firstborn, but it also neglects the context of the rest of Scripture's teachings on Christ being God and not part of creation or being created. This term of firstborn, it can mean one of two things in the Scripture, and we do see it mean both of these in relation to the Scripture. The first one is firstborn can mean in terms of being first in birth or first created.

First in birth or first created. And we see this used this way with Jesus's birth with Mary, right? In Luke chapter 2 verse 7, it says, and she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. And so this passage here is Jesus was the firstborn of Mary, right? The Immaculate Conception, right?

The virgin birth. And so here she, this was her firstborn in the natural order of all her children that she would have, so we see this term can be used in this context. However, this is not the meaning used here by Paul in Colossians. And the firstborn can mean first in position or rank or to be supreme as well. And so this, and this is the context for which Paul is using this firstborn here in Colossians.

He's meaning it to be first in rank, first in priority, or the supreme one. And in the Greek and Hebrew cultures, it was the firstborn that received the inheritance, right? That firstborn child usually was the one who received the the birth rights or the inheritance from their father. And it was a special order in the family. And does anybody have siblings that they seem to get the preferential treatment? Like, in my family it was the the youngest, right?

The young, I'm the oldest, so I didn't get away with anything. I mean, we, you didn't even get milk with your cereal, I think. There was no Fruity Pebbles. I mean, you got the, I mean, it was straight like barley wheat out in the field or something that they put in there.

I don't know, it was bad. But anybody have siblings that way? They're the beloved ones. Oh, they're the baby, just leave them alone. So you form a coalition with your siblings to rough them up. You know, I remember my youngest sister, man, my other sister and I were so mean to her. My sister would feed her ants and tell her they were like raisins or something. I don't know, she would literally get her to eat live ants. And so it was just a mess, and their parents would be like, oh, just leave them alone, they're the baby. Leave them alone, they're the baby. And it'd be so frustrating, like, give me a break here.

Like, get everything. Like, Joseph and his coat of many colors, like, come on. Like, I'd tease around, like, my youngest sister, she didn't have parents, she had roommates. I mean, it was just one of those things, right?

I could say that because none of them are here tonight, but they would probably have a different story if it was them talking about me. But this firstborn did not mean by chronological order here. For instance, we see with Jacob and Esau, Esau was the firstborn, wasn't he? But Jacob received the birthright in Genesis chapter 25 verse 33. And we also see that God talked about this in the way of Israel as well, the nation of Israel. In Exodus chapter 4 verse 22, And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn. And so Israel was not the first nation that was ever created, but they were special in God's eye, they were God's nation, they were His chosen people, they were the firstborn. They were a nations of priests that were supposed to win the world to God, and we know that they they failed to do that, and so they were the firstborn in rank and in position. We also see that Christ was predicted to be the firstborn among the kings as well. And Psalms 89 verse 27, it says this, Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

And so we have to take this back into context as well, because you've got to keep within the context of Scripture. So initially here in this context, this verse is speaking about King David. He was the youngest of Jesse's sons, and you remember they line up Jesse's boys, and they going through and Samuel's like, not him, not him, not him. They surely thought it was gonna be one of those boys, and David's out in the field. Jesse's like, it can't be David, like leave him out there with the sheep. He's the ruddy one, he's like the, you know, the redheaded kid.

He's tending to the sheep. It's definitely not going to be him. He cannot be the king. And it says this of David, that he was last of Jesse's children, as far as he could be far from removed from being literally the firstborn. But note what God says about him in this Psalm.

Also I myself shall place him as firstborn. So God is talking of a first, of a preeminence here, that he is preeminent, he is a firstborn, he is first in order. And so this is also some foreshadowing in the scriptures. There's what's known in the scripture of a type of Christ, and so sometimes when you read in the scriptures, there may be people in the scriptures that are a type of Christ. It's a foreshadowing of a great, there's David, and there's the greater David is referred to as Christ. And so what the psalmist here is referring to is that King David would be elevated in rank to others to the preeminent position, which is exactly how Paul was using this term firstborn here. A question though is, was Christ the first king to be on the earth?

