“All of life is related to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" That is what one woman said at MBM; what a profound comment. At the heart of the bible is the gospel and at the heart of the gospel is the Lord Jesus. That must be the DNA of MBM, to know that Jesus is Lord of all. Which means he answers the big question of life.
The Hitch Hikers guide to the Galaxy was a funny book seeking to find the answer to the meaning of life. The answer was '42', when we all know it's 1. Wrong answer to the right question. So, let's see how Jesus is the right answer to the right question.
At the heart of a prayer of thanksgiving, we are presented with the Son in whose kingdom we dwell. He is the image of the invisible God
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. ~Colossians 1:15 (NIV)
Christ makes the God who you cannot see, known. You don't have to guess what God is like, you meet God in his Son. He is not just a pale reflection of who God is. Jesus is God!
Later we read that all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form. That is why Jesus says to Philip ‘If you have seen me you have seen the father.’ So as Christ stands to God, He is the perfect image, but as he stands with the World Christ is its creator.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. ~Colossians 1:15 (NIV)
First born is the language of supremacy; He is not part of Creation but supreme over creation. The firstborn gets the inheritance, He holds rank over all of it. If there is any doubt that Christ is not part of the creation verse 16 makes it plain.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him ~Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
Look at how comprehensive is the supremacy of Christ. There is nothing that Christ has not created. By that, he means things in heaven and earth. By that, he includes things visible and invisible. By that, he means thrones, powers, rulers and authorities. If Jesus didn't make it, it doesn't exist. Every corner of the universe is covered. That includes the angels and demons, Jesus made the devil, not as the devil but as an angel who later rebelled. Do not think there is a spiritual battle between good and evil and its neck and neck, Jesus created hell for the devil and his angels.
The Colossians were tempted to pray to and worship angels. If your view of Christ is not supreme then you will worship something else. If your Christian religion is Mary, and the saints. If you’re into non-Christian religious gods and gurus. If it's new-age, angel and crystals. If you’re into the dark arts it's demons, if you're an animist it will be spirits, if you're an atheist it will be your mind.
Once you see Jesus in all his glory then to whom will you go.
Jesus is not number 1, He is the only one. Jesus answers the big questions of life. Questions that people have been asking from the beginning of time, questions that children ask and
adults are afraid to ask or are too busy to ask or just forget to ask. Questions like Who made me? Why do I exist? What is my reason in life? The answer is given in such simple words you could almost trip over it.
All things were created by him and for him. ~Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
You exist for one reason, you were created to be in a personal friendship with Christ, on his terms and for his glory. God made the universe for his Son, this is the message we take to the world.
When I read this verse, I think of the classic love lines in songs and movies…
Words that capture the spirit of the age, and the idols of our heart. The songs remove Christ from his rightful place, that language should only and can only be applied to the Lord Christ.
It's not as if Christ created us and then left us to go on our merry way. The one who is before all things is Christ, the one who holds it all together.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together ~Colossians 1:17 (NIV)
We say of a person who is coping with a lot of pressure, ‘He is holding it all together.’ For Jesus literally holds the universe together.
(The Son is)...sustaining all things by the power of his word. ~Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)
If the job of science gives natural explanations for the natural World, the Bible gives the ultimate explanation for the natural and spiritual world. Christ sustains the universe and it is he who is bringing everything to its appointed end.
History is moving in one direction, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. Christ is supreme in this age and in the age to come.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. ~Colossians 1:18 (NIV)
Christ rules in creation and he rules over his people the church, Christ is the head of the church which is his body. There is an intimate connection between Christ and his body the church.
Jesus said: "When you do it unto the least of my brothers you do it unto me." The church belongs to Christ, He rules the church. Its right to say that MBM is Christ's church its even ok to say its our church, but it is never Ray Galea's church.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, ~Colossians 1:18 (NIV)
The church that he rules is the one he leads into the age of the resurrection. Jesus is firstborn from the dead, He is the first of the dead ones to rise, He spear heads a new people who will also rise from the dead and God raised his Son first
…so that in everything he might have the supremacy. ~Colossians 1:18 (NIV)
literally "so that in everything he might be first."
He ranks supreme in this age and in the age to come. He ranks number 1 in this creation and the next. He rules over all people and Gods people.
The one who is firstborn of creation is firstborn from the dead, so that in everything he might be first. John the Baptist was right, Jesus must increase and I must decrease. He is first because he is God
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him ~Colossians 1:19 (NIV)
The first Christmas day not only made us happy it first made God happy. God was pleased to become fully human, God permanently sided with us humans to bring peace.
Coming to earth was not the end of the story, God delights to put right the universe that has gone wrong
… and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. ~Colossians 1:20 (NIV)
To reconcile means is to bring together that which is apart, to make friends where there are enemies, to make peace where there is war and to put right that which is wrong. The Universe was made by Christ and for Christ but every corner of the universe has been stained by sin.
There is rebellion in the invisible world with Demons opposing God, there is rebellion in the visible world with humans as enemies of God. Christ came to bring peace through his blood with all things. In some way that means God made peace with the devil. That peace is not just a peace of friendship, all holding hands, smoking weed and singing “ all your need is love…” it has the idea of the pacification of the universe.
Pax Romana described 200 years of Roman peaceful rule. The peace of Rome- was 'not flowers in the hair' singing ‘We are the world’. The Peace of Rome involved the army who came to put down any rebellion.
So how did God made peace with the devil? by disarming and shaming the devil at the cross by taking from him his right to accuse us of sin. The Cross is as much about suppressing the enemies like Satan as it is about saving sinners. At the cross, the rift between God and man and God and the universe is reversed.
These are the facts, Christ is the reason that you exist, why you exist, why your sins cant condemn you and why Satan cant accuse you, why your death cant defeat you. Christ rules the world and he rules this church, He grants you the right to breathe and the right to enter heaven. At every point Christ is supreme.
There is not a corner of your life and there is not a square metre on this earth where Christ cannot say ‘This is mine and I own it and it belongs to me’.
So why isn't Jesus first in your life? What part of your life are you refusing to let Jesus be first? Perhaps you think you've gone too far!? Join the rest of us.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation ~Colossians 1:21-22 (NIV)
We were all enemies of God, the evidence is seen in what we did and what we thought. We have been funding a war with God, for some, it's open warfare with blatant defiance, for many it’s the cold war.. silence and sulking, but war it is. The peace was brokered over Christ’s physical body.
I heard of a couple who were separated and on their way to divorce. One day the husband decided to visit the grave of their dead son, as he stood there he heard someone coming from behind, coincidently, it was his wife. For a moment they were going to walk away from each other but standing over the grave of their dead son they held hands and peace came to their marriage.
God has made peace with you over the body of his Son, its time to take the hand of God and go home knowing you’re at peace with God. What does this peace with God look like?
On Judgment day there is no shaming, no condemnation, no accusation, no rejection. You will be Holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. You go home with our Lord and there will be no I told you so, no more criticism, no blame.
That is the power of the gospel.