Colossians 1:15-18 – The Supremacy of the Son of God

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Colossians, New Testament

Charles Wesley, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
“Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail the Incarnate Deity,
Please as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”…

Ray Stedman- The Colossians were in danger…of losing a proper sense of the profound power and eminence of Jesus Christ in their own world. Many Christians are like this today. Many true believers appear to have little sense that Jesus is active in their lives here and now.

I. Jesus: God Pre-Eminent Over Creation V. 15

A little boy was drawing pictures on the floor one day as his mother was working. She said to him, “What are you drawing?” He said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” “But no one knows what God looks like,” she said. “They will when I get through!” the boy replied.

A. Jesus- The Image Of God

1. Image-eikon (eye-kone’) Eikon is the root of our English word icon.

a. An image, figure, likeness; but Jesus as the eikon of God is more than just likeness.

b. Eikon may be superficial and incidental, like a cloud that happens to look like an elephant. That is accidental; the cloud is not an elephant, it is only slightly similar.

c. Eikon implies a prototype, & possesses the nature of that prototype.

d. John 14:9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father…

e. Hebrews 1:3 NIV The Son is the radiance (outshining) of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…

f. Jesus in Matthew 17: He was transfigured. His true glory (somewhat) revealed

2. Jesus, as the eikon of God, is the revelation & manifestation of God, since He is God.

B. Jesus- Firstborn Over All Creation

1. Firstborn-

a. First born- prōtotokos– means the first born, in either chronology or ranking

i. Can legitimately mean 1st in sequence, i.e. Mary’s firstborn child. (Matthew 1:25)

ii. Can also mean the one who ranks highest. Appears this way 130 x’s in O.T.

iii. Jacob called firstborn over Esau, though Esau was older. (Exodus 4:22)

b. First born points to eternal pre-existence, not the first one born within creation.

c. First born over all creation, not in all creation. Jesus is pre-eminent over creation.

d. Some groups use this verse to say that Jesus was a created being

i. Mormons say: Jesus is a procreated being, the offspring of God the Father & one of His heavenly wives. Jesus was the first born spirit child of Elohim. We’re also spirit children

ii. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jesus was the perfect man, but distinct from the Father. Before His earthly life, He was Michael the archangel. Jesus is a mighty god, not Almighty God.

iii. NWT Bible inserts the word “other” 4 times in this passage. “All other things”.

iv. Essentially: Jesus was the first created being, who then created everything.

e. The Bible doesn’t say, “In the beginning, God created Jesus…”

f. It says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”

g. Turn to John 1:1-3, 14, 15.

h. Colossians 1:16a; 1:17a “…by Him all things were created; …He is before all things…”

C. Jesus Over His Creation V. 16, 17

1. 16a- Heaven & earth– geographically, no locations where he didn’t create what’s there

2. 16b- Visible & invisible– He created all things discernable or indiscernible

3. 16c- Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers– every rank of man, demons, or angels

i. One of the problems in Colossae was angel worship & angel mediation for men

ii. Gnostic heresy stated that various angels created life, & Jesus was one of them

iii. Paul writes to correct that through showing the supremacy of Jesus.

iv. The modern day parallel is communicating to God via Mary, saints, spirit guides

v. John 15:16 “…ask the Father in My name…”

4. 16d- Through Him

i. He created it all, and has authority over it all, and it exists to glory Him.

ii. Creation came thru the person of Christ. False teachers claimed that creation came thru endless emanations from God, Christ being an emanation.

5. 16e- and for Him. He created it for Himself.

i. Comets have vapor trails up to 10,000 miles long. If you could capture all that vapor, and put it in a bottle, the amount of vapor actually present in the bottle would take up less than 1 cubic inch of space.

ii. If the sun were the size of a beachball, and put on top of the Empire State Building, the nearest group of stars would be as far as way as Australia is to the Empire State Building.

iii. 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. Circle Earth more than twice

iv. 3 billion heartbeats in an 80 year life span.

v. Radiation, electricity, gravity, atomic energy

6. V. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

i. Before- He existed before all things, and yet is intimately involved w/all things

ii. Consist– “Hold together”. All things material are held together by His word.

iii. Hebrews 1:3 “upholding all things by the word of His power…”

iv. Abe Kuyper- “there is nothing that He sees anywhere of which he cannot say, “Mine!”

II. Jesus Pre-Eminent Over The Church V. 18

A. Head Of The Church

1. May we not minimize the entity called “Church”, of which Christ is Head.

2. It is His Body, the visible extension of Him, upon this earth.

3. He designed it, seeks to lead & empower it, & seeks to be worshipped by it.

4. Jesus loves His Body, His Church, His Bride, & is jealous for us. (1 Cor. 3:16, 17)

B. First In All Things & Pre-Eminent

1. Firstborn from dead: the first to be resurrected into a body of glory.

2. His resurrection is meant to guarantee our resurrection, prepared for glory.

3. Of Him: Creation; Through Him: Continuation; For Him: Consummation