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The Supremacy Declared: Jesus Christ is Totally Supreme! (Col. 1:15-20)

Intro

“Some years ago, the distinguished publishing house of Grosset & Dunlap brought together a panel of 28 educators and historians and asked them to select the hundred most significant events of history, then list those events in order of importance. After months of labor, the panel reported that they considered the most significant event of history to be the discovery of America. In second place was the invention of movable type by Gutenberg. Eleven different events tied for third place, and five events tied for fourth place. The events tying for fourth were the writing of the Constitution of our country, the development of ether, the development of the x-ray, the discovery of the airplane, and the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus tied for fourth.”[1]

This begs the question: where does Jesus Christ  rank in our lives? Is He the first one we think about when I am at home, in my choices for entertainment, how I spend my time, how I treat my wife? My parents? My co-workers? Is He first when I think about the way I use my finances? First in my career? In my thoughts? My dreams for the future? My sexuality? In the friends I choose? In all my relationships is it based on the fact that Jesus Christ is first in my life? Remember the question that Jesus asked his disciples once, “Who do you say that I am?”[2]

The Apostle Paul’s thesis for our portion of Scripture today and for this book is found in the end at verse 18: that in everything Jesus Christ is preeminent; a word that means: “to hold the highest rank in a group, be first, have first place.[3]”

KJV: that in all things he might have the preeminence.

NIV: so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

NASU: so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

NLT: So he is first in everything.

If everything revolves around that thought and I am created for that truth to be lived out in my own life, I will never be truly happy…never experience true joy until Jesus Christ is first in all areas of my life. How many of you like working on puzzles? I used to enjoy putting a puzzle together on a rainy day. But the one frustrating thing about puzzles is that often towards the end, there will be a piece missing and there will be a corresponding piece that seems like it would be the perfect fit and you try to squeeze it in there, hoping somehow you are close to finishing, but you know it even though it looks like it can fit, there has to be a better piece. CS Lewis said, if you find yourself unsatisfied with the things of this world, it is because you are created for another world. Pascal said that we have a God sized vacuum in my heart that only God can fill. This is what we are created for! We are created for His glory, namely, the glory of Jesus Christ being first place in our lives. We have a great need for Christ, CH Spurgeon said, a great Christ for our need!

What we are about to read is the single most heavily saturated, number one piece of literature on the person of Jesus Christ that we have.  This is the resume of Jesus Christ. Some say Paul adapted it from a hymn, but regardless, it is the most Christ-centered passage of Scripture!

I love Paul’s approach here.  The false teachers did not deny Jesus, they dethroned Jesus. They said He could not have had a body, since the body is sinful. They said perhaps Jesus was like the chief angel then. Jesus to them was one of many “emanations” or smaller manifestations of deity. In Ch 2, Paul will defend the Supremacy, but before He does that, He is simply going to lift up Jesus Christ. HE IS GOING TO DECLARE HIS SUPREMACY! How supreme is Jesus? HE IS TOTALLY SUPREME! Paul will give us seven reasons here for His Supremacy in our text today.  Remember the illustration about how to catch counterfeits? Better than studying each false item, they carefully study the real thing. This is what Paul is doing here. He exalts Jesus, lifting Him so high, everything else diminishes in His presence. It is like when the sun is brightest in the day, you can’t see the moon or stars anymore. Amen! Arise O Lord in our midst as well!

Let’s dive into our text.  Why is Jesus Christ Supreme? Why should we make Him preeminent in our lives?

I.     HE IS THE PERFECT REVEALER OF GOD THE FATHER (Col 1:15). 

 

Jesus shows what God is like.  The text says he is the image of the invisible God. He made the invisible God visible for us. He is God in skin. That’s why He said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”[4] It is not just similarity due to coincidence…like “hey, you look like so and so.” He is the exact, perfect representation of God. You want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus! Heb. 1:3 says, “He is the radiance of God and the exact imprint of his nature. Ever wonder if God is compassionate? Look at Jesus! Is God just? Look at Jesus! Is God sensitive to my needs? Look at Jesus! Does God care about me? Look at Jesus! Jesus is the Revealer, showing us the Father. Notice that this shows His eternality: by the verb, “is,” not was or became, but always was is and shall be. Notice also His exclusivity: Jesus is not “an” image, but “THE” image. There is no other perfect image of God except the one you see in Jesus Christ.

