Study 3 THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST
(Scripture Portion: Colossians 1: 15-29)
There is coming a day in which the Lord Jesus Christ will have the supremacy, a day when He will be Lord, and when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:10). What a glorious prospect this is for Him - and for us!
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
But important as is the prophetic application of these words, there is an equally important present, personal application, and that is our theme here. The word “supremacy” means “holding the first place”. We are not thinking of the supremacy of one doctrine over another, one creed over another or one denomination over another, but of one personality over another. The one personality is the Lord Jesus Christ - and the other is you and me. So, when we speak of the supremacy of Christ we mean Christ occupying the first place in our life. Is He first in our life, home, business, friendships, pleasures… ? - look up and compare Ecclesiastes 3:19 and 3 John 9.
1. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE HAS THE RIGHT TO BE SUPREME IN OUR LIVES
Only one person in the whole of God’s universe has the absolute right to occupy the first place in your life and mine; others may seek to have the first place, but it is not their right to seek or to obtain it. The Devil seeks the first place in your life and mine, but it is not his right to have it. There are three reasons why the Lord Jesus Christ alone has the right of being first in our life:-
- Because He made us. Look up Colossians 1:16, and particularly notice that we were not only created “by Him” but “for Him”. Compare Proverbs 16:4 and Isaiah 43:7. He made us in order that He might be first in our hearts and lives.
- Because He has redeemed us. Look up Colossians 1:13-14. We belong to Him by legal right, for He has purchased us with His own life’s blood - look up 1 Corinthians 6:20, and compare 1 Peter 1:18-19. Through His infinite sacrifice upon Calvary’s cross, and by the mighty power of His resurrection, God has “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” A kingdom must have a king. Once we were in Satan’s kingdom and he was our king; now we are in Christ’s kingdom and it is His right to reign over us. Is He King of your life?
- Because God has given Him the supremacy. Colossians 1:18 tells us this. Compare John 5:23; then notice in Colossians 1:15-20 that God has given Him the supremacy:- (1) in likeness (verse 15); (2) in power (verse 15); (3) in creation (verse 16); (4) in eternity (verse 17); (5) in authority (verse 17); (6) in the church (verse 18); (7) in the new creation (verse 18); (8) in riches (verse 19); (9) in final victory (verse 20).
Now look up Matthew 12 and see that our Lord declares His supremacy by saying that He is greater than the temple (verse 6), the Sabbath (verse 8), the Devil (verse 29), Jonah (verse 41) and Solomon (verse 42). He is greater than all of them!
2. THOUGH IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO OCCUPY FIRST PLACE IN OUR LIVES, HE DOES NOT ALWAYS DO SO
He is not always free to exercise His right, for in your life and mine very often self is first - look up Luke 9:59 and 61, and notice the words “ …first let me” - and compare 3 John 9. Sometimes other things come first: another life (Matthew 10:37); personal ambition, pleasure or possessions (Luke 18:23).
3. THE LORD JESUS MAY BE PRESENT IN OUR LIFE, YET NOT SUPREME
If you are a Christian, He is truly present - but is He supreme? It is true to say today that in measure He is present in our national life, our political life, our commercial life and our religious life, but He is not by any means supreme! The same may be true of us; He may be in, but not king; resident, but not president.
4. HE MAY BE PROMINENT BUT NOT SUPREME
He may hold an important place in our life and yet not hold the first place. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if He is truly supreme or only prominent.
5. WHEN THE LORD JESUS IS SUPREME IN OUR LIVES THE FOLLOWING THREE THINGS ARE TRUE
- There is supreme love to His Person. We love Him more than any other person or thing, more than His service, more than ourselves - “ …more than these” (John 21:15).
- There is unquestioning obedience to His commands. Look up John 14:15, and compare John 2:5 and Acts 9:6.
- There is complete submission to His will. When the Lord Jesus occupies the foremost place in my life I shall be willing to serve Him in the sphere of His choice, to suffer should He will it, and if necessary to die for Him. Indeed, my attitude will be, “Yes, Father: for this was your good pleasure” (Matthew 11:26).