Sermon #1442                                         Miscellaneous Sermons


          Title:            Christ Pre-eminent

 in the Book Of God

          Text:            Colossians 1:18

          Subject:       The Pre-eminence of Christ in Holy Scripture

          Date:            Sunday Evening – December 10, 2000

          Tape #         W-14b

          Readings:     Bob Duff and Ron Wood



          Our text is Colossians 1:18  "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." The title of my message is Christ Pre-eminent in the Book of God.


Proposition: As our Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminent in all things, in the purpose of God, in the creation of God, and in the providence of God, so he is pre-eminent in the Book of God.


          Most who wear the name Christian and profess to be believers, readily confess that the Bible is the Word of God, inspired, inerrant, and authoritative as our only rule of faith and practice. In that, they are to be commended. This Book is the Book of God.


          However, and I want you to listen carefully, we have read the Bible with no profit to our souls and no understanding of its message, until we realize that the message of Holy Scripture is the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Bible is the revelation of Christ.


          I fully agree with Martin Luther, who wrote, “There is not a word in the Bible which can be understood without reference to the cross.” … “As we go to the cradle only in order to find the baby, so we go to the Scriptures only to find Christ.”


          Robert Murray M’Cheyne, who lived long before anyone dreamed of electric lights, said to his congregation at Christ’s Church in Dundee, Scotland, “When you are reading a book in a dark room, and find it difficult, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bible to Christ.”


          Christ is the scope of Scripture, the sum and substance of divine Revelation. Take Christ out of this Book and all that is left is processed wood, with gilded edges, wrapped in leather covers.


The one thing I want you to see in this message is this fact. The Bible is a Book about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is pre-eminent in the Book of God.


          How I wish I could get every man who claims to be a preacher to see this! The Bible is not a book about science, but the Book about Christ. This is not a book about morality, but the Book about Christ. This is not a book about history, politics, philosophy, or law. It is not even a book about prophecy, church dogma, or theology. This is a HIM-BOOK. It is all about HIM, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not enough just to preach the Book, we are sent of God to preach the message of the Book, and the message of this Book is Jesus Christ and him crucified. There is not a page in this Book that does not speak of Christ, not a page!


          The Son of God tells us plainly that he is the message and theme of Holy Scripture, that he is the living Word of whom the written Word speaks.


John 5:39  "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."


Luke 24:27  "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."


Luke 24:44-47  "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (45) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (46) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."


          The Apostle Paul considered the preaching of Christ to be synonymous with preaching all the counsel of God, for Christ is all the counsel of God!


Acts 20:26-27  "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."


1 Corinthians 2:2  "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."


          I want you to see this clearly. The Bible, the Word of God is a Book with one message, and that one message is redemption, righteousness, and eternal life in Christ.


          Once again, I have taken a subject indescribably bigger than the scope of my puny brain. I have no hope of exhausting it. I will simply skip along the edges of this vast ocean, wading out here and there for the delight of our souls. But, when I am done, we will have only begun to begin understanding the vast scope of this immense Volume. If, when you leave here tonight, you leave with your heart burning to know…


“More about Jesus in His Word,

Holding communion with your Lord,

Hearing His voice in every line,

Seeing the Treasure of this deep mine.” –


my labor will be fully recompensed. May God grant that, and we will leave here rejoicing in and worshipping him.


Divisions:   I want to show you the pre-eminence of Christ in the Book of God in these four points.

1.      The Old Testament Prophecies

2.      The Old Testament Types

3.      The New Testament

4.      The Ordinances of the Gospel


I. The Old Testament ProphEcies


The Old Testament Scriptures speak of Christ, point us to Christ, and call us to faith in Christ. All the law, the prophets, and the psalms speak of our Redeemer.


          From the moment that God announced in the Garden of Eden that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15), Christ was the central fact and figure of Old Testament prophecy.


Genesis 3:15  "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."


Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, and all the prophets spoke of him. Here are a few of the many prophetic statements that pointed directly to the coming of Christ, his glorious Person, and his redemptive work.


Genesis 22:13-14  "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. (14) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."


Genesis 49:10  "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."


Deuteronomy 18:15-18  "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (16) According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. (17) And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. (18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."


Psalms 2:7-8  "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (8) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."


Psalms 45:6-7  "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. (7) Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."


Psalms 110:3  "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."


Proverbs 8:22-23  "The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. (23) I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was."


Song of Songs 1:2-4  "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. (3) Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. (4) Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee."


Isaiah 53:8-11  "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."


Micah 5:2  "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."


Zechariah 12:10  "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."


Malachi 3:1  "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts."


          Job spoke of Christ as his Redeemer, whom he expected to see in his flesh in resurrection glory. Enoch prophesied of Christ’s glorious second advent, of his coming to the earth in the last day with ten thousands of his saints.


II. The Old Testament Types


In addition to the direct prophecies about the coming of Christ, God gave numerous types and pictures to foreshadow his coming.


