Colossians 1: Christ is Supreme

Genesis 1-2

In the beginning God made heaven and earth.
Everything was dark, then
God said, let there be light, and there was light.
God made land and sea. it was good.
He made plants and trees
He made the birds flying in the sky and the fish swimming in the sea.
All of the animals. It was good. 
 
Then God made the first man, Adam.
 
The Bible says God made Adam in the image of God.
What does this mean?
Every person is like a picture or a painting of God.
Like a reflection in a mirror               – and each one is different!
when we look at people, we see a little bit of what God is like.
God made humans different from other animals
He made us more like himself
 
He made us free to choose how to live our lives
                We can love God, we can obey God – do what God says.
                We can reject God – say we do not want him, we can disobey God
 
He gave us bigger brains than animals.
We can know God personally, in a way they can’t
 
God made us to love and have relationships
                A close relationship to God
 
A close relationship to each other:
God said, it is not good for the man to be alone.
So he made the first woman Eve, so Adam and eve could love each other.
 
God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good.
 

Genesis 3

God made us free.
So Adam and Eve were free to reject God, to disobey God if they wanted to.
Sadly, Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
Sadly, we all disobey God.
When this happened, everything good that God made was damaged and broken.
 
We were made in the image of God, to be like God.
Each of us is a beautiful picture of God.
But when we do wrong things, we damage this picture, we break it and make it ugly
– we become less like God
 
Because we reject God,
Now we don’t know who God is
We don’t know who we truly are, who God made us to be.
 
When we reject God, we lose love,
all our relationships are broken and damaged.
 
Our relationship with God is damaged
Adam and Eve were scared and afraid of God, and hid from him – we all do ever since
 
Our relationships with other people are damaged
We still have friends, but we often hurt the people we are closest to.
we are often lonely
people even kill each other
 
finally, all of us all die.
All of this, because we reject God
it is not good.
 

Colossians 1

This is our problem
Today’s Bible reading shows how Jesus is the answer to this problem.
 
Colossians 1:15-20:
 
Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. 
He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.
Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. 
He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities.
Everything has been created through him and for him.
He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.
 
Jesus Christ is the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself. 
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross
 

Jesus is God

We rejected God, we said we didn’t want him, so we don’t know who God is, or who we are.
So we have two big questions.
Who is God?  Who am I?
 
so how can we know who God is? What God is like?
People look for God in many ways
– what are some ways you can think of?
 
but the Bible says God is invisible. 
It says No one can see God.  (1 Timothy 6:16)
A problem!
 
but Jesus Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (1:15).
He is the perfect picture of God.
an image shows us what something is like, that we can’t see
like a reflection in a mirror
Some things are too far away for our eyes to see.
So we look through a telescope
Some things are too small for our eyes to see.
So we look through a microscope.
Our physical eyes can’t see God
So we look at Jesus.
 
No one can see God, but we see God in Jesus (John 1:18).
The reading said “God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Jesus Christ” (1:19)
God lives in Jesus, fully.
when we look at Jesus, we see exactly what God is like.
 
 
Jesus does what God does
 
The Bible starts, “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth”
Now here in Colossians we read,
Jesus “Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth” (1:16)
Jesus “existed before everything else began” (1:17)
Jesus was alive, Jesus was there when God made the world – Jesus made it with God!
 
So Jesus Christ is “supreme over all creation” (1:15)
Creation means everything that God made.
Supreme means Jesus is the first, he is the best, he is the king.
Like pizza: supreme has everything, and is the best! (Thanks Bryan!)
 
Jesus made everything.  He is stronger than everything,
We don’t have to be scared or afraid of anything if Jesus is our friend
Jesus is bigger than any problem, we can ever have.
 
I am scared and afraid of dogs.
When I am walking down the street and a dog comes and barks at me, I want to run away.
But I try to remember, Jesus is bigger than the dog, so I am safe!
He is “supreme over all creation”, including that dog!
 
Jesus made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – the visible and the invisible –
Jesus made the kings, kingdoms, rulers, authorities
These are names of invisible spirits we can’t see
Some people are scared and afraid of bad spirits,
They give food to keep the spirits happy.
They make noise and let off fireworks to scare them away.
 
But the Bible says here,
We don’t have to be scared of spirits, or afraid of them.
Because Jesus is stronger-
he was before them all, he made them all.
 
I like tramping in the mountains.  Once I read a tramping magazine, with stories of haunted huts – huts with ghosts!
One time, I stayed in a big tramping hut all by myself.  Now I was alone.  It was getting dark at night. 
There was a lot of loud noises – cracking and creaking
I remembered these ghost stories!
But I also remembered, that Jesus is supreme over invisible ghosts!
 
 
The Bible says (gospel of John)
How we treat Jesus is how we treat God.
If we reject Jesus, we reject God
but if we love Jesus, we love God; if we honour Jesus, we honour God
 
Jesus called God his Father to show how close they were
Jesus himself said, “the Father and I are one… I am in the Father and the Father is in me…
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”   John 14:9-10.
 
How can we find God? How can we know God?
We know God in Jesus Christ           
To see Jesus, is to see God.
Jesus is the super-telescope, the super-microscope, who shows us the invisible God
 

Jesus is human

But how can I know who I really am?  Who am I?  Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?
Who asks themselves this question?
 
