Colossians 1: The Preeminence of Christ

Paul begins this letter by expressing thanksgiving to the believers at Colossae. Though he has not visited them, he’s heard of the great faith and love manifest among them. Paul explains how he’s labored in prayer for them ever since hearing of their faith in the Lord. He prays that they will increase in their knowledge of God, grow in wisdom and understanding, and bear fruit in every good work (see Colossians 1:1–12).

The Centrality of Christ

Paul then turns the focus of his letter to Him who has made all of this possible. Colossians is one of the most christocentric epistles, as it devotes large sections to emphasizing the preeminence of Christ in all things. Jesus is

  • The Lord of creation, the Creator and Sustainer of all things (1:16–17)
  • The Author of reconciliation (1:20–22)
  • The basis for the believer’s hope (1:23, 27)
  • The source of the believer’s power for a new life (1:29)
  • The believer’s Redeemer and Reconciler (1:14, 20–22)
  • The embodiment of full deity (1:15, 19)
  • The Head of the Church and the resurrected God-Man (1:18)

Paul presents Christ as preeminent over all things. He is rightly celebrated as the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all. By His word, He spoke into being everything that was made, such that without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3). He not only created all things but also sustains all things. Not a single moment goes by in which our continued existence does not require the sustaining power of the Son. Without Him, we would cease to be this very instant (cf. Hebrews 1:1–3). Through Him, we have reconciliation with God and the promise of life with Him in eternity. 

Our Response

When King David considered the mighty works of creation, he was astounded that the One who made the universe in all its grandeur would be mindful of us:

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:3–4)

Yet, the testimony of scripture is that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is also the lover of our souls. He demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to die the death we deserve. By trusting in Him and His finished work, we are adopted into His family and given new hope and significance. Praise God for His power to save! Let us echo David’s psalm in declaring,

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:9)

This teaching is based on Ken Boa’s Handbook to Scripture. 

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Colossians 1: The Preeminence of Christ

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