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by H. L. Olmstead

After the prayer in behalf of the Church at Colosse and the thanksgiving to the Father for making them fit for the inheritance, for delivering them from the power of darkness, and. bringing them into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, the Apostle takes up the pre-eminence of Christ. It is in Him we have redemption and it is redemption through blood, (verse 14). His blood is the purchase price that has redeemed us from the power of darkness, but who is He?

  1. He is the image of the invisible God. verse 15. He is none other than Immanuel—God with us. (Matt. 1 :23). “Gou manifest in the flesh.” (1 Tim. 3 :16). He is even more than an image for He is the express image of the Father’s substance or Person. (Heb. 1:3). In this He is superior to all others. Though the first Adam was made in the image and likeness of God he was never called Immanuel nor could he say “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (Jno. 14:9). In Christ, God came down to earth. There have been many manifestations of God but so far Jesus Christ is the supreme manifestation oi. the Father. Access to God except through Jesus Christ is a thing impossible. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” O, how the world needed to know God and still needs to know Him, but those who seek Him will never find Him apart from Christ who is the image of the invisible God. God will remain not only invisible but also unknowable to those who deny the Son.
  2. He is “the first born of every creature.” He is pre-eminent here. Of Himself He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” It was for saying this that “They took up stones to cast at him.” (Jno. 8:58, 59). Before Adam or the Devil and his angels, before any angel or Archangel is Christ. “In the beginning was the Word.” (Jno. 1:1). Truly in this he is superior.
  3. In Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth. “Without him not anything was made that was made. (Col. 1:16; Jno. 1:3). Everything visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers; all things were created through Him. “Through whom also he made the worlds.” (Heb. 1:2). This is the Christ whom we serve. This is He, who existing in the form of God, emptied himself, came into the world which He created and was despised, rejected, slain and made to be sin for us. In the form of a servant He lived and in our human flesh he died, of the seed of Abraham and the son par excellence of David. But the things in heaven and on earth, the things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers were not only created through Him but for or unto Him. (V. 16). “He is heir of all things.” (Heb. 1:2). But wonder of wonders, we are joint-heirs. Whatever He has is ours. The bringing of many sons into glory (Heb. 2:10), will mean glory indeed and certainly the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
  4. And He is before all things, v. 17. This gives the lie to materialism. Matter and things are not eternal. He who is the Root as well as the offspring of David is before all things. There was a time when they were not, and Christ who was and who is and who is to come, preceded them.
  5. In Him all things consist. (V. 17). Not only before all things and the Creator of all things but the preserver. The whole of creation, visible and invisible is held together (consists) through Christ. That He had power over nature is seen in His miracles. This mighty universe of life force and matter of which we know so little neither exists nor is held together nor is preserved apart from Him through whose blood we are redeemed. Life in all its forms from thy highest to the lowest is in some way dependent upon Christ; force in all its manifestations centers in Him, who, when awakened from sleep by the frightened disciples, said to the storm-tossed sea, Peace be still. Matter with all its phenomena would dissolve again into chaos were it not for Him who fed the multitude from a few loaves and fishes.
  6. And He is the Head of the body, the Church. The body of Christ is one (Eph. 4:4) and in it Christ is supreme— supreme in authority, supreme in power, supreme in excellency. His Headship must be held by all who in one spirit have been baptized into his body. (1 Cor. 12:13). To no man, to no organization, to no enterprise or system has Christ resigned His authority. Not even unto angels (Col. 2:18, 19) does He allow us to accord divine worship, but we are to hold only the Head. There are many things of which one may be a member but there is none that promises glory save the church over which Christ is Head. We are joined to the Head and are waiting to be glorified with Him. (Eph. 5 :22-33). His right to the Headship of the Church rests upon His divine nature and upon the fact that by His own blood He purchased the Church. (Acts 20:28).
  7. Who is the beginning, the first born from the dead. Christ the first fruits; then they that are Christ’s at the coming.” (1 Col. 15:23). In this Christ also has the pre-eminence. It would seem from this that in the sense in which believers will be raised and glorified Christ is the first. Others had been raised from the dead but there is no account of their glorification. His being called the “first fruits of them that sleep” and the “first born from the dead” is taken by some to prove that the raisings from the dead such as those of Lazarus and the widow’s son were resuscitations rather than resurrections. The first-fruits are a prophecy of the great harvest yet to come when the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, to enter into the joy of Lord. Verily in all things He has the pre-eminence. “A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord.”

-H. L. Olmstead, preached  for  many  year at Gallatin Church of Christ



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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13