A Lofty View of Christ

Sermon delivered on June 8th, 2014

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Text: Colossians 1:9-20


Walk worthy of the Lord

Paul's prayer and desire for the Christians in Colosse are the following ...

9: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11: Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

That they may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way and being fruitful in every good work, increasing and growing in the knowledge of God.

 

Then having prayed for the Colossians that they may be worthy members of the kingdom of Christ, he proceeds to speak of the glory of Christ. His purpose, like that of every true preacher, is to exalt Christ, to declare the supreme glory and divinity of Jesus Christ, to declare that Christ is all and in all.

 

If we are to walk worthy of the Lord we must know the Lord.

1. You and I must be a Christian

It is important to note that Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Colosse.

1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2: To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

3: We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4: Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

 

2. You and I must have a right view of Christ

Verses 15-20

 

While Jesus walked on earth there was much confusion about who He was.

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Some thought He was John the Baptist, some Elijah, some Jeremiah, a wise man, a great prophet, a good moral teacher, a martyr. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn't decide or did not care. Some says He is an impostor, others says He is a lunatic, a mad man, still others say He is Lord the Son of God.

 

After more than 2000 this has not changed, there is still much confusion about who Jesus Christ is.

 

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

 

I - Paul has Lofty View of Christ

18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

Eminent - means having supreme rank, dignity, or importance

A position of superiority, distinction, high rank; a high raised piece of ground; a high status importance owing to marked superiority

 

Pre-eminent - extremely eminent or distinguished; superlative, to the highest degree, the highest position

 

Christ must have the first place in everything

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

 

He is superior above all things and in everything.

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

 

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

"We can never make too much of Christ. Our thoughts about the Church, the ministry, and the ordinances, may easily become too high and exaggerated or excessive. But we can never have too high thoughts about Christ, we can never love Him too much, trust Him too implicitly, lay too much weight upon Him, and speak too highly in His praise. He is worthy of all the honor that we can give Him. He will be all in heaven. Let us see to it, that He is all in our hearts on earth." ~ J.C. Ryle

 

II - The Importance of Having a Lofty View of Christ

"Tell me what you think of Christ and I will tell you everything else about your life and your ministry."

 

Your view of Christ will affect your life, your thought life, your conversation, your behavior, your worship, your service, your involvement in evangelism and missions. It will affect your private life, public life, your home life and church life.

 

"Great theology leads to great doxology."

 

"A high view of Christ leads to a high and lofty worship. A high view of Christ leads to high respect for His word, pulpit, preaching, and teaching. A high view of Christ leads to a high standard for personal holiness, churches, ministries, personal lives. A high view of Christ leads to a high commitment to reach the world for Christ. It leads to high and healthy regard for the local church. No one will be strong towards the local church except they be rooted and grounded in a high view of Christ. It leads to a high commitment to reach the world for Christ."

 

Everything hinges upon having a high view of Christ. We must be committed to give Christ the pre-eminence. Christ must take the position of superiority, distinction, high rank. Christ must have the first place in everything. Christ must be the center of our worship and our lives. He must have the pre-eminence not only in our talk but in our walk, not only in our article of faith but in our actual practice.

 

III - Paul's Portrait of Christ

Colossians 1:12-19

 

10 Glorious truths about Christ

1. The image of the invisible God

15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

 

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is the exact representation. He exactly represents and exactly reveals God. Only one who is exactly God could reveal Him in such an exact way.

 

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

 

To see Jesus is to see God. We do not see Him physically, but we see His character of love, wisdom, power, and truth.

 

2. The firstborn of every creature

15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

The firstborn status of Christ does not point to the fact that He came into being, but rather directs us toward His position and privilege. In the same way that a prince has the privilege of inheriting his father's kingdom and sovereign rule, so does the Son of God possess the same privilege of ruling sovereignty.

 

3. All things were created by him

16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: (rulers or authorities) all things were created by him, and for him:

This is a clear statement of His Deity, His Godhood. He was not Himself created; rather He was Creator of all that was created.

 

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 

All things were created by Him, not just some things or most things but all things.

16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, (rulers) or powers (authorities): all things were created by him, and for him:

 

Everything from the DNA to the Galaxy and in between were all created by Him.

 

4. All things were created for him

16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

 

And why do they exist? For Him. They were created by Christ. They exist for Christ. They exist to make His glories known. Everything that exists, exists to make the greatness of Christ more fully known.

 

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

5. He is before all things

17: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

He Himself existed before anything else did.

 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2: The same was in the beginning with God.

 

6. By him all things consist

17: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

All things hold together. The atoms hold together. He is the preserver and sustainer of all things.

 

7. He is the head of the body, the church

18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

Christ is the Head of the Church. It is all about Christ in the Church.

 

8. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead

18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

9. In Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell

19: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

This is a clear statement of the two personalities of Jesus Christ, God and Man, two natures in one person.

 

10. Through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace by the blood of the cross

20: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Peace with God, reconciliation with God. No longer an enemy of God. There is peace. It is peace obtained through Christ's death on the cross, where He took our place.

 

Conclusion

18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

Going back to Paul's prayer... that we might walk worthy of the Lord. To help us achieve this high aspiration we must first of all be a true Christian and the ever increasing in our knowledge of Christ. We have a high view of Christ and Christ must have preeminence in our lives. He must be first place in everything. Truly Jesus Christ deserves to have the preeminence in all things.

 

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

 

He is to be declared as supreme, first place, preeminent. There are none beside Him, there are none before Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end and Lord of all.

 

The question is, "Do you view Him in this way?" Is Christ first in your life? Has He ever had first place in anything that you have ever done?