All the flippancy of the children of God would cease too if they realized the greatness of the treasure deposited within them. If you have only ten shillings in your pocket, you can march gaily along the street, talking lightly as you go, and swinging your stick in the air. It matters little if you lose your money, for there is not much at stake. But if you carry a thousand shillings in your pocket, the position is vastly different and your whole demeanor will be different too. There will be a great gladness in your heart but no careless jaunting along the road; and once in a while you will quietly touch your treasure again, and then with joyful solemnity continue on your way.
Something is a treasure when it has value and worth. The higher the worth and value the more treasured it is, the more dear it is, the more precious it is.
It is possible that our appreciation of Jesus as our Lord can be as though we carry 10 shillings in our pockets, the result is a flippant faith that does not treasure this relationship we have with God. Our Love for the Lord can be summarized in Jn 14:9 “Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known me’.
In another instance, 3 times Jesus asked John Do you love me, Do you really love me above all?
Welcome to February. Today we begin a new series entitled ‘falling in Love with Jesus’ under our theme for the year Rooted in LIFE. Our prayer is that as God reveals himself to us in Christ, our hearts would be stirred to greater intimacy with Him. We continue in our study of Colossians and today we go to the second part.
Please keep in mind Paul’s reason for writing this epistle. If I may remind you, Paul wrote to combat the Colossian Heresy – a false doctrine birthed in philosophies of men that denied the deity of Christ hence his Lordship and sufficiency for salvation.
This passage is so grounding not only to combat this false teaching but for affirming our Christian faith. The very core of this passage is about Christ as Lord. That unchanging, monumental and paramount fact that – Jesus Christ is Lord, He is above all.
In Mark 4:35-41. One day the disciples invited the Lord Jesus to come into their boat. He was given a cordial welcome and ushered to the back of the boat, and then left alone. The master of the ship took control and headed out into the open water. Subsequently, a storm arose and the boat, with the living Christ on board, began to sink. There was not the slightest doubt as to who He was, and there was no doubt at all as to where he was. He was occupying a seat in the stern, and he was fast asleep. It seems fantastic that a boat containing the living Christ should be in danger of sinking, but we know how possible it is for a life containing the living Christ to founder and sink, because He occupies the back seat and has been disregarded and neglected for so long that it appears he has gone to sleep.
Jesus Christ did not come on board to occupy the back seat, but to be Himself. He came to be LORD. He was not interested in sleeping, but in living. The horrible truth was that he was forgotten and discounted – unnecessary ‘cargo’ on board a sinking ship, and most definitely not ‘at home.’ Eventually, when the storm became too much for the master of the ship, he remembered who Christ was, and where he was, and ran to Him, awoke Him, and blamed him for all that had gone wrong. The Lord Jesus did not answer the unwarranted criticism, but stood up, rebuked the wind, and immediately there was a great calm. He was simply Himself in this situation, He stood to command his creation, everything was subject to him. The result was that he demonstrated His glory to their battered, sinking ship. The storm promptly admitted defeat and fled behind the Galilean hills, and a great and wonderful peace prevailed. That day something in them changed about the one they carried on the boat, He was not just a carpenter’s son, He was Lord.
Paul enumerates various truths about Christ above all, that are worthy of our appreciation.
First Paul states that Christ is the Image of God, the first born over all creation- “He is the image of the invisible God”. Not an image the way man was created in the image of God, but this means he is equal in essence with God. He is the exact representation. Just as he says, “if you have seen me you have seen the FATHER” what God is and who God is, Jesus depicts the exact copy of it. We are able to see God through Jesus. Through Jesus we can say we have seen God. This means that Christ in us is fully God in us.
Albert Barnes explains in his commentary.”Christ is referred to as the first born not to denote that he is the first to be created, but It was to mean that Christ was ranked the highest and above every created thing. As a son of God he has the privilege to be the heir of all things and since by him all things were created, he is therefore above all things.
One unique characteristic of Christianity as compared with other religions is that it is the only religion in which the Founder claims to live in the person who believes in Him. Our relationship with God is not mediated by a special holy person or angel, or ritual but we have God himself dwelling in us. For what Love can exist through a mediator?
