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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #3
Posted: August 3, 2007

COLOSSIANS 1:15-19

Let us continue our study of Colossians.  The Theme of this book is “The Sufficiency Of Christ” and “Christ Alone”.  We want to study Chapter 1, verses 15-19 of which I have entitled ‘The Preeminence Of Christ’.  Our text says,Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;”

The word ‘preeminence’ has the idea of the one who stands unrivaled.  He is first and highest in all standings.  He stands as the only one in His phylum of beings.

I see first of all ‘His Preeminent Image’.  The word ‘image’ is a precise reproduction in every respect.  He is the exact visible manifestation of the invisible God.  He is as one has said, ‘God in skin’.  Paul said, ‘He is the firstborn of all creation’, the sovereign over all creation.  If we existed before all creation then He is uncreated.  If He is uncreated then He is eternal.  If He is eternal then He is God.  He is all God and all man.  I cannot tell where man ends and God begins or where God ends and man begins.  The divine image is so interwoven together.  I can give but one of many examples of the deity and humanity of Christ.  At the raising of Lazarus we see Jesus weep as a clear display of His humanity and then He says, ‘Lazarus, come forth’ as a clear display of His Godhead.

In verse 16 we see Him as ‘The Preeminent Instigator’.  The word ‘For’ in verse 16 is the word because.  They were created by Him.  The phrase ‘by Him’ means that all things issued forth from Him, because of Him, and He was the instigator of it all.  The word, ‘create’, means to make from nothing.  One part of our vast creation is the stars.  Sir James Jean, the developer of the study of the stars, says, “There are more stars than there are grains of sand on every seashore in the world”.  I stand amazed that the God-man made all the sand and the stars also.  The heavens and earth speaks of all things visible.  The thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers speak of invisible things.  They were made ‘for Him’.  The phrase means to be at His service or at His beck and call.

In verses 17-18 we find Jesus as ‘The Preeminent Inclusion’.  We are told He is before all things.  The phrase ‘he is’ is the same phrase as before all things.  Paul literally said before all things is before all things.  His inclusion work says that by Him all things ‘consist’.  The word means held together, to give cohesion.  He caused things to not be a chaos (unformed mass) but a cosmos (well ordered system).  They built a 600 Million dollar research center in Virginia to study what holds atoms together.  I don’t know ‘what’ holds it together but I sure know ‘who’ holds it together.

We see Christ in verses 18-19 as ‘The Preeminent Inhabitant’.  He is the head of the church and we are His body.  He inhabits the body and causes us to be the ‘firstborn from the dead’.  He died, rose again, and shall never die again, causing Him to have the title ‘The First Born From The Dead’.  Many today give Him prominence by few give him preeminence.  I am convinced if He is not Lord of all He is not Lord at all.

Paul tells us in the ‘Inhabitant’ work that it ‘pleased the Father’ (to cause the highest good) that in Him ‘all fullness’ should dwell.  ‘All fullness’ is the sum total of all God’s power and attributes.  They dwell in Christ fully. He is all that God is.  The word ‘dwell’ means to be at home in.  They were not added to His person but are His naturally.  My, My, what a Savior we have dwelling in us.  The eternal purpose of God was that people could look at Jesus and see the invisible God.  Now that Jesus has gone back to heaven it is God’s purpose that they look at us and see Jesus.  How are you doing with this purpose?

             

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