Colossians 1:15-18 / Who is Jesus?

Posted on March 30, 2015

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This is the fourth in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of March 29, 2015. This message details precisely who Jesus is, as explained by Paul in his letter to the colossians. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript).

SERMON AUDIO:

Col. 1:15-18

SERMON NOTES: v.15:

Who is this Christ who has redeemed us through His blood?

the image of the invisible God“. Man has not seen the Father, because sinful man cannot look upon God.

Exodus 33:20

John 1:18

However, through Christ, we see the Father. Jesus Christ is the perfect image—the exact likeness—of God and is in the very form of God, and has been so from all eternity.

Philippians 2:6

John 1:14

John 14:9

In fact, Jesus is not only man, He is fully God in every way.

Colossians 2:9

He is “the firstborn over all creation“. This is not a chronological statement, as the phrase is sometimes used. Christ is not the first part of the creation, because, He is not a part of the creation. . . He is the creator. This refers to His preeminence, His position of authority. This must be so, for several reasons.

  1. Notice that He is the firstborn “over” all creation. . . not in, but over. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the ranking son who had received the right of inheritance from his father, whether he was born first or not. In this context firstborn must refer to His position of authority.
  2. He cannot be the “firstborn” (first begotten) and the “only begotten” son. To be the first begotten, would imply that more were begotten, but the Bible is clear that Jesus Christ is the only begotten. John 1:14; John 3:16
  3. To say that Christ was a created being, would contradict the rest of Scripture.
  4. Lastly, it is impossible for Christ to be both created and the creator. However, this misinterpretation of the Scripture, is one of the traps that both Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons both fall into.

v.16:

Jesus Christ is the eternal Creator, a fact that is stressed here, and seen elsewhere in Scripture.

John 1:3

In fact, all things were created by Him, in both Heaven and earth.

Exodus 20:11

Exodus 31:17

He created both the visible and the invisible.

Hebrews 11:3

He has created both the material and the immaterial, both the physical and the spiritual. The emphasis here is on the immaterial, the spiritual. The “principalities and powers” refers to the fallen angels.

Ephesians 3:9-10

Ephesians 6:12

Thrones and dominions” probably refers to a hierarchical power structure within the demonic realm. The false teachers had incorporated the worship of angels into their teaching. Though the holy angels would never accept worship, the demons would encourage it. The point is that these creatures are but a part of the creation, and Christ is the Creator.

v.17:

As the Creator, Christ is “before” all things. He is both before all things (being eternal), and He has supreme authority. It is foolish to worship the creation, rather than the creator, who alone has all authority. As such, it is in Him that all things consist.

Hebrews 1:3

Jesus upholds all things through His infinite power, and without His power, all would cease to exist.

v.18:

This same all powerful Creator, is also the head of the church. It was important to emphasize this, to put the false teachers in their place. Being the Creator firmly establishes His authority, an authority which is lost on many people today.

Christ is the Beginning and the Firstborn from the dead.

Revelation 1:5

Christ was the first to rise in an immortal body, and His resurrection marked His victory over death. He was the “Firstfruits” of those who die.

1 Corinthians 15:20

He rose never to die again. He “was declared to be the Son of God with power. . .

Romans 1:4

All this is so that in everything He might have the supremacy. Christ is given first place over all Creation. He is preeminent, “exalted” by God the Father “to the highest place” and has been given “the name that is above every name“.

Philippians 2:9

This is who Jesus Christ is, and in all things, must be recognized as the head. When we fail to submit to His authority, errors and sin will abound.

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Posted in: Sermons