It means, at the cross God himself is suffering and being humiliated for me. God himself humbled himself, abandons His nature as God, puts on the human nature to die on the cross for my redemption. Therefore salvation means that God himself, the king of creation, the Lord of the universe, the master of all time and space- he loves me. Christ is God! Not a just man, not an angel but God. That is why when he says I’ am redeemed, forgiven accepted, and loved, it is final and trustworthy.
If we don’t see Christ as this we will have a lifeless worship, a defective faith, a half hearted obedience, a Christianity that will fail to inspire us in life and prove to be without hope and give us no strength during trials. However if we see Christ is our God, then we will be inspired to adore and to dare to give up everything in order to live for him.
Have you considered him as Your LORD personally?
Secondly Paul goes on to explain His Lord ship over Creation: All things were created by Him and for Him, The visible and invisible, the ones in heaven and on earth. In other words everything is subject to him, to his authority and will. He is the one who gave shape, space, dimension and color, weight, volume, time, length, distance, season, opportunity to everything and he can change them as he pleases yet He himself is not measured by these things such as space, time, weight, length, and distance. He is the sole end of His work. He is also the governor and sustainer of all His things. Creation begins and culminates in Him.
Let no one deceive you by a big bhang theory, or any other kind, the world we live in is a complexly beautiful design that can only be the hand of a master designer. Even their own scientists know it.
Hawking, quoted by Ian Barbour,7 writes “The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.”
Going even further, in A Brief History of Time, Hawking states: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”8
Another distinguished physicist, Freedom Dyson, after reviewing this series of “numerical accidents,” concludes, “The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”9 And Arno Penzias, the Nobel Prize-winning scientists who discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation that provided strong support for the Big Bang in the first place, states, “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five Books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”10
Every atom, nerve, cell, DNA, Molecule, skeleton, bone, cellulose, fructose, particle, matter was not only created but held and sustained by Him and to Him all things will give an account.
Have you considered Christ not just as a personal Lord, but as Lord of all Creation_ How would that affect your relationship with him?
Thirdly is that Paul states that He is before all things. In other words he is pre-eminent. Vs 18
He has gone before all things and nothing new is discovered outside of him. He is the sum of all pursuits.
In Preeminence – Before all things (1:18)
Artist discovered that he was already the one altogether lovely,
Architect found out that He is the chief corner stone,
Astronomer found out that He is the sun of righteousness,
Baker has confirmed that He is the living bread,
Banker has confessed that He is the hidden treasure,
Biologist has realized that He is the life of men,
Doctor researched and found that He is the greatest Physician,
Educator learned that He is the great teacher,
Farmer found that He is the sower and the Lord of harvest,
Florist He is the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley,
Geologist He is the rock of ages,
Horticulturist He is the true vine,
Jeweler He is the pearl of great price,
Judge He is the righteous judge,
Lawyer He is the great advocate,
Newspaperman He is the good tiding,
Philanthropist He is God’s unspeakable gift,
Philosopher He is the wisdom of God,
Preacher He is the word of God,
Servant He is the good master,
Sculptor He is the living stone,
Statesman He is the desire of all nations,
Theologian He is the author and finisher of our faith,
Toiler He is the giver of rest,
Wanderer He is the way of life,
And to the Christian He is the son of the ever Living and true God, our Savior, Redeemer, Lord and King.
And Lastly Paul Emphasizes that Christ is Lord, as the head over the Church
Paul also mentions that He is Lord not just over the living, but He is Lord over the dead and death. In His resurrection, Christ defied sickness, illness, pain and ultimately death and all that leads to it. These is the feared limiting force to all created things. His Lordship is not temporal but eternal, Christ goes beyond the limits of our existence and invites us in him to do so. Eternal life is available to us when we receive Jesus and we are assured of our bodily resurrection in Christ Jesus.
We dare not give Christ any lower place when God has given him preeminence in all. Pray truly that Christ woud reveal himself to you as Lord?