Lesson 2 - The Supremacy of Christ

Lesson Two: The Supremacy of Christ

(Colossians 1:12-29)

 

WHAT THE FATHER DID

The apostle Paul gave thanks to the Father for three things that He has done for us instantaneously upon our conversion to Christ.

 

HE HAS QUALIFIED US

The Father "has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."  In other words, He has made us fit to share in an inheritance.  Our fitness does not depend upon our morality, goodness, labors, or some wonderful accomplishment.  It does depend upon our position and relationship to Him in Jesus Christ.  To the church at Ephesus Paul wrote, "In Him (Jesus) also we have obtained an inheritance...."  Ephesians 1:11.  Christians are children of God, and as His children "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ."  Romans 8:17.

 

HE HAS DELIVERED US

"He has delivered us from the power of darkness...."  When Jesus was betrayed by Judas, He said to those who had come to arrest Him in Gethsemane, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness."  Luke 22:53.  He suffered the darkest hour in human history when He was crucified for our sins at Calvary.  But He triumphed over the power of darkness.  He rose again, and is the Lord and Savior of all who come to Him in faith.

In time past we were taken captive by the power of darkness, blinded by the god of this world.  In John 12:46 Jesus said, "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."  The word "abide" may also be translated "remain."  Yes, the Father through the Son has set us free to walk in the light as He is in the light.

 

HE HAS TRANSLATED US

God the Father has "conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."  The King James Version of the Bible says "translated" instead of "conveyed."  Both words have the same thought.  The Father has brought us into the kingdom of the Son. 

Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."  John 5:24.  The Father has taken us from the power of darkness to the kingdom of Christ.  It's done.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  We are children of the kingdom, because of what He has done.

 

WHO THE SON IS

The kingdom to which we have been translated is "the kingdom of the Son of His love."  Colossians 1:13.  The apostle John wrote, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand."  John 3:35.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  But what does Paul have to say to the faithful brethren at Colosse?  Who is this Jesus?

 

THE REDEEMER

"In Him (the Son) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."  To redeem is to buy back or set free by paying a price.  Even though we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we have been "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation (or mercy seat) through His blood, through faith."  Romans 3:23-25.  We have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ.  Twenty-four elders worshipped the Lamb in heaven, singing, "You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood."  Revelation 5:9.

The blood with which we have been redeemed assures us of cleansing and forgiveness of sins.  The apostle John makes reference to the Lord Jesus Christ as the One "who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood."  Revelation 1:5.  It's the blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin.

 

THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD

Jesus Christ "is the image of the invisible God."  No one has even seen God.  He is a Spirit, who dwells in unapproachable light.  See 1 Timothy 6:16. 

But we see Jesus!  He came to us "in the form of God."  Philippians 2:6.  This speaks of the essence of His being, not His shape.  The form of a thing is the mode in which it reveals itself.  No one can appear in the form of God who is not God.  Hebrews 1:3 introduces the Lord Jesus as "the brightness of His glory and express image of His person."  Only He could say, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father."  John 14:9.  Jesus is not merely like God; He is God!  He has made God known.

 

THE CREATOR

Jesus is "the firstborn over all creation."  Cultists deny the deity of Christ.  They teach that Christ was the creation of God, because He is the firstborn.  They say that God is eternal, but the Lord Jesus Christ had a beginning, so He cannot be God.

In Psalm 89:27 we read, "Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth."  This is a reference to David, king of Israel.  It has nothing to do with his birth.  What cults don't want to understand is that firstborn speaks of rank.  The firstborn is "the highest."  As the firstborn over all creation, Jesus is Sovereign over all.  That's because He is the Creator of all things.  "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."  The apostle John  wrote, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."  John 1:3.

In response to the claim that Jesus had a beginning, consider Micah 5:2.  The prophet wrote about the Babe of Bethlehem, being "the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."

 

THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH

"And He is the head of the body, the church."  The church is the body of Christ.  This church is not some denomination or some non-denomination.  It's the "church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven."  Hebrews 12:23.  Members of this church have been born again by the Holy Spirit.  They are not only in Colosse or Ephesus or Thessalonica or Corinth.  They have been baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:12, 13.  This true church is subject to the Lord, and recognizes Him as Head.  Ephesians 5:23, 24.

 

THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD

Jesus Christ is "the firstborn from the dead."  Compare Revelation 1:5.  This is a reference to His resurrection.  Jesus died, but rose again.  He was the first to rise again in an immortal body, never to die again.  He said, "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and Death."  Revelation 1:18.  He "has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."  1 Corinthians 15:20.

Christ rose again from the dead "that in all things He may have the preeminence."  Colossians 1:18.  By virtue of the resurrection He demonstrated that He is Lord of all.  Paul wrote that Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."  Romans 1:4.  The uniqueness of Christianity is found in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

THE RECONCILER

In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we learn "that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself through Jesus Christ."  All of the fullness of God dwelt in Him.

To understand reconciliation we must recognize that we were separated from God by wicked works.  Enmity was found between us, as we were enemies of God.

But God took the initiative, and sent His Son into the world that the world might be reconciled to Him.  Christ "made peace through the blood of His cross."  It was at the cross that the enmity between us was slain.  Jesus died to bring us back to God.  The Reconciler is God's Peacemaker.  We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:1.

 

HOW PAUL RESPONDED

HIS SUFFERING

Paul wrote, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you...."  Throughout his life as a believer the apostle Paul suffered greatly.  You may read of some of the hardships that he endured in 2 Corinthians 11:22-33.  When he was at Ephesus, he told the church elders that "chains and tribulations" awaited him.  He added, "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."  Acts 20:22-24.  Paul knew what the Father had done, and he understood who Jesus is.

 

HIS STEWARDSHIP

He became a minister "according to the stewardship from God," which was given to him.  God had committed something very precious to him, "the mystery" which had been hidden from ages and from generations.  This mystery was not revealed in time past.  It cannot be found in the pages of the Old Testament.

It was revealed to Paul and His saints.  "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  The mystery is "Christ in you."  Jesus Christ has not only gone to heaven to prepare a place for us.  He has also come to take up residence in the believer. 

Paul preached Jesus, warning and teaching, that others may be presented perfect in Christ.

 

HIS STRENGTH

Paul knew that of himself he could do nothing.  To the church at Philippi he wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13.  Paul testified to the believers in Colosse, "To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily." 

God works in you, because Christ is in you.  Who is this Christ?  He is our Creator, our Redeemer, the Head of the body, the One who has reconciled us to God through the blood of His cross.

What is your response to Him?

 

Lesson 3 - The Knowledge of God

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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