Sermon #1450[1]


††† Title:††† †††††††††††††††††††††† Christ Pre-eminent

The Fatherís Love for and Honor of His Son

††† Text:†††††††††† Colossians 1:18

††† Reading:††††† John 5:17-47

††† Subject:†††††† Christís Pre-eminence

††† Date:†††††††††† Sunday Morning Ė January 21, 2001

††† Tape #†††† W-22b

††† Introduction:


††† I trust God the Holy Spirit will enable me to bring one more message to you on the pre-eminence of Christ. I have not begun to even scratch the surface of Paulís words in our text.


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."


But I have tried to show you that it is the purpose of the triune God ďthat in all things he might have the pre-eminence God has determined to give Christ the glory of and pre-eminence in all things as the reward of his obedience to the Fatherís will as our Mediator and Substitute. Today, I want to show you that Christís pre-eminence is the display of The Fatherís Love for and Honor of His Son.


John 3:35-36"The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."


John 5:20-24"For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (23) That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. (24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."


††† The Lord Jesus Christ is everything to his Father. The Father loves the Son, delights in the Son, honors the Son, exalts the Son and magnifies the Son. Therefore he has determined that in all things his Son shall have the pre-eminence. Christ is to his Father what Benjamin was to Jacob, the Son of his love. The Fatherís love for the Son is evident for all to behold in the honor he has put upon him in giving the pre-eminence in all things and over all things.


Proposition:†† Nothing can more effectually comfort and challenge the believerís heart than the knowledge of Christís pre-eminence.


Illustration: Spurgeon after the Surry Gardens Tragedy


††† In Colossians 1:15-20 we are given a picture of our Savior, drawn by the pen of the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What a glorious picture it is! Here we see the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Friend, our great King holding all things in his almighty hand. He who loved us and gave himself for us has got the whole world, the whole universe in his hands! He who died upon the cross knows the most distant star by name. He not only knows it, he fuels its light by his constant command. Still better, he who holds the universe in his hands guides it and controls it with such absolute, sovereign power that he makes it serve the interests of his people.


Romans 8:28"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."





††† 1. The Lord Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Savior. As in our day, there were many in Paulís day, especially at Colosse, who taught that Christ is not enough. They taught that Christ alone was insufficient, inadequate, and incapable by his own merit and grace to save sinners. To dispel this heresy, Paul simply declares that Christ is pre-eminently all-sufficient as our Savior.


Colossians 1:9-13"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"


††† 2. The Lord Jesus Christ is not only an all-sufficient Savior, he is also a sovereign Savior. He who died at Calvary rules all things absolutely. Nothing can ever separate him from the people he loves. No harm shall ever befall those who are loved of him who rules all things. No evil shall happen to the just (Pro. 12:21). We shall never perish! To the fearful, trembling, anxious, fretful believer, our text says, ďLet not your heart be troubled. Christ is pre-eminent.Ē


††† 3. The Lord Jesus Christ is a rich and bountiful Savior. He has all things; and he freely gives all things to all his people. Yet, his riches are never diminished. To you who worry about your daily needs, to you who fret about the lean years that may lie ahead, to you who fear you will have no pension in your old age, the Holy Spirit says, ďBe content with such things as you have. Christ is pre-eminent.Ē


††† 4. The Lord Jesus Christ is a Savior worthy of our heartsí trust and devotion. You can safely trust this great God, our Savior, in all things and with all things, and give him the devotion of your heart. He is pre-eminent in all things and over all things. He who owns the universe does not need me. If he accepts me into his kingdom, if he receives any love, honor, service, gift, or praise from me, it can only be because of his love and goodness to me. He to whom God the Father has given pre-eminence should have the place of pre-eminence in our hearts.


Divisions:†† I realize that parts of my message this morning will be repetitious. I will intentionally reiterate and re-emphasize some things that need to be clearly understood and remembered. I want us to stand in utter awe before our great, glorious, highly exalted, universally pre-eminent Savior. So I ask for your attention as I try to answer four questions regarding the pre-eminence of our Lord Jesus Christ.


1.     How has the Father given the Son pre-eminence?

2.     Wherein is the Lord Jesus Christ pre-eminent?

3.     Why should Christ have the pre-eminence?

4.     How can I give Christ the pre-eminence?




††† As I have stated to you so many times, in his essential Deity as the second Person of the holy Trinity the Father gives nothing to the Son, because the Son is in every way one with and equal to the Father. But in his mediatorial character and office, as the Surety and Representative of his people, the Father has made the Son pre-eminent and has given him the pre-eminence in all things.


