1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.
2To God's people who live in Colossae and are faithful followers of Christ.
I pray that God our Father will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
A Prayer of Thanks
3Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all God's people, 5because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.
6The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in this same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness 7 from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you. 8He is also the one who told us about the love that God's Spirit has given you.
The Person and Work
9We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding his Spirit gives. 10Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.
12I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. 13God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who forgives our sins and sets us free.
Christ alone is all-sufficient, all powerful, and complete. He alone is preeminent. He alone is over all, for all, and our all in all. And as such, Christ alone is the One you can live and die for.
Chapter one is a magnificent declaration of the pre-eminence of Christ. There’s no preacher, priest, prophet, or person to compare with Him. Christ alone is outstanding, outstrips and excels over all others. Here are two of five ways in which chapter one declares the pre-eminence of Christ:
Firstly, Christ is preeminent in the Gospel message (v.1-12). The Gospel doesn’t centre on a doctrine, philosophy, or religious system – its focus is Christ. The Gospel is Christ and Christ is the Gospel. He is the “true message” (v.5b), “God’s wonderful kindness” (v.6), shows “you everything he wants you to do” (v.9), gives “wisdom and understanding” (v.9), enables you to honour and please the Lord (v.10a), do “good deeds” (v.10b), helps you “know God even better” (v.10c), strengthens you with “His glorious power” (v.11a), makes you “patient and strong enough to endure anything” (v.11b), makes it possible for you to share “in what he has promised his people” (v.12), and gives you a hope that “is kept safe for you in heaven” (v.5a).
Secondly, Christ is preeminent in salvation (v.13-14). Our greatest problems aren’t terrorism, global warming, refugees or burdensome taxes. Our greatest problem is sin. Eliminate sin and we wouldn’t have problems. And that’s where Christ is preeminent, for there’s no one else who can save us from sin. There are four saving actions that Christ performs: He rescues “us from the dark power of Satan” (v.13a), brings us into His “kingdom” (v.13b), “forgives our sins” (v.14a), and “sets us free” (v.14b).
Yes, Christ is preeminent and that’s why He expects to be paramount in our lives. There can be no half measures on our part. Satan rejoices when we give Christ prominence but not pre-eminence. If Christ isn’t Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all!
Lord, I want you to be preeminent in my life today. I know it’s an all or nothing commitment with you. So I pledge my head and heart to live wholly for you. Please strengthen and help me. Amen.
Lawson is the President of Scripture Union Canada and the Managing Editor of theStory™. Lawson takes every opportunity to enthusiastically invite people of all ages to connect with Jesus and His Story. He says, “We have been given the greatest story ever - God's Story! Should we not, with all our might and energy immerse ourselves in it? I believe we should. For without the Story we really have nothing to offer the millions who hunger and thirst for something more. But, with God’s Story we have what everyone needs!” Publications: Bible Engagement Blog; Children’s Ministry Basics Blog, Bible Engagement Basics; Bible Beginners