The types of Christ and his redemptive works are so numerous that I cannot begin to name them But let me mention just a few. They may be divided into three different categories.


1.      Typical People - Adam (Rom 5:14), Noah (Heb. 11:7), Melchizedec (Heb. 7:1-3), Moses (Deut. 18:15-18), Aaron (Heb. 5:1-5), Joshua (Heb. 4:1-9), Boaz (Ruth 2:1; 3:18), David (Acts 2:25-36), Solomon (1 Kgs. 10:1-24).


2.      Typical Things – Noah’s Ark (Gen. 6), The Ram Caught in a Thicket (Gen. 22:8-13), Jacob’s Ladder (John 1:51), The Brazen Serpent (John 3:14-16), The Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7), The Scapegoat (Lev. 16:21), The Manna (John 6:32-33), The Smitten Rock (1 Cor. 10:4), The Altar of Sacrifice (Heb. 13:10), The Mercy-Seat (1 John 2:1-2).

3.      Noah’s Ark

4.      The Passover and the Exodus

5.      The Scapegoat

6.      The Brazen Serpent

7.      The Smitten Roc

8.      Darius’ Dilemma


9.      Typical Places - The Tabernacle (John 1:14), The Temple (John 2:18-20), The Cities of Refuge (Heb. 6:18).


          The lists could go on and on. I have not even mentioned all the instituted, ceremonial types, the sabbath days, and the many other instituted types of the Old Testament, all of which pointed to the Person and work of Christ as our Mediator.


Colossians 2:16-17  "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."


III. The New Testament


I do not need to remind this congregation that in the doctrine and message of the entire New Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not have two Bibles, the Old and the New. We have one Bible. God’s Word is one, with two distinct parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.


The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. But the message in both the Old and the New is the same. The message is Christ.


          As he was pre-eminent in all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, so the Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminent in all the New Testament.


10.    The four Gospels give us four views of Christ.


·        Matthew presents him as the promised King.

·        Mark presents him as the Servant of God.

·        Luke presents him as the Son of Man.

·        John presents him as the Son of God.


11.    The Book of Acts demonstrates that our Lord Jesus Christ was the singular subject of preaching in the earliest days of Christianity.


          The words “preach,” “preached,” and “preaching” are used thirty-seven times in the Book of Acts. It is not insignificant that every time they are used the subject preached was Jesus Christ and the resurrection! If the Book of Acts is to be taken for our standard, it must be concluded that unless Christ has been preached no preaching has been done. That man who pretends to be a preacher but does not preach Christ and him crucified mocks the people who hear him, and rather than serving their souls he destroys them!


12.    The Epistles reveal and explain the mysteries of Christ and his gospel.


·        Romans 5:1-21 - Justification by His Obedience.

·        Hebrews 10:1-14 - Sanctification by His Blood.

·        Ephesians 3:1-21 - The Universality of God’s Mercy, Love, and Grace in Christ - Grace is for chosen sinners out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue, not just for Jews.


13.    The Book of Revelation is a declaration of the sure triumph of Christ and his church by the gospel.


Revelation 1:7  "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."


Revelation 5:9-14  "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."


“Behold the glories of the Lamb A-midst His Father’s throne.

Pre-pare new honors for His Name, And songs be-fore un-known.


Let elders worship at His feet, The church adore a-round,

With vials full of odors sweet, And harps of sweeter sound.


Those are the prayers of the saints, And these the hymns they raise;

Jesus is kind to our complaints, He loves to hear our praise.


E-eternal Father, who shall look In-to Thy secret will?

Who but the Son should take the Book And o-pen every seal?


He shall fulfill Thy great decrees, The Son de-serves it well;

Lo, in His hand the sovereign keys Of heaven, and death, and hell!


Now to the Lamb that once was slain Be endless blessings paid;

Salvation, glory, joy re-main Forever on Thy head.


Thou hast redeemed our souls with blood, Hast set the prisoner free;

Hast made us kings and priests to God, And we shall reign with Thee.


The worlds of nature and of grace Are put beneath Thy power;

Then short-en these delaying days, And bring the promised hour.”


Revelation 19:6  "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."


IV. The Ordinances of the Gospel


The only two ordinances of worship prescribed in the New Testament are designed to focus our hearts upon Christ.


14.    Baptism is a symbolic burial and resurrection with him (Rom. 6:3-6).


Romans 6:1-6  "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? {2} God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? {3} Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? {4} Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: {6} Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."


15.    The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic remembrance of Christ and his great work of redemption as our Substitute (1 Cor. 11:24-26).


1 Corinthians 11:24-26  "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. {25} After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. {26} For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come."


Application: Christ is pre-eminent in the Book of God, in the Old Testament prophecies, in the Old Testament types, in the New Testament, and in the ordinances of divine worship.


1.     In the Book of God we read about Christ.

2.     In believer’s baptism we confess Christ.

3.     In the Lord’s Supper we remember Christ.


John 20:30-31  "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: {31} But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."