Sunday, February 19, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 2: The Supremacy of the Son of God

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 2:
The Supremacy of the Son of God
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Paul’s letter (Epistle) to the Colossians was a letter to correct Heresy.

Heresy is having an opinion which is in opposition to true doctrine. In other words, the Colossian church had, as many other early churches, fallen prey to false doctrine.

We see a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism, Asceticism, Angel worship, etc.

Judaism would be the adherence to Old Testament teachings while ignoring the completed works of the cross.

Gnosticism is the belief that “secret” knowledge existed, specifically that the world was created by a lesser divinity, and ruled by an emissary of the remote Supreme Being. This belief system, which was carried over to Christianity, placed God the Father as the Supreme and Jesus as the lesser ruling divinity.

Asceticism is the severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.   The doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification (embarrassment and shame – “mortified”) and the like. Rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; in a severe nature.

It is obvious why this is false doctrine, and has no place in a Christ following church.

The heresy, destroyed the Supreme lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, it dethroned Him, destroying the mediator-ship of Christ, making Him only 1 of a multitude of mediators, (such as the Hindu belief in avatars, a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.)

However, we know Jesus is so much more than that, He was, is and always will be God.

Paul will inform the readers of the Supremacy of the Son of God

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Colossians 1:15-23
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 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.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 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— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move 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.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Supreme Glory, Deity and Dignity of Christ Jesus”.

a. The Firstborn over all creation
                                                                 i. Jesus is the exact reproduction of God the Father, who is a Spirit
1. “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24

                                                              ii. Jesus is also the “Firstborn over all creation”
1. Firstborn is a TITLE

2. Jesus is NOT a created being, but has always existed
a. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” – John 1:1-4

                                                           iii. Firstborn (the Title) OVER ALL Creation
1. Designates Jesus as the creator of all things, just as many scriptures tell us.

2. Vs. 17 tells us, “He is before all things”
a. What “all things”?
b. All things which were created
c. Remember Vs. 3 “…without him nothing was made that has been made.”

b. The Creator of all things
                                                                 i. Vs. 16 “…by Him all things were created...”
1. This justifies the title given to Christ in the previous verses

                                                              ii. “…That are in Heaven, and that are on Earth, visible and invisible”
1. Things we can see, were created by Him
2. Things we cannot see (molecules, atoms, gravity, x-rays, etc…) also created by Him
3. Both Holy and Fallen Angels as well

c. In everything He has Supremacy
                                                                 i. Preeminence, dominance, superiority

                                                              ii. He is ABOVE all

                                                           iii. “All things were created through Him and for Him.”

                                                            iv. All things created depend on Him
                                                               v. Vs. 18 “He is the Head of the Body, the church”

a. To reconcile to Himself all things
                                                                 i. This “fullness” means the sum total of divine powers and attributes of God the Father

                                                              ii. Christ reconciled all things to Himself by paying the debt incurred by sin on mankind, which had caused separation between God and man

b. Both on earth and in heaven
                                                                 i. Claiming all authority and Supremacy in all things created

1. In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth
2. Heaven is a created “place”
3. And Jesus (the creator of all created things) is ruler in Heaven and on Earth, by reconciling to Himself, all things

c. By making peace through the cross
                                                                 i. Christ’s blood at the cross satisfied the just demands of the broken Law

                                                              ii. Now, faith through the cross and His action reconciles us to God once more

a. You were once enemies because of your evil behavior
                                                                 i. “Enemies in your minds”
                                                              ii. Thoughts, thinking, depravity of wicked imaginations, your mind
                                                           iii. This is where “sin” actually takes place long before we ever see the symptoms manifest in the flesh

                                                            iv. This is why when we come to the cross, Jesus places His Spirit within us, so that we may be “new” creatures, a “new” creation, and have a;

1. … mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16

2. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

3. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7

                                                               v. How do we change then?
1. By filling our hearts with something NEW
a. “The mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.” – Luke 6:45

2. Filling our hearts with God’s Word gives the Holy Spirit something to work with, and He changes us from the inside out.

3. The Word of God is seed, watered by the Holy Spirit, it grows and changes the way we think, giving us the Mind like Christ.

                                                            vi. How did Christ make this possible???

b. The cross reconciled you
                                                                 i. Vs. 21-22a “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death”

                                                              ii. With a condition…because God’s love is not conditional, but Salvation is.

c. If you continue in the Gospel
                                                                 i. Vs. 22-23a “…he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”
1. In Salvation, you WILL be reconciled to God through the cross and Jesus’ atoning death as payment required by sin.

2. In Salvation you WILL be Holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation!
a. IF
                                                                                                                                                             i.   You continue in your faith
                                                                                                                                                          ii.   Established and firm
                                                                                                                                                       iii.   And DO NOT MOVE from the Hope of the Gospel

3. In other words, you will NOT keep your reconciliation to God if you do not continue in your faith, or move from the hope of the gospel.

                                                              ii. This condition of Salvation is not only fair and true, but common sense!
1. Any contract that requires an action, and that action is not completed, your contract is null and void.

2. We can have the full benefits and blessings of the Kingdom of God, as long as we have the required actions of that contract.

                                                           iii. Acknowledge Jesus is Lord (He must be to make His sacrifice the appropriate payment as the creator for the creation)

                                                            iv. Believe that He died on the Cross and rose 3 days later (represents our rebirth, becoming a new creation as well as receiving our NEW bodies after this sinful, un-redeemed flesh dies)

                                                               v. Confess your sin

                                                            vi. Repent (stop that sin) so there can be forgiveness

                                                         vii. And you will receive Salvation.

                                                      viii. To keep it, continue in your faith and do not move from the Hope of the Gospel

CONCLUSION – this is the gospel proclaimed to every creature

The Gospel you have heard, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant

Paul is asking the Colossian church to examine themselves, and their position with the Lord, and ask the question, am I continuing in my faith, holding to the Hope brought by Christ and the cross?

Am I, like Paul, a servant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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