A.   Christ our Mediator is pre-eminent in the affection of the Fatherís heart.


Proverbs 8:30-31"Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; (31) Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."


††† Nothing is so dear to the Fatherís heart as his only-begotten, well-beloved Son. The Father values, prizes, and cherishes the Son. He prefers his Son to all and chooses his Son above all. The Father loves his Son. If we could pry into the very heart of God, we would see nothing but his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is pre-eminence! The Father says of Christ, ďThis is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleasedĒ (Matt. 3:17). God the Father is pleased with and delights in his Son...


        The Righteousness of His Son.

        The Sacrifice of His Son.

        The Intercession of His Son.

        His People in His Son and for The Sake of His Son.


B.   As Christ is the pre-eminent object of the Fatherís love, so too he is the pre-eminent object of the Fatherís trust.


††† God the Father has entrusted everything to the Son. He has put everything into the hands of his Son.


John 3:35"The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."


1.     The Father trusted the Son with his people.


Ephesians 1:12"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."


2.     The Father trusted his Son with all his creation.


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."


John 17:2"As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."


3.     The Father trusted the Son with his very glory.


1 Corinthians 15:28"And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."


C.   God the Father has made Christ pre-eminent over all things by giving him the place of highest honor, majesty, and dominion.


††† The Father has placed everything and everyone under the rule of his dear Son, as the reward of his obedience and death as our Substitute.


Romans 14:9"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."


Philippians 2:9-11"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Hebrews 1:3-9"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (4) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (5) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (6) And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. (7) And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. (8) But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (9) Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."


Hebrews 10:11-14"And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."


D.   God the Father will give his darling Son everything he asks of him.


        The Salvation of His People.

        The Travail of His Soul.

        The Joy Set Before Him.


††† This matter of Christís pre-eminence is more much, much more than words of adulation, pretty phrases, and religious sentiment. The crown he wears is not a figure-headís crown, but the crown of an absolute Monarch. Indeed, our Savior is the only absolute Monarch who ever existed. And he is a worthy Monarch. God himself has given his dear Son the pre-eminence by devoting himself, his heart, his creation, yes, his very Being to the glory and honor of his Son. We must, in our measure, do the same thing!




††† Our text declares, ďthat in all things he might have the pre-eminence.Ē That means exactly what it says, ďin all thingsĒ the Lord Jesus Christ has the pre-eminence by the purpose and arrangement of God the Father. In recent weeks, I have shown you the pre-eminence of Christ in the purpose, works, worship, and Word of God. I have shown you our Saviorís pre-eminence in preaching, in salvation, and among his people. This morning we will limit our thoughts in this regard to that which is revealed in the immediate context of Colossians chapter one.


A.   Christ is pre-eminent in the salvation of Godís elect.


Colossians 1:14"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."


††† Be sure you do not miss the fact that the Holy Spirit here declares redemption and the forgiveness of sins to be tantamount to the same thing. All who were redeemed by the blood of Christ have, by that same blood, been forgiven of all their sins. This is a clear declaration of particular and effectual redemption.


B.   Christ is the pre-eminent Revelation of the invisible God.


††† In verse 15 he is called ďthe image of the invisible God.Ē He is the embodiment of God (Col. 2:9). If we would know God we must know Christ. There is no other way for men to know God but by Christ (John 14:6). Look at verse 15 again.


C.   Christ is pre-eminent in the creation.


††† Our Lord is not here called a creature of God, but ďthe firstborn of every creature.Ē He is the One from whom, through whom, by whom, and for whom every creature exist. He is ďthe beginning of the creation of God.


        Adam was made in the image of him who is the image of God.

        Christ is the firstborn of every creature also in the sense that he is the pre-eminent, praiseworthy one, for whose honor all creation exist.

        He is himself the Creator of all things. - "For by him were all things created.Ē


D.   Our Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminent in providence.


Colossians 1:16"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."


1.     He upholds all things.

2.     He rules all things.

3.     He disposes of all things.

4.     He shall have the praise of all things.


E.   Christ is pre-eminent in and over the church of God.


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."


††† In the church and kingdom of God Jesus Christ is everything. He is...


        The Foundation of the Church.

        The Head of the Church.

        The King of the Church.

        The Law-giver of the Church.

        The Example of the Church.