 

Illus: Phillip Yancey, “The Jesus I Never Knew.”  ‘I learned about incarnation when I kept a salt-water aquarium. Management of a marine aquarium, I discovered, is not an easy task. I had to run a portable chemical laboratory to monitor the nitrate levels and the ammonia content. I pumped vitamins and antibitotics and sulfa drugs and enough enzymes to make a rock grow. I filtered the water through glass fibers and charcoal, and exposed it to ultraviolet light. You would think, in view of all the energy expended on their behalf, that my fish would at least be grateful. Not so. Every time my shadow loomed above the tank they dove for cover into the nearest shell. They showed me one “emotion” only: fear. Although I opened the lid and dropped in food on a regular schedule, three times a day, they responded to each visit as a sure sign of my designs to torture them.  I could not convince them of my true concern.

To my fish I was deity. I was too large for them, my actions too incomprehensible. My acts of mercy they saw as cruelty; my attempts at healing they viewed as destruction. To change their perceptions, I began to see, would require a form of incarnation. I would have to become a fish and “speak” to them in a language they could understand.

A human being becoming a fish is nothing compared to God becoming a baby. And yet according to the Gospels that is what happened at Bethlehem. The God who created matter took shape within it, as an artist might become a spot on a painting or a playwright a character within his own play. God wrote a story, only using real characters, on the pages of real history. The Word became flesh.'[5]

 

II.        HE IS THE PRIVILEGED RULER OVER ALL OF CREATION (Col 1: 15-16). 

 

This latter part of verse 15 has often been misinterpreted for pretty much all of church history. Arians in the first century to Jehovah Witnesses in our day, have taken this verse out of context. They look at this verse and say, “see, Christ is the first born, meaning he is created and not eternal God.” Interestingly, this same heresy is what Paul is trying to refute in this passage! Although the word for “firstborn” here can mean first chronologically, it primarily means first in rank and position. Ex. Israel is called the firstborn (Ex. 4:22Jer 31:9). Though not the first nation to be born, it was unique and special in God’s sight. The first born in both Jewish and Greek culture was the one who had right to the inheritance. So here, Paul is saying Jesus is the ruler, the inheritor of all of creation. The word “of” is literally “over.”  The following  verses from 16-18 are an explanation of why he is the “firstborn” and reading those verses clearly show that Jesus is the Creator, not a creation.

 

 

 

Illus:

“Consider the stages involved in building a home. The first thing you do is hire an architect who draws up the blueprints. He formulates the plan and lists the many specifications on how everything is to be constructed. You then contract a builder, the person who actually puts brick to mortar and nail to wood. The house is then put to the use for which it was built: you move in. You occupy it and enjoy the many special features it contains, whether a special den or a hot-tub on the deck. Finally, as its inhabitant and owner, you maintain it. You are careful to make timely repairs and perhaps a bit of remodeling here and there. Here’s my point. Jesus Christ is all of these in relation to the whole of the universe!” [6]

Look at verse 16. Notice in relation to the creation:

a)      He is the architect of creation —“by Him.” This means creation was his idea. In an ageless, timeless chaos, the second person of the Trinity stood and called it into being. It was his creative power and imagination. Pastor Sam Storms says, “He is the one in whose eternal mind the blueprints for every nook and cranny of the cosmos were conceived.”

 

b)     The extent of His creation—everything (all things), everywhere (heaven and earth), even in every dimension (visible or invisible). Whether it be massive galaxies light years away or the dust mites beneath your feet. Storms continues to say, “The “all things” includes what you can see and can’t see, whether visible but intangible, like a mirage or beam of light; whether invisible but tangible, like a summer breeze or the heat of the sun; whether visible and tangible, like an oak tree or a book or a baseball; even things invisible and intangible like a proton or gravity or a feeling or a dream. Think of all the colors of the spectrum—even aquamarine, electric blue, orange, saffron, vermillion. He conceived them all! And He had no hat or rabbit, for He did it out of nothing. The “thrones,” “dominions,” “rulers” and “authorities” refer to hierarchy of angels. They have an organized structure in the angelic realm.  Remember there was some people teaching the worship of angels? Well, Paul says, “Jesus created them too!”

