Colossians 1:15-23 "It's All About Christ!" - Part Three
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Colossians 1:15-23
Recently, a question came to Network211 that asked, "What can Jesus do for me?" I received it as a sincere question. However, if we truly understood who Jesus is then the question changes from "What can Jesus do for me?" to "What can I do for Jesus?"
Jesus was not merely a prophet who provided insightful teachings, performed some impressive miracles, and who meant well. He is not something you add to your life to improve your self-awareness. When you understand fully who Jesus is then you will realize that He deserves your full devotion; the entirety of your being. When you realize that the meaning of life is "It's All About Christ!" then you will surrender your heart and will to Him and dive wholeheartedly into the abundance of His love.
The apostle Paul taught the Colossians the Gospel Message. The Gospel Message is that Jesus Christ is God the Son and He reconciled us with God the Father. As believers, we are freed from our sinful past to a life of righteousness if we continue in the hope of Christ.
In Colossians 1:15-20 Paul provided us with seven characteristics of Christ that reveal Jesus is God.
First, Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." Jesus said that He and the Father were one. He said that if anyone has seen Him then they have seen the Father. He is not a replica of God, He was not created by God but, He is God.
Second, Jesus is "the firstborn over all creation." The word "firstborn" does not mean that He was created but instead uses family language to show that He is first in position and importance over all things created.
Third, Jesus created all things. He is the center of everything that was, and is, and is to come. He is over creation, over heaven and earth, over the visible and invisible, and over rulers and authorities. Jesus is the Supreme Authority.
Fourth, Jesus is "the head of the body, the church." The church is a body of believers bonded together by their love for Christ. The purpose of the church then is to glorify Christ and to do His will on earth.
Fifth, Jesus is "the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead." He is Lord even over death itself. Jesus came to earth as fully God and fully man. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. But, death could not hold Him. He rose from the grave and, in doing so, conquered sin and death. He is Supreme. There is none like Jesus.
Sixth, Jesus is the "fullness" of God. The word fullness expresses entirety or completeness. This means that the God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit are one in the same.
Seventh, Jesus reconciled all things created to God the Father. You and I have sinned and fallen short of God's standard for our lives. We deserved death. But, Jesus gave His life for us. He shed his blood to pay the penalty for our sins. When we accept His gift of life and accept Him as our Savior and Lord then we are reconciled with God the Father. We move from the position of unrighteousness to righteousness; from sin to life.
In the last two verses of our passage, Paul transitions from who Christ is and what He did for us to how we should respond.
We were alienated from God by our sins. Christ's sacrifice paid the price of death instead of us. We are now positioned to be holy in His sight. This means that we are separated from the world and separated to follow Jesus with the entirety of our being.
We are then without blemish. It is as if your life before Christ meant that you were wearing clothes soiled and stained by sin and disobedience. Jesus' death and resurrection then cleaned you and gave you entirely new clothes. These clothes are thoroughly clean. They are pure and spotless.
The amazing and beautiful aspect of our new life in Christ is that we are freed from our old nature and freed from being accused of wrongdoing by the Evil One. Jesus said, "So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). We can wear our new clothes of righteousness freely and without hesitation or reservation.
Paul then taught how we are to respond to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. We are to "continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." We must center our heart's affection, our mind's attention, and our will on Jesus Christ. He must be the center of who we are and who we hope to be. If we do this then we will live with Him in eternity.
Jesus is Almighty God. He deserves our praise for what He has done and our uncompromised devotion each day. Jesus is not someone we add to all that which comprises who we are. We must start with our purpose for our being created and that is to glorify the Lord in everything and to live in relationship with Him for eternity.
We are challenged to make Jesus the top priority of every aspect of our lives. Is Jesus the Lord of your thoughts, your actions, and reactions? Is Jesus the Lord of your finances, your relationships, your work life, and your free time?
The Gospel message is Jesus Christ. Anyone who preaches a message without Christ is not from God. Any church that proclaims a message without Jesus is not a true church. Any life that does not have Jesus as Lord over all does not have Jesus at all. But, as believers who are devoted to Jesus, our message is Jesus Christ. Our churches glorify Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Lord. "It's All About Christ!" Let's pray.
Dear Jesus, I honor you as Almighty God. Be glorified in my life by my thoughts and actions. I am your servant. May your will be done in me for your glory. Amen.
For You to Consider
- Please list three characteristics of Jesus and discuss how that impacts your life.
- Since we are freed by Christ from accusations then how can you respond when the devil tempts you to feel guilt or shame from your past?
- What can you do to "continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel"?
- Please give your response to the question, "Who is Jesus and why do I need Him in my life?"
- In what areas of your life do you need to make Jesus your top priority?
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