And absolutely not, not so ever, whatsoever. He is though, and will always be, the king of kings and Lord of Lord and the host of hosts, right? We know that from the scriptures. And so that's what Paul is referring to as as firstborn, and the false cults and and religions, they attack that, and they try to say that no, that's they take scripture out of context, but we have to verify scripture with scripture and keep it within the context of scripture. And so when Paul here says firstborn over all of creation, he is referring to Christ's supremacy as what he's talking about here.

He is over all of creation. Look at verse 16 with me. It says, for by him were all things created, that in heaven and in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him.

And so Christ would, cannot be the first created, and also the creator of all things. If they had just, the people that want to attack the deity of Christ, if they would just go to this verse, they could realize that Christ is the creator. But they try to isolate scripture.

They try to, instead of exegesis, they try to eisegesis and make it what they wanted to say. And so the context itself contradicts the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults, and so does the rest of the scripture. Scripture clearly teaches that Christ is eternal. John 1 verse 1 through 3, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In Genesis 1, 1, in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth God, Elohim, speaking of the the triune God. Trinity is not used in the Bible, but there is the imagery of the of the triune God, and Elohim speaks of a plurality of the triune God.

And when we see that as also in Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, 2, and 3, you see that the Spirit is moving upon the face of the waters. And so here, and also I am, is the plurality. And so when we see cherub, that's speaking of one of God's angelic beings, but we see cherubim, that's it's a plurality.

And so same thing with Elohim, it's the plurality, the triune God. And so Christ was there in the beginning, and he is God, and it is it was through him that everything was created. Jesus also used language to declare that he was deity. And John chapter 8, verse 58, Jesus said unto them, verily verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.

Ego emi. And so this is the revealed name of God to Moses, as he chose Moses to go tell his people about them as they're in bondage in Egypt. This is the revealed name of God. Exodus chapter 3, verse 14, and God said unto Moses, I am that I am, and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. And so Jesus is using the very name of God.

He is speaking that he is deity, and so this very name expresses God's eternality, his self-existence. Christ cannot be created and still be the creator. And so he has always existed and therefore is deserving of honor. And so next, Paul gives us a reason why Christ is over creation and why he should be exalted. So the obvious question is, why should Christ be exalted over creation? And the first one is because he is the Creator.

We just talked a lot about that a minute ago. Not only did Jesus create the visible world, but it tells us in this passage that he created the invisible as well, the angelic beings. As the triune God, he was a part of creating them as well. And angels, and most people may not know this, some of you may, angels held a revered place in Judaism. And in Judaism, they were in an exalted position, therefore the author seeks to demonstrate how much better Christ is over them.

Paul is trying to demonstrate to these false teachers as well that that Christ is so much better than the angels. And we have a clear picture of this in Hebrews, as the author of Hebrews tells us in verse 4 through 6, speaking of Christ being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels, said he at any time, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?

And again I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. And again when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him. And so Christ is superior to the angels. God declared that all the angels must worship him, must worship the Son, and he calls the Son, he is the Messiah, he is the Son, which was never said about any of the angelic beings. And so he's more supreme than the angelic beings, and again, Gnosticism was, again, we've got to think of how Paul was attacking this false teaching in Colossae.

And so they taught the angelic beings where they were worshiped, that Christ was not God, that he was an angelic being, but Paul is continuing to refute this here, this false teaching in heresy. And so we all understand this to some degree, I would say tonight, for those of us who have had children. As parents, we want our children to honor and obey us, don't we? I can think back as a teenager, as a child, I did not obey, I did not honor my mother and father.

I was probably the worst of the kids, I'll tell you, when it came to those things. And we should honor and respect them, because they're the reason why we're here, right? Our parents have brought us into the world as well as God, but how much more should we always give thanks to Christ, the creator of all things?

We thank our parents, you know, we just had Father's Day, we have Mother's Day, we celebrate our parents, and so we give thanks to them for those things that they have done for us. And one of those, the greatest things, is that we are here. They have created us, God has allowed that to take place.

So how much more should we give thanks to Christ, being the creator of all things? Every creator creates something, I will tell you, for a purpose. And what I mean by that is, we all, as a creator designs something, it's not just kind of thrown in the closet. Typically, if you've built something, you've designed something, you've created something, it's on display. If you've painted something, you've done some sort of pottery, whatever it may be, you've built something with your hands, it's on display, and you're showing people, look what I did. Maybe you don't openly say that, but when they come over, they see it, and they're like, oh, who made that?

