Supremacy of Christ

Colossians 1:15-20 contains one of the earliest Christian hymns packed with reverence for Christ and profound theological truth. It focuses on His unique person and work, highlighting the complete and utter sufficiency of Jesus.


1. Christ is supreme for all eternity
Paul establishes Christ’s eternal relationship with the Father, affirming that God the Son is “the image of the invisible God.”
The term “exact representation” doesn’t mean that Jesus is less than the Father. Rather, he is equal to the Father. To truly know God, we must focus attention on God the Son, through whom the Father is revealed.

Christ is before all things and as far back as we can fathom, God the Son was already there. This is called the coeternality of the Son with the Father. As well the Holy Spirit is coeternal with the Father and the Son. Never was the eternal Father without His eternal Son and eternal Spirit.

2. Christ is supreme over all creation
Supreme or firstborn can mean the oldest child or the chief heir of a father’s legacy. The context of this passage requires that we understand the Son as the firstborn heir over all creation.
By him all things have been created from subatomic particles to massive galaxies. Literally, all things in heaven and earth are held together by Christ’s supreme authority over creation.

3. Christ is supreme over the Church
Having presented a clear picture of Christ’s absolute supremacy over time and space, Paul brings this cosmic down to earth.
Jesus is the leader of the Church; He is the leader of Fellowship Church. He’s the Chief Shepherd.

4. Christ is supreme in resurrection
Paul doesn’t mean that Jesus was the first to experience a restoration to bodily life after dying. However, the resurrection of Jesus was the first of its kind. He was raised in a glorious, incorruptible body that could never again suffer death.
Since Christ is our head, we are united with Him in all things, including the experience of our own glorious resurrection.
This means we don’t need to fear death. If you are in Christ – united to Him by the Holy Spirit through faith – you can have absolute confidence in your own resurrection.

5. Christ is supreme in redemption
In the last two verses of the hymn, Paul describes in two statements the person of Christ in relation to His work of redemption.
  • The fullness of God dwells in Christ
  • Because of who he is, fully divine and fully human, Christ is able to accomplish the reconciliation between heaven and earth
Since the fall, all humanity has been in rebellion toward God but because of Christ’s substitutionary death in our place, we have been reconciled with God.

6. Christ is supreme in everything
At the heart of the Christ hymn Paul makes the ultimate statement for Christ’s all supremacy: “He himself will come to have first place in everything.” Jesus Christ is Lord over little and big things, over the past, present, and future and over things seen and unseen.

Paul says in v. 22 that Christ forgave us of our sins so that we may lead a life that is holy and blameless. He said that they were reconciled to God “if indeed” they would continue in the faith and hope of the gospel.
An if statement can sometimes indicate a conditional relationship but it can also demonstrate the genuineness of something. Paul knew that not all the Colossians who claimed Christ were Christians.

He set the record straight with the Christ hymn and application that Jesus is sufficient as their supreme Lord.

What should we do to stand firm in the faith?
1. Make Christ the most important part of your life
Think of how it would revolutionize your life if you began each day not with the word “I’m worried about…” but with the words “Christ is supreme over…”

2. Refocus your attention on Christ
The hymn is all about Jesus and not about some vague hope or wishful thinking; it’s about the hope and the promise of salvation through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Chris Williams
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