Colossians 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (NKJV)
The Bible is the one book that can get away with using all inclusive terms like “every”, “all”, “never” and “always”. I find it interesting that when these terms are used in conjunction with mankind they are rarely flattering. There are none righteous (Rom 3.10); we all fall short (Rom 3.23); we’re all sinners.
Just the opposite is true when speaking of the Godhead. God is always Holy. The Spirit is never lacking. And Jesus is first in all things. What does that mean? Preeminence means to stand out, to be first in rank, first in dignity or first in importance. That’s a very lofty idea. And Jesus is not just preeminent.
Jesus has preeminence in ALL things.
He is the highest ranking, most important, first and foremost.
When the Bible says “all” it means only one thing: ALL. Unlike us, God does not exaggerate to make a point. He says exactly what He means. He’s not just trying to emphasize or bolster an idea by applying a grandiose term that really does mean what it says. In the Bible, ALL MEANS ALL.
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 may have the preeminence. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
So Jesus is to be preeminent, the most important in all things. My first inclination was to write “which things?” Then I realized I was a victim of my own finiteness. Why would I ask “which things” when I just proclaimed that in the Bible “all” means “all”. Nonetheless, let’s humor our collective mental frailty and take a look at some of the specific things included in “all”.
- Preeminence over all creation; over EVERY thing God has created
Colossians 1:15-17 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
When God uses the word “all” five times in the same thought, we ought to pay attention. One instance of an all-inclusive term is just that, all-inclusive. But to have one used five times in row (actually six because verse 18 uses “all” again) it would seem that God is trying to get something through our thick heads.
Jesus is the firstborn over all creation. The idea here is not of someone physically born first, but of someone who is the highest ranking or most important among all. This of course is the correct understanding because Jesus was not physically born before all other people; nor was He ever firstborn in the sense that His birth marked the beginning of His existence. He is eternal and has always existed.
Why is He firstborn over all creation? Because all things that were created, were created by Him, through Him and for Him. So much for any argument that Jesus has not always existed as God, even while existing on earth as fully man. Is there any part of creation He did not create? Let’s see:
- All things in heaven or on earth
- All things visible or invisible
- All thrones (all governments), dominions (all possessions), principalities (all authorities) and powers (all influence)
The Apostle Paul leaves no possible exception or doubt unanswered: Jesus is preeminent over all creation which was by Him (He did the creating), through Him (He was the authority and reason for creation) and for Him (creation would exist to fulfill His purposes).
If Jesus has preeminence over all creation, do you think that includes our life? Sometimes when we think on such grand scales we lose sight of the personal aspects. “All creation” is not just every thing out there, it is all things that have to do with our life. Which parts of our life? ALL parts.
- Jesus should have preeminence (highest rank, first importance) in all areas of our life:
- Preeminence in our thoughts
- Preeminence in our time
- Preeminence in our schedule
- Preeminence in our finances
- Preeminence in our relationships
- Preeminence in our work
- Preeminence in our words
- Preeminence in our emotions
If Jesus Christ is the most important, most outstanding, highest ranking, preeminent Person in all of creation, how much more should He be preeminent in our personal lives? It is very convicting when I compare Christ’s preeminence in my life to His preeminence over creation. Very often my life does not reflect how important Jesus truly is.
Think with me for moment. In every area of our life that Jesus is not preeminent, who is? We are! Now think about that. What’s the ugly truth? The truth is that in every way that Jesus is not preeminent in our lives, we are proclaiming that WE are more important than He is. Hmmm….
I realize that my flawed human mind and sinful heart can’t really have a full understanding of the true importance and position of Jesus Christ. So let’s close with those verses again to allow you to linger on God’s Word and not my comments:
Colossians 1:15-18 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
Most Holy God, help us to understand the preeminence of Your Blessed Son. May our lives reflect the truth of how important Jesus is. In His Preeminent name, Amen.
Contemplation: If someone were to judge how important Jesus is by looking at your life as a professing Christian, what conclusion would they come to? Is Jesus preeminent in some things in your life but not ALL things? A few things? A couple of things? If Jesus is not preeminent, who is? (hint: look in a mirror)
Application: Jesus already has preeminence over all creation. He will have preeminence over your life either by your own choice now, or by His choice on Judgment Day. Either way, it will happen. His preeminence in your life will increase as you meditate on this truth and ask God to reveal it more fully to you.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?