He Must Have Supremacy
All-encompassing God, enclose me in Your goodness until I am overcome with Your praise.
Read Colossians 1:15-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“D. L. Moody (1837-1899) would never bow to the syncretism of his day. Like Paul, he preached a Christ preeminent–peerless, supreme, all-sufficient, and clearly presented” (Warren Wiersbe). That’s the same Christ our syncretistic world needs to hear about!
“I believe in a bit of scientology, Catholicism, Judaism and the eastern philosophies. I like a bit of each. I am a hybrid.” The actress Nicole Kidman expresses the pluralism that is found in almost every corner of the world. In this atmosphere, the exclusive and unique claims of Christianity don’t go down too well. Paul’s world was similar. A key challenge faced by the Colossian church was syncretism: they could have Jesus, it was suggested, but alongside him they needed a few other spiritual masters, a few additional powers and authorities to supplement their faith.
The key to this section–and the whole book–is verse 18: “that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Jesus is not one option among many. Christianity is inescapably exclusive because of Jesus. First, he has a unique relationship to God. He is the image of the invisible God (15), who shows us what God is like. He is the fullness of God (19), so if we have Christ, we have God himself. Second, he is in a unique relationship to the universe. He existed before the universe began (17), he was the agent of creation (16), and he is also its sustainer (17). As if this were not enough, he is also the purpose of creation (16). In him all things hold together, and are created both through him and for him. Third, Paul highlights Jesus’ unique work on the cross, reconciling alienated sinners to himself (20-22). Everything finds its completion and its unity in him.
No wonder Jesus has the supremacy! This is why we proclaim him as Lord. If we are tempted to think that other religious activities, or occult powers, or philosophies are needed, Paul couldn’t be clearer. If you have Jesus you have enough.
Paul’s three themes regarding the uniqueness of Christ represent a powerful apologetic for the Christian faith. Write down briefly an exclamation of these themes in words that a non-Christian could understand.
Risen and exalted Christ, You reign and You rule. Forgive me for waffling on the issue of Your exclusiveness. It’s not a message our culture wants to hear. Strengthen me with courage.