We don’t know who we are, because we have rejected God
We were made in the image of God, a beautiful picture of God, a reflection of God.
but we broke and damaged that picture
Only God knows what we truly are
 
Jesus is the only perfect picture and image of God.
He is the perfect human – he shows us what we were made to be.
In Jesus, God lives in a human body.  (Colossians 2:9)
 
Jesus was a real human being
in the Bible,
Jesus was sometimes hungry, thirsty, tired. 
Sometimes he felt happy and excited,
Sometimes he felt angry, sad, lonely
He was just like us. He shares our life.
 
I find this very encouraging.
when I feel lonely or depressed or stressed, Jesus knows what it is like, so I am not alone.
He is not just a distant, far away God, but a close personal friend.
 

The cross

Because we rejected God, we are separated from God, and we will die.
Although Jesus did nothing wrong, he shared our life and even our death.
He was killed for us on the cross.
 
The cross is where heaven meets earth.
The cross is where God meets people.
When Jesus died on the cross, he made peace between us and God.
He healed our broken relationship, so we can be close to God again.
 
Jesus is human and God.
We see both of these most of all when he died on the cross.
 
 
On the cross, Jesus was rejected and alone.
He was in great pain and suffering.
He was weak and helpless.
He was human, like us.
He died, like us.
 
But on the cross, Jesus was most clearly God.
He was patient and kind.
He forgave the people who killed him.
He showed God’s love – he died for us.
 
 
and the good news is:
Jesus died, but he rose from the dead!
He came to life again!
Jesus is the first human being to rise from the dead (1:18)
He is a new beginning
He gives us a new start.
 
Maybe we have done bad things and made a mess of our lives.
But if you are a Christian, God is slowly making you like Jesus
He is making you into a beautiful picture and image of God again
one day you will be like Jesus.
 
 
Jesus shows us who God is
Jesus shows us who we truly are.
what we are meant to be, what we can be, what we will be – in him.
          

The Church / Body of Christ

Because we reject God, our relationships with each other are broken
We fight and hate each other
How can our broken relationships be healed and fixed?
How can we escape from loneliness?
How can I know other people and be close to them?
 
When Jesus died on the cross, he broke down the walls between people. (Ephesians 2:14-16)
He brought us all together in the church, the people of God.
 
Jesus heals our broken relationships.
Jesus makes peace between people
He makes peace between different cultures – between Chinese and Taiwanese, between Korean and Japanese.
He makes peace between people who are rich and those who are poor,
People at university or never went to school.
Jesus lives in all of us.  We are all one in Jesus!  (Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28)
 
I have seen this when I was in Korea. 
Sometimes I felt lonely and home sick.          Too much kimchi!
But sometimes I could go to church.
The people were a different culture, and did not speak much English
But there was still something in common
Which could feel like a family.
I think for many of you, the global group is like that.
Here at global we see people from many different countries,
but we are one in Jesus.
 
Jesus is the head of the church.
Jesus joins us all together in love.
 
Jesus’ love heals and fixes our relationships.
We can be close to God, and close to each other again.
 

Conclusion

Again and again in this Bible reading is “Everything”
God created everything through Jesus.
Jesus existed before everything.
Jesus is first in everything
Jesus’ death made peace with everything.
 
Wow! Jesus is everything!
 
 
So what have we learnt today?
God made us in his image
We are all beautiful pictures of God
But when we reject God, when we say we do not want God, our pictures become ugly.
We don’t know who God is, or who we are.
Our relationships are damaged and broken.
 
 
How can I know God?  How can I know myself? 
The answer, is to know Jesus Christ
 
Jesus is God: he is supreme, he is the first
Jesus is human: he was just like us
Jesus shows us who God is, and who we are,
So I can know God and myself again.
 
 
How can I be close to God?
How can I be close to other people?
Jesus is the answer:
Jesus died for us on the cross to repair our relationships.
So we can love God and each other again.
Trust Jesus, love Jesus, thank Jesus for who he is and what he has done for us,
then we can be close to God and each other
 
 
Jesus Christ is supreme.  He is the first, he is the best, he is God.
 
Jesus Christ is the King, the head, the Lord of creation – everything he made
Jesus Christ is the King, the head, the Lord of the church – all his people
 
We have asked some big questions today,
but the most important question is this:
Is Jesus the King of your life? 
Is Jesus the head of your life?
Is Jesus the Lord of your life?

Discussion Questions

 
The sermon asked some questions:
1. “How can I know who God is, and be close to him?”
2. “How can I know who I really am?”
what is the purpose of my life?
3. “How can I know other people and be close to them?”
 
Are any of these big questions for you?
What answers have you found?
 
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The sermon said:
1. Jesus is God: he is “supreme over all creation” and “first in everything” (Colossians 1:15, 1:18).
2. Jesus is human: he was hungry, tired, sad, lonely just like us.
 
Which of these do you find harder to believe?  Why?
Which of these do you find more encouraging?  Why?
If you can, give an example.
 
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The sermon ended:
Jesus Christ is Lord of creation.
Jesus Christ is Lord of the church.
(“Lord” means king, boss, head)
 
Do you want Jesus to be Lord of your life?
Where is it the hardest for you to let him be Lord?
 
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