He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead that in in everything He might have the supremacy (first place). Colossians 1:15-18
When I was in college there was this cult, “The Way International,” that was sweeping the campus. This was in the late 70’s, so it was a while ago. They would prey on vulnerable students with the pick up line, “Do you want abundant life?” Then they would invite them to a weekend retreat for $250 and brainwash them. Their main book was “Jesus Christ is NOT God.”
Two gals on my dorm floor were getting sucked in. They hadn’t gone to the weekend retreat because they didn’t have $250, but they went to their so called Bible studies. I kept saying, “It’s a cult. Get away.” I was like 19, so not a fully developed brain…I went with them to one of their meetings. Of course, people from “The Way” drove and it was a snaggly route all over the city, in the dark. They went through this programmed Bible study, so to speak, and sang a couple of strange hymns, and one of the people spoke in tongues of some sort. As soon as the meeting part was over they broke out wine and started downing it, which I thought was strange.
The other two young women and I were the only non-groupies in this apartment. I was sitting on the floor chatting when one of the leaders asked me what I thought about the study. I launched into a complete monologue about why Jesus had to be God, not taking a breath because I knew they would break in and this was my only chance. The person who asked me was standing and I was sitting. He snapped his fingers and within seconds the whole group was standing encircled around me.
I kept talking, going through Colossians 1, John 1 and Hebrews 1. Then I went through Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8 and Romans 6:23. As soon as I finished, they nodded silently not saying a word. No one spoke a word in response. We were there for at least another half an hour and no one talked to me, only to the other two students with me. As I look back, I’m fortunate that we got home that night! The good news is that the two young women that came with me joined my dorm Bible study and quit going there, which was my intent.
Colossians 1 proclaims the glorious truth that Jesus Christ IS God and He is the king and Lord of the universe. After Jesus rose from the grave, He was alive on the earth for 40 days. He then ascended into Heaven.
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high and from there He upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Colossians 1:15 tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, Hebrews 1:3 words it that He is the exact imprint of His (God’s) nature.
Moving on in Colossians 1 it says For by Him all things were created. In other words, Jesus created everything. John 1:3 tells us the same thing: All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. So get this “Mother Nature” thing out of your vocabulary. It is a slap in the face to Jesus every time you say it! He made everything and is behind what takes place in nature. In Him all things hold together.
All things were created for Him. Everything, even Satan and demons. They were created to bring glory to Jesus. Have you ever thought of it that way? They are under Jesus’ authority, so whether we can wrap our minds around it–they are Jesus’ pawns. World leaders were created for Jesus, mosquitos were, everything.
Jesus is the head of the church. If we diss the church, then we are disrespecting the head of the church, which is Jesus. The church is the agent which God has chosen to carry His great name and to fulfill the great commission. It is not perfect, but it has a perfect head. Ephesians 1:22-23 tells us, God placed all things under Jesus’ feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
So that in everything He might have the supremacy (first place). You wouldn’t say to your spouse, “You’re in my top five.” Same with Jesus. Jesus must be our number one. If you put Him first, according to Matthew 6:33, everything else will fall into place. I’ll never forget when the Arizona Cardinals won the Super Bowl and they stuck the microphone in front of Kurt Warner asking him how he did it. He said, “First things first. I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” He now has a ministry called “First things first.”
That should be all of our taglines.