Who Are You People?
2/12 – First Place in Everything (Colossians 1:13-29)
Introduction — Here Paul points to the supremacy of Christ. With clear and convincing words, Paul shows that Christ has first place in everything. Jesus Christ is the image, the exact representation of the invisible God. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Jesus created all things. Jesus holds all things together. Jesus is the head of the body, the church. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Jesus is fully God. Jesus is God. Jesus reconciles all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Paul makes clear that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again. And Paul rejoices that he has the honor of living for Christ. Paul has the honor of teaching others to follow Christ. Paul as the honor to speak the gospel of Christ. Paul has the honor to talk about “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Paul has the honor of proclaiming Christ. Paul has the honor of pointing to the supremacy of Christ. Paul wants this church to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ has first place in everything. How about us? Do we rejoice in Christ? Do we see the honor of being in Christ? Do we speak of Christ having first place in our lives? Do we proclaim Jesus? Do we teach others to follow Jesus Christ? Do we praise Jesus? Does He have first place here? Does Jesus have first place in our thoughts? Does He have first place in our hearts? Does He have first place in our conversations? Does He have first place in our lives?
We make the word of God fully known . . . we proclaim Jesus . . .
Christ is the creator of all things. (16)
Comments: Paul states the supremacy of Christ. Writing with hymn-like poetry, Paul shows that Christ has first place in everything. Paul praises Christ who is the image of the invisible God. Paul praises Christ who is the firstborn of all creation. Christ is the creator of all things. Christ is above all things. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (16) Christ is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (17) Question: Is there any realm in your life where Christ does not have the right to rule? Application: Since Christ holds your life together, entrust your schedule to him. Since Christ made your brain, entrust your thoughts to Him. Since Christ made your stomach, entrust your eating habits to him. Since Christ made your emotions, entrust your passions to Him. Since Christ gave you a place to live, entrust that home to Him. Since Christ made the stars in the heavens, enjoy them. Since Christ made the earth, manage well this planet. Use everything He gives you for His glory. Use your life to point to Jesus. Use your voice to proclaim Jesus. Give Him first place in everything.
Christ is the firstborn from the dead. (18)
Comments: Paul praises Christ for His victory over death. The grave could not hold Him. Christ is sovereign over death. Christ is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. Paul praises Christ for His deity. Christ is fully God, the one whose life brings the Colossians life. (19-23) Paul must speak this gospel. Paul must speak of new life in Christ. Paul must remind this church who they were prior to knowing Christ, and who they are now becoming in Christ. Paul must teach them. Paul must tell them a beautiful mystery from God, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (27) Paul brings good news of Christ’s victorious reign. Question: Is there any realm in your life where Christ does not have the right to rule? Application: Seek the Lord. Tell Him every single one (He already knows!) of your worries about whatever causes you to worry. Do not walk in fear. Do not walk in crushing despair and defeat. Walk by faith. Walk in joy. Walk in peace. Seek the Lord. He is alive. He is mighty. He is victorious. He is with you. Give Him first place in every part of your life.
Christ is the head of the body, the church. (18)
Comments: Paul praises Christ for having first place in the church. Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church. Jesus is sovereign over the folks He makes holy. Christ is the one who makes His church holy. (19-23) Jesus removes the debt of their sin. Jesus reconciles all things (including the church!) to Himself. Jesus reconciles people in order to present them before the Father as holy and blameless and beyond reproach people. (22) Next, Paul moves from praise of Christ to relating his work for Christ. Paul tells the church in Colossae how diligently he labors for Christ, and why. Paul loves Jesus. Paul works to proclaim the full message of Jesus to people and to present fully mature people to Jesus. Paul works hard to teach people what living for Christ looks like. Paul wants everyone in the church to see that Christ is the center of who they are and what they do. (24-29) Question: Is there any realm in your life where Christ does not have the right to rule? Application: Praise Jesus that He is the head of the body, the church. Marvel at the gift of His salvation. Marvel at the change He makes (and is making) in you. Tell other people how much Jesus means to you. Speak about Him. Be enthusiastic about Him. Work hard to spread the beautiful gospel of Christ. Work hard to help other people in the church be mature in Christ. Teach someone in the church to see that Christ is the center of who we are and what we do. Proclaim Jesus to somebody this week. Tell them that He has first place in every part of life. And give Him first place in every part of your life. Give Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord first place.
