Thursday, May 18, 2017

Christ the Head - He has first place in everything - Col. 1:18

Days portion for reading – Col 1:1-20

Christ the Head – He has the first place – Colossians 1:18

Today we begin to look at another New Testament letter where the Lord Jesus is described three times as ‘the head’. It is clear that the truth about the Lord Jesus as ‘head of the church’ is an important one especially where a local church is involved. In the New Testament every local church is an independent unit, responsible alone to God for the way its affairs are managed. In each local church there should be elders (appointed by the Holy Spirit and recognised by the members of the local church – Acts 20:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13, Heb 13:7, 17). These elders answer to God for how they care for the people of God. They are described as shepherds (caring, feeding and protecting God’s people), overseers (those that watch over God’s people) and elders (men of maturity). While local churches should have fellowship with each other they are answerable to God.This group of men in each local church answer to the chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 5:4).

In the verses we are considering the chief Shepherd is called ‘the head of the body, the church’. The letter to the church in Colosse has many similarities to the Ephesian letter we have looked at already. The emphasis in Colossians is on the fact that Christ is the ‘head of the church’. The Holy Spirit spends a lot of time in the letter proving why the Lord Jesus is uniquely fitted to be ‘the head of the church’.

In chapter one verse fourteen the Lord Jesus is described as the redeemer, in the next verse he is the revealer (he is the image of the invisible God; that is God manifest in the flesh). Then we find the Lord Jesus described as ‘firstborn of every creature’, this reminds us of the fact that he ranks above every created being (not as one who was created but as the one who created all things for himself). The Lord is then described as the one who existed before everything and who maintains everything.

To this impressive list of credentials the Holy Spirit adds – ‘he is the head of the body, the church’ and then almost without drawing breath the list of accolades to the saviour continues. He is the beginning, of everything but specifically in relation to the church (he is the foundation on which the church stands (1 Cor 3:11, Eph 2:20). The Lord is the firstborn from the dead – not just the first to be raised eternally but the one who has the highest position assigned to him. In all things he must have the first place. Is that the place that we give to him in our lives?

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