Or where did that come from? And, oh, I did that, and you start talking about the things that you have created. And not only is it for others to see and to observe, but it's for the creator as well. Can I tell you, therefore, our purpose is found, and our fulfillment is found in Christ. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 tells us, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. And tonight, I would say it is foolish for man to live a life without knowing and submitting to the will of his creator. The creator ultimately knows what's best, doesn't he? Now he knows what will fulfill us, and in what ways we will be most useful in his service. He created each and every single one of us here tonight with a specific detail to be used for his glory and for his kingdom. Instead of submitting to God as Christ did, and Christ said, thy will be done, oftentimes some people say prayers to, basically to seek God to conform God's will to theirs, rather than them to conform their will to God's.

And because Christ is the creator, we should seek Him for wisdom about everything. Question, when you need help with something, wouldn't it be great to have the person that designed that to be right there? Anybody work on a car? That's like, for me, that's one of the most frustrating things in the world. I've stopped doing it.

I just take it to the shop. I just, done. Like, there's no way. But how helpful would it be to have that engineer there, wanting to smack him like, what were you thinking of? Temperance, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, Brayden. But how awesome would it be to have the engineer, the designer, the creator, right there with you as you're working on that, and to consult them? Can I tell you God has given us everything we need for life right here. His design for us is right here. His specific will for us is just doing 90% of God's will is right here. The other 10%, His specific will will be revealed to us if we can do 90% of His general will, which was revealed in His Word. And so, you know, as I think of that home project, whatever it may be, and you just have the designer of that project right there, we too can go to the Word of God, we can go to God in prayer, and we can have the engineer, the designer, the creator of our lives, and have the details of how and what we need for life right before us. Listen to what Paul said in Colossians chapter 2 verses 2 and 3, he says, that their hearts might be conformed, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the fullness or full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.

And this last part is very important. And whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Do you think for us tonight that it's important for us to hear that? And how much more so even to this church at Colossae do you think it was important for them to hear as they were falling under false attacks? And we have a lot of noise and a lot of false teachings in our world today as well, and we need to to rest assured on God's Word and His truth, the levels of deception, you've heard pastor preach on that, the deception that is in our world is just, it's unbelievable. And we know that Satan's working overtime, he is the prince of the power area, and so we have to go to the Word of God, and we go to Christ, because in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And so they were tempted to seek special wisdom, and remember the Gnostics said you have to receive a special wisdom to attain to salvation, it's adding works to what Christ did on the cross, and this Gnostic cult. And in Christ is all the wisdom that we need for every life situation. And so not only is it because He's the Creator do we need to worship, but because He is the goal of creation. I love what David Gusick said, as some highlights of a few things of all this all things Jesus has created, and this this text here tonight. Think about this, the earth travels around the Sun about eight times the speed of a bullet that has been shot up out of a gun.

Yet we sit here perfectly in control tonight, none of us, well some of us have lost our hair, but it's not blown off of us, we're perfectly seated, and we're not worried about how fast we're spinning, yet that is the exact detail of how the world is spinning, is about eight times the speed of a bullet that is fired from a gun. There are more insects in one square mile of a rural land than there are human beings on the entire earth. Think about that for you bug people that don't like spiders and ants and all that stuff, that's kind of creepy, right? I love this one. Do you know bees make their own air conditioning?

When the weather gets hot and threatens to melt the wax within their hives, one group of bees will go to the entrance of the hive and another will stay inside, and in succinct they will flap their wings all together making a cross-draft that pulls the hot air out of the hive and draws cool air in. Interesting stuff. A single human chromosome contains 20 billion bytes of information. How much information is that? That's a new numbers, people, I don't know how you do it. I'm normally a numbers guy, that's beyond my numbers category there. But think about it this way, how much information is that?

If written in an ordinary book, in an ordinary language, English, whatever it may be, it would take about 4,000 volumes of that book for one chromosome. Yet you're by chance? Absolutely no way. So everything was created to give glory to God, to give glory to Christ, because He is God. This is typical even of things we have created, right?

