Christ’s Preeminence

He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

~ Colossians 1:18 (NKJV)

The only true, living, and vibrant spiritual life there is has the Lord Jesus Christ as its head. If Jesus is not preeminent in your spiritual life, then something is out of order… Our spirit has to become consumed with and in Christ. Loving, honoring and serving the Lord Jesus is the highest calling and most blessed privilege a person can have… Making Jesus preeminent in our lives isn’t always an easy thing to do. In fact, because of our sinful nature, it can be a real challenge. But if you truly love Christ, you have His Spirit. And with faith, trusting in Him, we can come to experience the preeminence of Christ in our life.

~ apl

Ants & Angels

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth… All things were created through Him and for Him.

~ Colossians 1:16

The Bible says by Him, that is by Christ, all things were created that are in heaven and on earth. Whether angels or ants, the clouds in the air or the clover in a field, Jesus is over all things for by Him were all things made. Jesus Christ has the authority, the position, the preeminence over Creation and all created things. And ultimately, all things were not only created by Him, but were created for Him. Creation is a reflection of the glory of the Creator. Just as any great piece of art bears the influence and marks of the artist, so Creation itself shows forth the glorious handiwork of its Creator.

~ apl

Ascension Follows Resurrection

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

~ Colossians 3:1 (NKJV)

Ascension follows resurrection: hence, if we are the members of Christ we must ascend into heaven, because he, on being raised up from the dead, was received up into heaven, that he might draw us up with him. Now, we seek those things which are above, when in our minds we are truly sojourners in this world, and are not bound to it… Let us therefore bear in mind that that is a true and holy thinking as to Christ, which forthwith bears us up into heaven, that we may there adore him, and that our minds may dwell with him.

~ John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Colossians

Made Naked & Bare

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ…

~ Colossians 2:11 (NKJV)

Which [circumcision] is of the heart, in the spirit; every man… is uncircumcised in heart, until he is circumcised by Christ and his Spirit; which is done, when he is pricked to the heart, and thoroughly convinced of sin, and the exceeding sinfulness of it; when the callousness and hardness of his heart is taken off and removed, and the iniquity of it is laid open, the plague and corruption in it discerned, and all made naked and bare to the sinner’s view; when he is in pain on account of it, is broken and groans under a sense of it, and is filled with shame for it.

~ John Gill, Exposition of the Whole Bible

Faith, Love & Hope

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel

~ Colossians 1:3-5 (NKJV)

Paul continues his greeting to the Christians at Colossae by acknowledging his thanks for God’s sovereign work of salvation and His precious gift of faith in Christ Jesus that has spread among them. The Apostle, verse 4, especially recognizes these believers for their love for all the saints. Their affection for fellow disciples of the Lord Jesus appears to have been well-known for Paul and Timothy to have heard of it from afar. Oh that more true Christians today would have their reputation for love precede them in their dealings with others!

And yet though these faithful Colossians were known for their exceeding earthly good, verse 5, Paul commends them for keeping their hope and gaze fixed upon the marvelous glory which was laid up and awaited them in heaven itself. For heaven, the place of unfettered communion with our Lord Jesus Christ, is truly the eternal prize and most precious blessing of those who trust in Him! Believers are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth. We know this is not our home, we are but passing through. And like the Colossians, we lay our everlasting hope above.

Finally, at the end of verse 5, we find the cornerstone and foundation for the faith, love and hope of the saints dwelling in Colossae, it is the “the word of truth of the gospel” which they had heard, believed and embraced. Wherever true Christianity will be found, it will be accompanied by the words of truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There will be sound doctrine and godly teaching which humbles man and exalts Christ! Though without the words of truth as they pertain to the Gospel, a form of religion might be found, it will most assuredly lack the essential, saving, and effectual substance that is the fruit of the glorious words of truth.

A vibrant living faith is rooted in sound doctrine and godly Scriptural teaching. The blessings of a deep faith in Christ, an abiding love for God and others and the secure hope of your place in heaven are a consequence of being washed in the words of truth. Paul praises these qualities among the believers at Colossae. The Apostle thanks God, our Father, for these beautiful spiritual favors present among these saints. May we too seek the characteristics of faith, hope and love in our lives and thank God when He is pleased to grant them to us as well.

~ apl

To the Saints in Colossae

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

~ Colossians 1:1-2 (NKJV)

Paul begins his letter to the Church at Colossae in his customary manner. He addresses his position and authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ who is so by nothing less than the divine will of God. In this case, Paul adds to his greeting Timothy, his faithful protégé, who had been accompanying him on his missionary journeys. The Apostle has written an epistle to the saints, the Spirit wrought believers in Christ, who worship, live, serve and fellowship together in Colossae, the celebrated city of Phrygia, in Asia Minor.

To these beloved people, both men and women alike, Paul offers his introductory benediction: Grace and peace… These words are meant to summarize what it means to belong to Christ. To know the grace and peace that comes from God our Father is to know the Lord Jesus Christ. For in Christ alone, is there grace and peace with a holy, just and righteous God. Meditate on that phrase for a moment, “in Christ”, for it is in Him all the blessings and goodness of God dwell.

Christians today should do all they can to exhibit the grace and peace of God to others. How desperately this sin-darkened world needs to embrace saving grace and experience godly peace. If you yourself are “in Christ”, then you can be a divine instrument for spreading the grace and peace of God among your neighbors, friends and family. Let us, like the Apostle Paul, be eager to be in this holy service of sharing the grace and peace of the Lord that others may to come to taste of Jesus Christ, and know that He is good.