Jesus Has The Preeminence, Col 1:15-20


In this lesson, we are studying Col 1:15-20, in which we see that Jesus has the preeminence.  Col 1:18 says, “that in all things he might have the preeminence.”  Jesus’ preeminence is evident in that:

He is the image of the invisible God – Col 1:15 – God is a Spirit, Jn 4:24, and has, therefore, been seen by no man, Jn 1:18.  Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh, 1 Tim 3:16.  He said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” Jn 14:9.  Therefore, he is the image of God, 2 Cor 4:4.  In Heb 1:3, Jesus is “the express image of his person.” 

He is the firstborn of every creature – Col 1:15 – that is, he is the firstborn of every creature who is born of God.  Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, Lk 1:35.  When we are born again by the Spirit, we are new creatures in Christ, 2 Cor 5:17. Thus, we are to be “conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren,” Rom 8:29.  Adam was not born of God; he was created.  Everyone born of Adam was born in Adam’s image, Gen 5:3. So, Jesus is indeed the firstborn of every creature.

He is the creator of all things – Col 1:16 – “all things were made by him,” Jn 1:3, and for him

  • In heaven – sun, moon, stars, New Jerusalem, seraphim, cherubim, four beasts
  • In earth – earth, seas, animals, birds, fish, insects, plants, trees, etc.
  • Visible – angels, we see them when they appear, John saw them in heaven
  • Invisible – bottomless pit, hell, devil, unclean and evil spirits
  • Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers – the powers that be are ordained of God, Rom 13

He is before all things and by him all things consist – Col 1:17 – he is eternal, Jn 1:2, 1 Jn 5:20.  He is before all things, so, he was here before anything was created.  Thus, he is “the beginning of the creation of God,” Rev 3:14.  Heb 1:3 says, “upholding all things by the word of his power.”

He is the head of the body, the church – Col 1:18 – see Eph 1:22-23. Obviously, then, he is preeminent.

He is the firstborn from the dead – Col 1:18 – He is the first person to ever rise from the dead and live forever.  Our new birth includes the fact that we will rise from the dead to live forever, 1 Thes 4:13-18.  Therefore, he is “the beginning” of all things that are resurrected to live forever.  

He is the embodiment of all the fulness of God – Col 1:19 – see Col 2:9; Eph 1:23.  When Jesus delivers up the kingdom to God after defeating all his enemies, God will be all in all, 1 Cor 15:22-28.

He is the one who reconciled all things unto himself – Col 1:20 – “having made peace through the blood of his cross,” Rom 5:1, 8-11.  It is by his shed blood that we can have peace with God.  He is the propitiation for the sins of the world, 1 Jn 2:2.  Through his blood he reconciled all things to himself whether they be:

  • Things in earth – Jews or Gentiles, Eph 2:12-14.  We are reconciled when we are saved.
  • Things in heaven – Old Testament saints who ascended with Jesus, Eph 4:8-9.  They had been forgiven; but they weren’t reconciled until Jesus shed his blood for their sins.

Conclusion: there is no one else in the entire universe like Jesus.  Therefore, he is to have the preeminence in all things, Phil 2:10.  He should be first in every aspect of our lives.