Reading: Colossians 1:15-23
Remember the year is 62-63AD, Paul is imprisoned in Rome for boldly Following
Christ as Savior and King; and proclaiming Christ’s Gospel to the pagan, gentile
world. The church is experiencing severe persecution under Roman Rule and
Colossae is no exception, the Gnostic’s, “Knowing Ones,” are also engaged in a full
on mystical and intellectual assault with their New Gospel that is set aside only for
the Elite. Those who can earn their salvation by pleasing the “Aeons,” angel gods
that are represented by the stars in the heavens through special knowledge, the
practice of superstitious rituals and astrology.
In Paul’s letter we’ve already seen how he was encouraged by the Colossian
Christians great devotion, faith and love they have for one another even under
severe persecution; last week we looked at Paul’s prayer…
Reading: Colossians 1:9
And now we enter into the portion of this letter that is it’s climactic crescendo…Paul
driving home his point “Christ Is Greater!”
Paul Demonstrating, How “Christ Is Greater” in the Natural Realm.
vv.15 - “Image” = (GK-Eikon/icon) Very Stamp Of God the Father, Illustration: Exact
Copy of Image on wax seal; “The Invisible God” = literally, The God The Invisible
(John 14:9 Jesus responds to Philip’s question about seeing the Father). The
Apostle John, the writer of Hebrews and Paul in his letter to the Philippians all
identify Jesus as “Just Like” the Father; “First Born” = (GK-Protokos/Protos) One
that comes Before, Proto Type. “All Creation” = Angels, Man, Stars, Planets, etc.
Point: Christ is “Before” All, refuting Gnostic’s resignation of Christ as merely one of
vv.16 - “For By Him” = Referencing (vv.13) “Son he Loves;” “All Things” =
Philosophical Term used 2x’s emphasizing Christ Deity/Likeness to Father.
“Created” = Founded “For Him” = Remain Created/Sustained; Refutation: Against
Gnostics, modern day philosophies and religions view of Christ as merely a “good
man” and “great teacher” Christ is both Founder/Creator & Sustainer.
vv.17 - “Before All Things” = Before Creation, using philosophical phrase driving
home Christ’s Deity, Christ’s Timeless Existence, Historical Existence, Continued
Existence at the Right Hand of the Father; Reference - Revelations: Alpha - Omega;
Beginning and End; “Hold Together” = Consist/Placed Together (Verb, Continuous
Action), also Re-Enforces the “Sustaining” of vv.16. Illustration: Laminin -A
glycoprotein that is a component of connective tissue basement membrane and that
promotes cell adhesion (See Image). Refutation: Gnostics idea that all matter is
evil and was created by and sustained by some distant Aeon.
Paul Demonstrating How “Christ Is Greater” in the Spiritual Realm
vv.18 - “Head” = (GK-Kephale: Rom., Cor., Eph.); “Body” = (GK-Soma);
“Church” (GK-Ekklesia) “C”hurch; “Beginning” = (GK-Arche) “First Born among
the Dead” = Resurrection both First in Time and Power! Author of Life (Natural) and
Salvation (Supernatural)! “Supremacy” = Christ in “All Things” (Natural & Spiritual)
holds First Place, Primacy!
vv.19-20 - “God was Pleased” = God’s Will; “Fullness” = (GK-Pleroma) Filled Full
of God’s Attributes: Omni-Presence, Omni-Potence, Omni-Science (Ref. Mk 8:20
“Fishes & Loaves”); “Dwell” = (GK-Katoikesai) Making A Home In; “Reconcile” =
(GK-Apo-Katallaxai) Complete/Total. Refutation: Gnostics who denied Christ’s
humanity, Christ’s Cross points to Christ’s Real Humanity, Real Blood Shed, Real
Cross of Wood.
Paul Demonstrating Why “Christ Is Greater” matters for You and Me
vv.21 - “Alienated” = Estranged/Belonging to Another (Rom.1:20-23); “Enemies” =
(GK-Echthos) Hostile toward; “Mind” = Intent & Purpose; “Evil Behavior” = Works;
vv.22 - “Reconciled” = Lit. Exchange of coins, Christ Exchanged His Life for Yours;
“Present” = Place You Beside; “Holy” (GK-Hagios) Consecrated/Separate From to
God; “Without Blemish” = Used in OT LXX for ceremonial purification; “Accusation”
= Call to Account/Pick out Flaws In.
vv.23 - “Faith” = (GK-Pistos) Becoming More Loyal, More Committed, More Willing
to do God’s will under fire; “Established” = Laying A Foundation; “Firm” = Seated;
“Not Moved” = Not Changing Location.
Question: Who or What holds first place in your life?
Question: What’s stopping you from living in total abandon for Christ?
Special Tribute: Worship Team
Corporate Closing - Apostles Creed