Understanding The Truth About The Christ
Jesus is Lord!
What did the Apostle Paul want the Colossians to understand about the person and work of Christ? What do we believe about the Christ? Understanding the truth about the Christ as to who He is; why He came, and to what He demands of us is paramount to our Christian growth and development.
The backdrop of Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse was Gnosticism. Paul wrote this letter to combat this error. Paul’s answer to the Gnostic error, a philosophy based on knowledge rather than faith, was the supremacy of Christ. Thus we have the best passage on the Lordship of Christ (vv. 9-18), in all the Bible.
Therefore, let us consider the questions: 1) What did the Apostle Paul want the Colossians to understand about the person and work of Christ? And 2) What do we believe about the Christ? We will attempt to answer these two questions under the following headings. First . . .
I. THE DIETY OF CHRIST (Col 1:15-20)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by 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,
1. Christ is exactly like God. Jesus reveled this truth to Philip, when He said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”(John 14:9).
2. Everything was created by Him. See v. 16 above . . . This truth is stated in John’s gospel like this, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made”(John 1:3).
3. He was pre-existent with God. See verse 17 above . . . John the evangelist stated it like this, “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God”(John 1:1-2).
4. He is the head of His body the church. See verse 18 above . . .
5. The Father was pleased with the Son. Quote John 1:14 . . .
Second, let’s consider . . .
II. THE DEATH OF CHRIST (Col 1:21-22)
21 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 to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-
1. God was pleased to make peace through the sacrifice of His Son. It was at the baptism of Jesus, as He began His public ministry that the Father said, “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:17).
2. The death of Jesus on the cross brought all things back to God. Paul wrote, “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”(v. 20).
3. The death of Jesus on the cross brought us back to God. “Reconcile” means to bring all things back to God. See verse 22 above . . .
As a result of Jesus’ death on the cross, we can stand in His presence as people who are holy, faultless, and innocent.
Third, we will further consider . . .
III. THE DEMANDS OF CHRIST (Col 1:23-2:1)
This is where personal application to the first two truths are to be applied. Back in verse nine, Paul said, “We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything He wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives”(v. 9). The NASB reads like this, “ . . . God will show you everything that He wants you to do that you may be filled with the knowledge”
23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved 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. 24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all the energy, which so powerfully works in me. NIV
1. We are to continue in the faith. Note the phrase in v. 23, “If you continue in your faith . . .” “If” is a conditional clause in the Greek.
2. We are to be servants in the church. The word “minister” in verse 25, is “diakonos” from which we get the English word “deacon.” Here, however, it implies function rather than office. “Ministry,” wrote one writer, “is not confined to certain officers of the church but is commanded of every believer.”
3. We are to grow and mature in the faith. See v. 28 above . . .
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. NIV
This means, using an acrostic for FAT, we are to be . . .
F – Faithful A – Available T - Teachable
Understanding the Deity, Death, and Demands of the Christ reveals to us, unequivocally, that Jesus is Lord. The questions remains, however, is He your Lord?