Again, I said that earlier, we design something, we make something, we're like, hey, look what I did. My kids, when they were little, they'd paint these paintings and stuff, and like, oh, what is that? Oh, it's beautiful, I love it, it's on the fridge, and it's like, I love it, and we still have them. I remember once, we were cleaning, doing the cleanup, you know, just trying to get rid of stuff, not trying to be on the episode of Hoarders. And we threw some stuff away from our daughter when she was like, little, little, like six, seven years old, and she saw it in the trash.

And she's like, what are you doing? I made this for you. Like, I wish I could hold on to everything you made for me, but I can't.

I mean, we kept some of them, but again, we do that, don't we? We reveal the things that we have created, we try to show the things that we have made, to give it glory, and to bring some sort of recognition to ourselves sometimes. It also shows the creator's skill, doesn't it? When we think of those things that we just read about the bees, about human chromosome, it shows the skill of the designer.

It also shows his wisdom and his creativity. In a similar way, everything Jesus created was made to bring glory to him. Listen to what David said in Psalm 19, verse 1 and 2, the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth forth his handiwork, day unto day uttered a speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. And so David proclaims that the heavens are preachers.

We go out tonight and we see a beautiful sunset, we wake up in the morning, see a beautiful sunrise, and we're like, Lord, you're a masterful painter. The heavens declare the glory of God. Day unto day it speaks. Listen to Romans 11, verse 36. For of him and through him and to him are all things to whom be the glory forever.

Amen. So not only is it because the goal of creation, but thirdly, the third subpoint here is that he is eternal. And what I mean by that is Colossians 1 17 says, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And so what does Paul mean here by Christ being before all things?

This is speaking again of his eternality, but Micah 5 2 says, but thou, Bethlehem, Ephratath, though being thou beest among the thousands of Judah, yet out of these shall he come forth unto me, that is, to be a ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old and from everlasting. Speaking of Christ, and this is what makes Christ transcendent, meaning there is nothing like him. The heavens had a beginning, the earth had a beginning, humanity had a beginning, but not Christ. Christ has eternally been. He is over all of creation because he is before creation, he is God, therefore he is ever lasting. And not only that, but he is the sustainer of creation. You see that in the end of verse 17 there, it says, and by him all things consist.

And this comes from the Greek word sunestime, which means to put together by way of composition or combination, to show or to prove, to establish, to exhibit, or to be composed of, or to consist. In it is a, this is a perfect tense, it literally means that he is continuing to hold it together. He is continuing to hold everything together, or everything would fall apart, basically, if he was not holding it together. And one day when it speaks of God creating the new heaven and the new earth, it is literally going to be when he does away with the heavens and with the earth, and before he creates the new one, it's literally like he spoke it into existence.

He's going to speak it out of existence and it's going to be gone. And then he's going to create the new heaven, the new earth. And so I love what Hebrews 1 3 says in the middle of that verse, it says, and upholding all things by the word of his power.

And according to Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, all things were created has the idea of stand created, it's remaining created. Roberts adds, the preeminence of the universe rests then on Christ far more than on gravity. It is a Christ-centric universe.

And if you've studied anything, you've done part of any of our creation versus evolution studies here, you know that if gravity is changed one degree, one way or the other, this thing's gone. Yet it's being perfectly upheld by the word of his power, by Christ. He is the one who is upholding it. He is the one that has spoken into existence.

It has been eternally set, you know, from eternity past. And as he creates it, he gives it the sustaining power. Now Christ holds all things together by the power of his word in the same way that the world was spoken through the spoken word in Genesis chapter one.

It is now being sustained by the spoken word. God is the only one who sustains and provides us with every good thing. That's why we must exalt him. James 1 17 says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the father of lights with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. Christ is and still sustains every man, even those who hate him.

Think about that. As he's being nailed to the cross, he is the sustainer. The things that he spoke into existence are what is being used to crucify him. The vitriol that is coming out of their mouths, he's allowing that to happen. He's giving that power to them.

He's allowing them to do those things. He's given people food. He's given us jobs, families, friends.

He's even given us life. And it is for this reason that we must give him preeminence in our lives, and we must exalt him. The third point, and we won't have time to get to the fourth one, exalt Christ because he is the head of the church.

We see that in verse 18. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is from the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and all things he might have the preeminence. Another reason that Christ is to be exalted is that he is the head of the church. The metaphor here is that the church is the body and the Christ is the head of the church. And so what does Paul mean by this metaphor, that Christ being the head of the church?

