27: The Preeminence of Christ (Col 1:15-2:3)
Paul’s prayer in
the previous passage ended with reference to the saving works of God through
Jesus Christ. In this passage, He emphasizes Christ’s preeminence over all
things and God’s work of reconciliation through Christ. He also tells the
Colossians that it is because of this great mystery that he became a minister
of the gospel and labored for the believers.
“…to fulfill the
word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations,
but now has been revealed to His saints… which is Christ in you, the hope of
Did You Know…?
(2:1) was a city on the banks of the LycusRiver,
situated about 11 miles from Colosse.
1. As a preliminary, read the following
passages and form a concept about the Godhead: Deut 6:4; Isa 9:6; Jn 1:1,14; 3:13; 8:58 with Ex 3:14; Jn
10:30; 14:17,18,23; Mt 28:19 with Acts 2:38.
2. To refute the heresy that Jesus was less than
God, the preeminence of Christ is stated in 1:15-20 with the use of words and
phrases which imply superlative or first. List all that you can find.
3. Now these statements clearly elevate Christ
above all created beings but a further clarification needs to be made. If you
ever come across the interpretation that the phrase ‘the firstborn over all
creation’ (1:15) implies that Jesus Himself is created and is thus less than
God the Father, how would you reply? Further note: In many translations, the phrase
is rendered as “firstborn of all creation.”
4a. How did God
reconcile all things to Himself?
4b. What is the purpose
5. What makes a person an enemy of God (21)?
6. What do the words,
“if indeed you continue…” teach us (23)?
7. What is a “minister” (25)?
8. Who is the reason for the sufferings and
the labor of Paul?
9. What is the goal of the ministry of Paul?
10. What does Paul mean by the words, “fill up in
my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (24)?
11a. What can we learn from
Paul’s words about our responsibilities, objectives, and attitudes as servants
11b. What is the source of
our strength in being a minister of the gospel?