“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “GOD with us.”
- Matthew 1:23
"Jesus Christ is only a man..nothing more!" This seems to be the common battle cry of most secularists and atheists in our modern day society. However, there are many others they say that Jesus was merely a good moral teacher, a spiritual prophet, or perhaps even an enlightened guru or reincarnation of a special master.
These bizarre ideas are nothing new, however, since the disciples of Jesus were combating them ever since the early days of the Church. The book of Colossians is especially powerful, since it was written for precisely this purpose: to declare and defend the divinity of Jesus Christ!
To this end, in Colossians chapter 1:15-20, Paul the apostle lists for us 10 glorious and wonderful depictions of Christ, that clearly show us the supremacy of the divinity of our Lord Jesus.
Let's now examine them one by one, and behold our Master in all of his divine glory and majesty:
15 "He is the Image of the invisible God.."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the REPRESENTER! Paul uses the Greek word "eikon" here, from which we get "icon" to show us that Christ is the visible image of the invisible, eternal, all-powerful God. Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation, in flesh, of the One True God - YHWH. (Read John 14:8,9)
"..the Firstborn over all creation."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the RULER! Here Paul uses the Greek word "prototokos" meaning the first in rank, order, importance. Jesus is not a part of the Creation, but rather over it and beyond it; He is Supreme over it, being the Ruler Himself! (Read Rev 19:11-16)
16 "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the CREATOR! Paul reveals to us Christ is the eternal Creator Himself (Read John 1:1-3). It was Christ, along with the Father and Spirit, who called ALL else into existence, and fashioned the universe and spiritual realms.
"All things were created through Him and for Him."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the MASTER! Jesus is not just the Creator, but also the purpose and the goal of all Creation. It was all created by Him...but also for Him! For His purposes, His desires, His plans, and His pleasure. If we don't live for Christ, we miss the very purpose of life itself! (Read Phil 1:21)
17 "And He is before all things.."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the ORIGINATOR! Paul declares the amazing reality that Jesus Christ, as God the Son, is the Eternal God. He is the One who has always pre-existed all other things, and He will always exist... forever! (Read Micah 5:2; Rev 1:8)
and in Him all things consist."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the SUSTAINER! Jesus Christ is not only the Creator of the entire physical and spiritual universe, but He is also the Sustainer of it. Christ holds the atoms and the very fabric of existence together second by second, day by day! (Read Hebrews 1:1-3)
18 "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church.."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the LEADER! Paul teaches here that Jesus is the One who builds the Church (Read Matt 16:18), but He also is the Leader and Authority over it. Christ is the One in charge of the global Church - He created it and leads it! (Read 1 Cor 11:3)
"..who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead.."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the EXEMPLAR! Though Jesus wasn't the first one to rise from the grave, He IS the First to rise from the dead, never to die again! Jesus Christ is the most important One to ever resurrect, and He is the First of a new Resurrection! (Read John 5:24-29)
"..that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 "For it pleased [the Father that] in Him all the fullness should dwell.."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the GOD-MANIFESTER! In Jesus Christ, the fullness of the Triune GOD dwells in a human body. Jesus is the physical incarnation and manifestation of GOD come into this world to save mankind! (Read Colossians 2:9; 1 Tim 3:16)
20 "..and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross."
Jesus Christ is Supreme...as the PEACE-MAKER! Paul declares that through the blood of His Cross, Jesus Christ the God-Man, has made peace between a perfect holy God and sinful mankind, through the shedding of His perfect blood. (Read Romans 5:1; Hebrews 10:12-18)
So, the next time that someone comes to you with a confused, bizarre concept of who they think Jesus is, you simply have to show them Colossians chapter 1.
They may believe in Jesus, but it's probably not the biblical Jesus. The central question these days is not whether a person believes in Christ, but rather which Christ do they believe in!?
The true Jesus of the Scriptures is unmistakeably and irrefutably described as the Creator of the cosmos, the Sustainer of the universe, and very GOD in the flesh come down to save us!
Refuse to accept any phony imitations...and be sure to worship the real Jesus in all of his glory, majesty, and divinity! Truly, Jesus Christ is "..our great God and Savior.." and the Word of God boldly declares it again and again!
(Read Titus 2:13; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; Phil 2:5-11)