 

c)      He  is the builder of creation—(“through him”).  Creation was his idea and he also built it! Creation came to being through his power and ability. The apostle John wrote, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3 nkjv). The writer to the Hebrews wrote of Christ, “through whom [God] made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:2–3 niv). [7] The false teachers thought Jesus was an angel, Paul makes it perfectly clear: Jesus made the angels!

Illus:

Look at the sheer size of the universe: it is mind-boggling! Look at some stats (John Macarthur):

“If you could bore a hole in the sun and start dumping earths into it, you could put one million, two hundred thousand earths in it and still have room for four million, three hundred thousand moons. The sun is inconceivably massive. The sun is 93 million miles away. The nearest star, Alpha Centuri, is five times bigger than the sun. Now the moon is only thousand, 463 miles away, just a walk really. It’s true, you can walk to the moon in 27 years if you can go 24 miles a day. A ray of light travels at 186 thousand miles per second so it reaches the moon in 1.5 seconds. Now if we can go that fast, if we can get up to that speed, we can reach Mercury in four and a half minutes, it’s only 50 million miles away. In fact, in two minutes we can be at Venus, that’s just 26 million miles. And four minutes and 21 seconds we can hit Mars, it’s only 34 million miles away. And then if we want to take a little longer trip, we can go all the way to Jupiter, that’s 367 million miles and it will take us 35 minutes and 11 seconds. And if we want to go to Saturn, well that will take a while, that’s an hour and eleven seconds. It’s 790 million miles away.

And then if we still want to go further we can go to Uranus which is one billion, six hundred and eight million miles, and Neptune which is three billion and Pluto is past all of that. And when you get all the way to Pluto, you haven’t left the front porch.

Betelgeuse, the amazing star, is 880 quaddrillion miles away. Are you ready for this? And has a diameter that is greater than the earth’s orbit. That is a big star. Who made all that matter? Who made all that stuff? Jesus.”

d)     He is the owner of creation—“for him.” Literally, “for his benefit.” Everything exists to show off His glory and ultimately, he will be glorified  by all creation.  Storms again: “He is the reason, goal, the aim, the intent, the point, the purpose, the end, the consummation and culmination of every molecule that moves.” We are created for His glory.

Illus If I decide to take my car to the top of a mountain, hit the accelerator and decide, “I’ll go flying tonight!”I’m going to be in the shock of my life because my car was not meant to fly. Likewise, if we decide in our lives that we’re going to live for ourselves and fly high, we will crash, because we are meant to glorify God.

 

III.   HE IS THE PREEXISTENT SUSTAINER OF THE UNIVERSE (Col 1: 17)

The hymn continues to say that Jesus is not only the perfect revealer of the Father and not only the privileged ruler of creation, in verse 17, He is also the preexistent sustainer of the universe.  Jesus Christ existed before any of the creation. We are locked in space and time, but God is transcendent. We might be praying for something for 2 years, but God is eternal and has a different perspective.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

John 8:58:  Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” The next phrase astounds me. Not only is He the architect, builder and owner of creation, He is the sustainer as well. He is the atomic glue of the universe. The verb “hold together” is in the present tense meaning Jesus is continually holding the universe together. If at any moment, He decided to “let go,” everything will fall apart. Every flutter of an eyelid, every heartbeat, every rustle of a blade of grass, every planet’s orbit. Every star in its course, every breath that you breathe is sustained by Jesus Christ. That’s what keeps our universe as a cosmos and not chaos! But one day, He will remove His sustaining power slightly:

2 Pet 3:10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Illus: “Do you understand that if the earth’s rotation slowed down, we would alternately freeze and burn? He’s got to keep this deal moving at the same speed all the time. Our globe is tilted at an exact angel of 23 degrees which enables us to have four seasons. If it weren’t tilted like that, vapors from the ocean would move north and south and pile up massive continents of ice on both ends and we would have some major problems in the rotation, to say nothing of seasons. If the moon didn’t remain at the exact precise distance it is from the earth, the ocean tide would inundate all the land twice a day.” J.Macarthur.

