The Greatness of Christ

Text: Colossians 1:13-23

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the apostle emphasized the greatness and preeminence of Christ. His reason for pointing this out was not just so they would recognize certain facts about Christ. Knowing these things about Christ was to motivate them to respond in a certain way. The same is true for us today.

Facts About Christ

  • King over His kingdom (Colossians 1:13) – past tense; the kingdom was already in existence (Mark 9:1); Jesus affirmed to Pilate that He was a king (John 18:36-37); this means He has authority (Matthew 28:18)
  • Redemption and forgiveness are through Him (Colossians 1:14) – according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7); redeemed through the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19); reconciles us through His blood (Colossians 1:20-22); makes peace between man and God (Ephesians 2:13-16)
  • Image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) – “exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3); to see Christ was to see the Father (John 1:18; 14:8-9); all the fullness dwells in Him (Colossians 1:19; 2:9)
  • Firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15-17) – does not mean that He was the first created being (John 1:1-2); He was instrumental in creation (John 1:3; Genesis 1:26); He is the beginning (Colossians 1:18), which means He is the origin of all things (John 1:3)
  • Head of the church (Colossians 1:18) – the church is the kingdom (Colossians 1:13; Matthew 16:18-19); the church belongs to Him (Acts 20:28) and submits to His will alone (Ephesians 5:23-24; Colossians 2:20-22)
  • Firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18) – not the first to be raised from the dead, but the first to be raised to never die again (Romans 6:9); gives us hope (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

Our Response to Christ

  • Become part of His kingdom (Colossians 1:13) – this means we become part of His church (Matthew 16:18-19); we do that by obeying the gospel (Acts 2:37-47)
  • Recognize Him as God (Colossians 1:15) – not just a good man, prophet, teacher, etc.; equal with God (John 5:17-18); if we do not believe that He is the “I Am,” we will die in our sins (John 8:24, 58)
  • Give Him first place in our lives (Colossians 1:18) – God placed Him as head over all things (Ephesians 1:20-23); we must not put anyone or anything ahead of Him in our lives (Matthew 6:24; 10:34-37)
  • Live holy and blameless lives (Colossians 1:22) – this has always been God’s intention for His people (Ephesians 1:4); we are to be different from the world (Romans 12:2)
  • Continue in the faith (Colossians 1:23) – we must be faithful until death to receive a reward (Revelation 2:10); if we “shrink back” we will forfeit our reward (Hebrews 10:35-39)

Conclusion

  • Jesus Christ is our Creator and King – we have hope through Him
  • Knowing this, we must respond appropriately – wholehearted faithful obedience

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