Word Study for Colossians 1:13-29
13 rescued (rhyomai—save; deliver; draw out of danger; shield; guard; preserve)
14 redemption (apolytrosis—release; ransom; liberation; redemption by payment of a ransom)
14 forgiveness—(aphesis—letting go; pardon; liberty; dismissal; remission; release)
15 image (eikon—likeness; having the same form as something else; image; resemblance)
15 firstborn (prototokos—existing before; superior)
16 created (ktizo—create; found; establish; build)
17 hold together (synistemi—combine; stand with; come into existence; unite; endure)
18 first place (proteuo—be supreme; to take precedence; to be first among; preeminent)
21 formerly (pote—once; at one time; in the past)
21 alienated (apallotrioo—estranged; foreigner; to profane)
21 hostile (echthros—enemy; hated)
22 holy (hagios—sacred; pure; dedicated; consecrated; holy place; holy people)
22 blameless (amomous—without defect; without blemish; spotless; perfect)
22 beyond reproach (anenkletous—free from accusation; not to be called to account; void of offense)
24 lacking (hysterema—lack; absence; leftovers)
27 willed (thelo—desire; purpose; please; be willing; enjoy)
27 hope (elpis—expectation; basis for hope; what is hoped for)
27 glory (doxa—opinion; splendor; brightness; amazing might; praise; honor)
28 complete (teleios—mature; entire; perfect; genuine; entire)
29 labor (kopiao—grow weary; toil; suffer; work hard)
Application for Colossians 1:13-29
Let’s behold the beauty of God’s rescue for us sinners.
Let’s see the wonder of Christ.
Let’s sing the praise of Christ.
Let’s view the supremacy of Christ.
Let’s rejoice at the Father’s reconciliation through Christ.
Let’s make ways to make Christ first in our conversations.
Let’s work hard to help one another mature in Christ.
Let’s marvel at our hope of glory in Christ.
Gospel Connections for Colossians 1:13-29
Christ has first place in everything. Christ is first over creation. Christ made and sustains all creation. Christ has first place over death itself. He is the firstborn from the dead. Christ has first place in the church. He is the head of the church. Christ has first place in our salvation. He reconciled all things to Himself. Christ has first place in our sufferings. Christ grows us through those trials. Christ has first place in our work. He entrusts us with the honor of helping others be more like Him. Christ has first place in our lives. Christ is preeminent. Christ is supreme.
Thoughts and Quotes for Colossians 1:13-29
Second place is just the first place loser. ~ Dale Earnhardt
All heroes are shadows of Christ. ~ John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life
He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God. ~ Abraham Kuyper
Psalm 24:1-2, ESV
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
Psalm 8:1, ESV
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Psalm 19:1, ESV
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead. ~ Timothy Keller, The Reason for God
The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast. The pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don't worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry...He's risen! ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Creation discloses a power that baffles our minds and beggars our speech. We are enamored and enchanted by God's power. We stutter and stammer about God's holiness. We tremble before God's majesty...
and yet, we grow squeamish and skittish before God's love. ~ Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes- a time for men and women to be heroic in their faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low. ~ Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines
The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed. ~ Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands
When did we, as Christ followers, start to think that the church exists for us? When did we forget that we are the church? And that we're here for the world? ~ Craig Groeschel, Dare to Drop the Pose
From Paul’s petition that the Colossians be enlightened about God’s redemptive working in their lives, he moved naturally into his epistle’s main emphasis—the exaltation and preeminence of Christ. In this paragraph (vv. 15–20) Paul mentioned seven unique characteristics of Christ, which fittingly qualify Him to have “the supremacy” (v. 18). Christ is: (1) the image of God, (2) the Firstborn over Creation, (3) creator of the universe, (4) head of the church, (5) firstborn from the dead, (6) the fullness of God, and (7) the Reconciler of all things. No comparable listing of so many characteristics of Christ and His deity are found in any other Scripture passage. Christ is the supreme Sovereign of the universe! ~ Norman Geisler
 Geisler, N. L. (1985). Colossians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 672). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.