Listen, beloved, if this Jesus Christ is the divine glue of the universe, holding everything together, how much more DOES HE SUSTAIN OUR LIVES? AMEN?!!

Illus: “The little girl who, failing to reassemble a torn up map of the United States, discovered that on the reverse side was a picture of George Washington and that by putting his picture together she also assembled the map, illustrates a profounder truth. Nothing can be assembled, either one’s life or the universe, apart from Christ. But when we know Him all things else find their place, for by Him all things consist, and we are complete in Him.”[8]

The hymnwriter has aptly said, “If all around our  soul gives way, He alone is our hope and   stay.” Even if your world falls apart, He is still holding you together. Bring the broken pieces to Him. It is by looking at Him and recognizing who He is that reassembles our lives….for He is the Sustainer!

Illus Some years ago a South American company purchased a fine printing press from a firm in the United States. After it had been shipped and completely assembled, the workmen could not get it to operate properly. The most knowledgeable personnel tried to remedy the difficulty and bring it into proper adjustment, but to no avail. Finally the company wired a message to the manufacturer, asking that the company send a representative immediately to fix it. Sensing the urgency of the request, the U.S. firm chose the person who had designed the press. When he arrived on the scene, the South American officials were skeptical—the young man was obviously wet behind the ears. After some discussion, they sent this cable to the manufacturer: “Your man is too young; send a more experienced person.” The reply came back: “He made the machine. He can fix it!”[9]

 

IV.      HE IS THE PREEMINENT HEAD OF THE CHURCH (Col 1: 18)

 

Verses 15-17 showed us Jesus as Lord of the Universe, now in verses 18-20, we see Him as

Lord of the Church. In the former, He is Supreme over the physical creation; in the latter, He is

Supreme over the spiritual creation. There are a lot of metaphors to describe the church:

family, kingdom, vineyard, flock, building  and bride. But a key metaphor is that of a body. This

metaphor of a head and body implies that:

a)      Life: The church is a living organism His life is lived out among the members.

b)     Unity: The church’s head is inseparable to the body

c)      Control: The head controls the body; Jesus controls his church.

d)     Guidance and direction

e)      Growth: In the human body, the pituitary gland is housed in a small cavity located in the base of the skull. The growth hormone (and several other hormones) come from there. This hormone is known to be closely related to the health and growth of connective tissue, cartilage and bone. The growth of the body is directly related to the power provided by the head.

f)       Ruling authority: head makes decisions. The body must submit. What is the job of your body? Your body has only one job description—to obey and carry out the instructions of your head, your brain. When your head says, “Right hand, move,” your right hand is supposed to move. If your right hand, or any other part of your body, refuses to move in response to a command from the head, better call a doctor. Something is wrong.

g)      In everything our church does, He is to have sovereign control. The pastors serve under Him, the elder serves under Him, the deacon board serves under Him, the lay leadership serves under Him. The Word is preached in Him, under Him and before Him. The church gathers and worships with Him as the Leader and object of our affection and praise.

Illus: Picture of bodybuilding image .Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn’t fit the body. If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head?

Sam Storms: “Some professing Christians behave and “minister” as if Jesus is the head of the Church only in name or title, much in the way Elizabeth is the Queen of England. When it comes down to the daily operations and administration of that country, she has very little if any role. The title “Queen” is merely honorary and traditional. But such is not the case with our Lord Jesus Christ. He exerts a functional authority over his body. He can be trusted to govern and direct and provide instruction and power for the life of his church if we will but look to him and draw from the resources he so generously supplies.”[10]

If we do not follow His dictates, the body is sick. What is a body without a head: it’s a corpse! We are dead without Christ. This is Christ’s church and Christ’s ministry.  As J. B. Lightfoot once wrote, Jesus “is the inspiring, ruling, guiding, combining, sustaining power (of the church), the mainspring of its activity, the centre of its unity and the seat of its life” (157).