        The Bridegroom of the Church.

        The Builder of the Church.

        The Strength of the Church.

        The Preserver and Keeper of the Church.

        The Peace and Point of Unity in the Church.

        The Message of the Church.

        The Glory of the Church.


F.    The Lord Jesus Christ is pre-eminent in the resurrection.


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."


1.     He was the first to rise from the dead to die no more.

2.     He is he only one raised by his own power.

3.     His resurrection is the pledge, promise, and pattern of ours. If he is the first, that means others are to follow!

4.     His resurrection is the proof of our justification (Rom 4:25).


G.  Christ is pre-eminent in his mediatorial possessions.


Colossians 1:19"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;"


1.     All the fullness of the eternal Godhead is in Christ.

2.     All the fullness of grace is in Christ.

3.     All the fullness of the glory of God is in Christ.


H.   Christ is pre-eminent in the work of reconciliation.


Colossians 1:20-22"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight."


1.     He has reconciled the offended God and us, his offending people, by the blood of his cross.

2.     He has reconciled us to God by effectually applying to our hearts the blood of his cross.

3.     And the day is coming when he will reconcile all things unto himself. Everything that is, has been, or shall hereafter be shall give praise to him!


Isaiah 45:22-25"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."


††† In a word, wherever we look, in heaven or in earth, in time or in eternity, among men or in the immensity of the infinite God, even in hell itself, Christ has pre-eminence in all things!




††† Why is it that all things are put under him? Why is it that he has no rival? Why is it that nothing and no one can be equal to him? Why does the Lord Jesus Christ possess this singular, high, and distinct honor? I will give you five reasons for our Lordís great, universal pre-eminence.


A.   Christ must have the pre-eminence in all things because God the Father said he must.


Psalms 89:27"Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth."


††† Why was Joseph made prime minister of Egypt? Because Pharaoh wanted it that way and so decreed it! Why was Mordecai led through the city with pomp and pageantry, while Haman led the horse? Because King Ashasuerus wanted it that way and so decreed it! Jesus Christ is pre-eminent because God Almighty wants it that way and has so decreed it!


B.   Christ must have the pre-eminence in all things because he was born to it.


Isaiah 9:6-7"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


††† As the firstborn Son, our Savior has the right of inheritance. As the only Son of the Father, he rightfully possesses all the Fatherís property.


C.   Christ must have the pre-eminence in all things because he paid for it.


††† He who buys an estate is Lord of the estate. And Christ bought the right to rule over and dispose of this world as he will for the salvation of his people.


Isaiah 53:9-12"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. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."


D.   Christ must have the pre-eminence in all things because he alone is able to manage such pre-eminence.


††† There are too many irons in the fire for anyone but him!


Isaiah 52:13"Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high."


E.   Christ must have the pre-eminence in all things because he alone deserves it.


1.     He earned the right to pre-eminence over Godís creation.


John 17:1-4"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."


2.     He has certainly earned the right to have the pre-eminence in our hearts.


Psalms 116:12"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?"


††† It is truly but a small thing for me to extol him and give him the pre-eminence of my heart and life. Would to God that I could do so perfectly!


        Who else has loved me so freely?

        Who else has done so much for me?

        Who but Christ has given so much to me?

        Who else but Christ has been so constantly faithful to me?




††† In much the same way as God the Father has given Christ the pre-eminence, so I must give him the pre-eminence in all things. John Gill was exactly right when he wrote, ďChrist ought to have the pre-eminence and first place in the affections of our hearts, in the contemplations of our minds, in the desires of our souls, and in the highest praises of our lips.Ē If I would give Christ the pre-eminence in all things, I must....


        Trust Him with All Things. - (John 5:23-24)"That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. (24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."


        Love Him above All Things. - (Matthew 10:36-39)"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (37) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (39) He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."


        Yield to Him the Rule of All Things.


        Obey Him in All Things.


        Render Praise to Him for All Things.




††† If God the Father has given Christ the pre-eminence in all things, as indeed he has, then these two concluding statements ought to be obvious to us all.


1.     You must get Christ!


1 John 5:12-13"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."


2.     If we would be in harmony with God, we must give Christ all pre-eminence in all things.


††† In all our preaching, in all our worship, in all our service, in all our affairs, in all our gifts, in all desires, in all our relations, let us be in agreement with God our Father and determine ďTHAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PRE-EMINENCE























[1] #1251 Danville 09/29/96 (AM)