I would tell you that in the Greek language, the word head means source or origin, as well as a leader or ruler. Jesus Christ is the source of the church. The church had its origins in him, right?

And today it has its operations in him. As the head of the church, Jesus supplies it with the source of power, and by his spirit, and through his word, firstly, it represents Christ's leadership. As we talk about leadership, Christ is the head, and we think about our own bodies. Our brain controls our bodies. It directs our body parts, our speech, our thoughts, what we do with our hands. It controls, you know, it's there. It's guiding our bodies. Similarly, the church must stay connected to Christ in order to discern his will. A body that is no longer listening to the head or the brain has become very sick.

We see people in ICU units with organ failures and different things and diseases, and when the body stops listening to the brain, it's because there's a disease in the body that is affecting its parts. This is why we must live in the Word of God. It must live in worship, because without this connection to the Word, basically sickness can creep in. It can enter into the body, into the church, and destroy the functions of the church, and even potentially bringing forth death. This also reminds us that the pastor is not the head of the church. Christ is the head of the church. The pastor is the under shepherd, and we follow the pastor as he follows Christ, and so Christ being the head of the church represents life, I will tell you. Not only is it because of his leadership, but Christ being the head of the church represents life. A body without its head is a dead body.

There can be no life without the head. Without this connection, there can be no fruits of the Spirit, no joy, peace, suffering, gentleness, meekness, or even salvation. Jesus said this in John 10 10, the thief cometh but not for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. We often miss the abundant life that Christ has for us due to a lack of being attached to his Word, and what I mean by that is, at times, we drift away from the things of God. We drift away from his Word. We don't stay connected to the vine. It's the parable of the vine and the branches, right? And the fruit. You cannot bear any fruit except you are connected to the vine, and so we often miss that, and so tonight, in what ways are you seeking to stay connected to the vine? Are you seeking to stay connected to the head of the body?

How can we tell when we are not as consistent as we should be? And with that being said, in conclusion tonight, we don't have time for the fourth point, in conclusion, why is Christ the preeminent one? Why should he be preeminent in our lives? Why should Christ be exalted in our lives and throughout the entire earth? And this is, Christ should be exalted because he is the exact image of God. He is the revelation of God the Father. Christ is the firstborn whom God hath given all rights and privileges. He is the creator.

He is the sustainer. Christ is the head of the church is the third reason tonight, and so in what areas of your life and my life is God calling us to apply Christ's preeminence that he's currently not sitting upon? What must we do to make him first place in every area of our lives and to keep him there?

And what areas of your life is God calling you to apply Christ's preeminence? Do you need to remove anything that has taken away Christ's preeminence in your life like da Vinci had to do in removing the cup from his painting? We will, you know, we all have times where we drift away, we're prone to wander, but we need to come back. We need to repent of those things. We need to turn to the Lord and ask him to forgive us.

We need to ask him to be enthroned on not just a prominent part of our life, but he needs to be first place in our lives in every aspect. And as I was praying through what passage to preach this weekend and the teens were going off the camp, they're getting zoned in, they're getting focused in on God. And when they come back from camp, you'll see that they've gotten, they've had time away from the distractions of this world, they've been able to focus in on Christ.

And you say, well, maybe it only lasts a week or two. Well, perhaps if we did it as well, when they come back, they would see a change in us. And I'm not saying that anybody's going to be perfect. We all have areas. I have areas in my life that I need to dethrone myself. Jesus said, take up your cross, right? Daily, deny yourself, take up your cross daily. And so there's areas in our lives that maybe we need to examine tonight.

And we'll have a time here in a moment where you can come and you can respond, whether in your seat or at an altar, but we need to make that decision. Is he preeminent in our life? Maybe you're here tonight and you haven't even trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I can tell you, he's definitely not in the driver's seat of your life. He may not even be in the car. He may be in the trunk, but he's not in the driver's seat where he needs to be. So maybe you're here tonight and you've never called upon the name of the Lord. We'll have some men and women at the front here in a moment, and you'll be able to ask them how you can know for sure if something was to happen to you, that Jesus would be your Lord and Savior, and that you would have eternity with him in heaven, and that he would be preeminent in your life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-23 14:38:41 / 2023-06-23 15:02:01 / 23

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