 Illus:

In Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting of The Last Supper, our Lord’s hands are empty. And therein lies an inspiring story. Da Vinci dedicated three years to this painting, determined that it would be his crowning work. Before the unveiling, he decided to show it to a friend for whose opinion he had the utmost respect. The friend’s praise was unbounded. “The cup in Jesus’ hand,” he said, “is especially beautiful.” Disappointed at once Da Vinci began to paint out the cup. Astonished, the distinguished friend asked for an explanation. “Nothing,” Da Vinci explained, “must distract from the figure of Christ.” Da Vinci focused attention solely on Christ by removing the distraction of the cup. Having removed the cup, he had to do something with the hand. The left hand was already outstretched just above the table, lifting, as if to bless and command. Now the right hand, also empty, was also outstretched invitingly.

I know Jesus Christ has first place in my life when:

1.       Trials: I am learning to go to the Lord with them/fear and anxiety is replaced by faith.

2.       Money: I am learning to give cheerfully to the Lord for His work.

3.       Relationships: I am learning to work at my relationships and not neglect it (including marriage).

4.       Time: I am learning to redeem the time and not waste it in trivial pursuits (internet surfing, tv/movies, video games, etc.)

5.       Forgiveness: I am learning to let small things roll off my shoulder and more important issues are being resolved biblically.

V.     HE IS THE POWERFUL VICTOR OVER DEATH (Col 1:18)

 

The hymn continues, calling Jesus “the beginning.” The church has its origins in Christ. He is the founder of the church.  What qualifies Him to be the head? His resurrection! He was the first to break the hold of death and therefore supreme in the new spiritual creation. Again, the word “firstborn” is used, this time emphasizing Christ as first in rank over death. He is not the first to rise again from the dead: Lazarus, the son of the widow of Nain, etc. They all died again. But Christ rose from the dead, never to die again.  It is interesting Paul uses “born” to refer to “death” b/c they seem opposed to each other. But the tomb was a womb from which Christ came forth in victory, for death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). And so believer, the moment you die, you will be more alive than ever before since you have trusted in the firstborn from the dead. Notice that Paul has a purpose clause here: “so that.” The purpose of Christ reigning as King of Creation and Christ ruling and Head of the Church through His resurrection is that HE MIGHT  HAVE FIRST PLACE IN ALL THINGS. There it is! He is totally supreme because He didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk! He proved why He is Supreme.  The “He” is emphatic; He alone, not angels or men. Christ has unshared supremacy; He has first place; He is in a class by Himself; He is eminent above all others. It is not enough for Christ to be present, nor prominent; He must be pre-eminent.[11]

 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was so that “he, and only he, might be seen and savored, recognized and relished, exalted and enjoyed as the sovereign Lord, the one for whom all things were made and to whom all praise should be given.”[12]

 

To what extent does our life reflect the supremacy of Christ? If we looked at your bank statement, can we tell that Jesus is Supreme? Is He our treasure or is it found in the documents and deeds lying in a bank vault? How visible is the supremacy of Christ in the way you talk and relate to others and fulfill your responsibilities at work and in the home?

 

VI.   HE IS THE PLEASURE OF THE FATHER (Col. 1:19)

 

There are two more things that makes Jesus Supreme. Lest you were not convinced already, Paul goes on to say, Jesus is GOD! In fact, in a mystery too hard for our puny minds to comprehend, it was God’s pleasure that all of the divine attributes of God are in Jesus Christ. All of God’s character and essence is in Christ. The word “dwell” means permanently abide. He is not some smaller god or angel…He is God!  “Fullness” was a popular word among the false teachers and so Paul mentions that all of the fullness is nowhere else than in Christ. In fact, in 2:10 he will say that we are “complete in Him.”  That is why He is totally supreme and absolutely sufficient!

