The Preeminence of Christ

All things have been created through Him and for Him.

–Colossians 1:16

The Christians in Colossae were being influenced by heretical ideas. The Gnostics claimed to have knowledge beyond God’s Word. The Eastern mystics turned to sources outside of God to determine the future. The legalists added requirements to salvation. So in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he wrote about the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has sufficiently saved you, sufficiently secured you, and sufficiently empowered you to live a victorious life.

Let’s see how Paul developed this theme in Colossians. In chapter 1, he presented the major doctrine of the book: Christ is preeminent. That means He is central; He is superior to everything in the universe. Paul mentioned three areas in which we see Christ’s centrality in this universe:

  • Christ is central in creation. Verse 16 says, “By [Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.” When we think about creation, we tend to think about God the Father. But Paul said Jesus Christ the Son was the agent of creation.
  • Christ is central in the church. Verse 18 says, “[Christ] is also head of the body, the church.” The head of the church is not any pastor or priest; it is Jesus Christ. Pastors are temporary stand-ins for Jesus, the real Shepherd of the church.
  • Christ is central in the gospel. Verses 19–20 say, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” There’s no gospel without Jesus.

In chapter 2, Paul defended the doctrine of Christ’s preeminence against heresies and other human philosophies. In verse 8, he said, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception.” No matter how enticing the philosophies of this world may be, they are bankrupt to give you true answers in life. Christ alone is sufficient for every need you have.

Finally, in chapters 3–4, Paul applied the doctrine of Christ’s preeminence to our own lives. If Christ is central in the universe, shouldn’t He be central in our lives as well? Christ ought to be central in our behavior, our relationships, our prayer lives, and our witness to unbelievers.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Growing Strong in Christ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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