 

VII.    HE IS THE PEACEMAKER BETWEEN GOD AND SINNERS (Col 1:20)

 

Notice Paul ending this section by saying this God of the Universe; this REVEALER OF GO, this CREATOR, RULER, ARCHITECT, BUILDER AND SUSTAINER OF CREATION, FORERUNNER, GOVERNOR, HEAD OF THE CHURCH, POWERFUL VICTOR OVER DEATH, reconciled us to Himself! Notice it is “to himself.” God is not reconciled to us, we are reconciled to HIM. His payment for our sin made peace between us and God. What an amazing God! He sits above the circle of the earth we read in Isaiah, but He also sits on the throne of the believer’s heart through his work on the cross. This God is so big and majestic, yet He so tenderly and lovingly pursues us. It is because of His love for us as shown on the cross.  We will unpack more about this in the following verses. By the way, this is not teaching that all people will be saved. But all things, willingly or forced, will be submit to Him. For at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in Heaven, on earth and UNDER THE EARTH and every tongue will confess He is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10-11). All of creation is also being restored since Christ died on the cross. All that was lost in the Fall is regained because of Christ’s work on the cross. We have a King again, a Ruler again, a lover  of our souls!

Illus: God does not approach man today and say to him, “Look here, fellow, I’m against you. You have been rebelling against Me. You are a sinner, and I am forced to punish you for that.” No, God is saying something entirely different to the lost sinner today. He says to you and to me, “I have already borne the punishment, I have already paid the penalty for all your sin. I want you to know that you can come to Me. Peace has already been made in Christ Jesus, if you will just turn and come to Me.”[13]

Conclusion:

WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?

Pastor and author Max Lucado describes some of the weak views people have about Christ:

For some, Jesus is a good luck charm. The “Rabbit’s Foot Redeemer.” Pocket-sized. Handy. Easily packaged. Easily understood. Easily diagrammed. You can put his picture on your wall or you can stick it in your wallet as insurance. You can frame him. Dangle him from your rear view mirror or glue him to your dashboard.

His specialty? Getting you out of a jam. Need a parking place? Rub the redeemer. Need help on a quiz? Pull out the rabbit’s foot. No need to have a relationship with him. No need to love him. Just keep him in your pocket next to your four-leaf clover.

For many he’s an “Aladdin’s Lamp Redeemer.” New jobs. Pink Cadillacs. New and improved spouses. Your wish is his command. And what’s more, he conveniently reenters the lamp when you don’t want him around.

For others, Jesus is a “Monty Hall Redeemer.” “All right, Jesus, let’s make a deal. For 52 Sundays a year, I’ll put on a costume—coat and tie, hat and hose—and I’ll endure any sermon you throw at me. In exchange, you give me the grace behind pearly gate number three.”

The Rabbit’s Food Redeemer. The Aladdin’s Lamp Redeemer. The Monty Hall Redeemer. Few demands, no challenges. No need for sacrifice. No need for commitment.

Sightless and heartless redeemers. Redeemers without power. That’s not the Redeemer of the New Testament.[14]

Jesus is Ruler of the Creation and Creation gets it. Remember the Lord on the boat during that storm? He rose up and rebuked the wind and they were silent. Do you know why? Creation knows the Creator! How about us? I pray this message has lifted the veil from our eyes to see Jesus afresh and anew and submit our lives to Him again for His glory, for HE IS LORD.

 

 
—-

[1] Bruce Thielemann, “Christus Imperator,” Preaching Today, Tape 55

 

[2] Matt. 16:15

[3]Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. “Based on Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Wr̲terbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frhchristlichen [sic] Literatur, sixth edition, ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker.” (3rd ed.) (892). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[4] John 14:9

[5] 38.

[6] Storms, Sam. From the sermon, “Praising Christ with Prepositions,” Enjoying God Ministries.

nkjv Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

niv Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

[7]Barton, B. B., & Comfort, P. W. (1995). Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Life application Bible commentary (163). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

[8] Vance Havner, from the sermon “By Him all things consist.”

[9]Hughes, R. K. (1989). Colossians and Philemon : The Supremacy of Christ. Preaching the Word (33). Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books.

[10] Storms, Sam. From the sermon, “Preeminent in all things,”

Enjoying God Ministries.

[11]KJV Bible commentary. 1997, c1994 (2457). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Storms, Sam. From the sermon, “Preeminent in all things,”

Enjoying God Ministries.

[13]McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (5:341). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[14]  Six Hours One Friday (W. Publishing, 2004), pp. 89–90; submitted

by J. R. Love, Rushton, Louisiana

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