*This blog post was adapted from Pastor Bobby’s sermon on 3/13/2022. You can find the sermon video below.
“Who is Jesus?”
This question is the most important any of us will ever answer. It has eternal implications. Jesus himself asked his disciple, Simon Peter, “Who do you say that I am?”
In Colossians, Paul paints us a beautiful picture of who Jesus is. Today, we will take a look at Colossians 1:15-20.
Colossians 1:15 begins, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
Paul tells us in this verse that Jesus is the image of God. But what does that mean exactly? Does it mean that Jesus is only an image of God and not actually God Himself?
Here are two things that Jesus had to say on the matter:
Jesus made it clear that He was God.
Colossians 1:15 also says that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. This can seem confusing at first, but the word that is translated “firstborn” here does not mean that Jesus was created. It also has nothing to do with when He was born. Rather, it points to the reality that Jesus, as the Son of God, is the rightful heir to all things.
Colossians 1:16 continues, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” This means that Jesus is the creator of all things!
Jesus made everything in this universe – from the largest stars in the galaxy to the smallest little particles. He is the creator of every physical thing and He is also the creator of everything in the spiritual realm.
So, Jesus created all things, but is He still in control? YES! Colossians 1:17 says, “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” He is still in control and holding all things together.
Even as our world feels more and more chaotic, we can trust nothing has gotten ahead of Jesus. He is before all things and He remains in control. We should be alert to the things going on around us, but we do not need to be alarmed.
Colossians 1 continues, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (v. 18) Jesus, the Creator of the universe, is also the head of the Church!
At CFC, we have always viewed Jesus as the head of our church. Our elders seek God in all decisions and ask what His will is for CFC.
For example, before the pandemic hit, the church had a plan to expand the building. Once pandemic began, our leaders were faced with the choice to go ahead with this building project as planned or change direction. They spent time seeking God’s wisdom in this difficult decision. In the end, they agreed that God was leading us to see the expansion through.
After all, at CFC, we are firm believers in the importance of gathering in person. Hebrews 20:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Even with the uncertainty of the past two years, nothing has fundamentally changed about the way we approach church. We still believe in the importance of gathering together each week. Now, the building project is complete and we can comfortably welcome more people than ever before!
If we continue reading in Colossians, the next verse (19) says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” If you want the fullness of God in your life, you must accept who Jesus is. But this goes even further…
We read in Ephesians 1:22-23, “...the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” To experience the fullness of Christ, we must be part of His body – the Church!
In church, we will get glimpses of God. We will see spiritual gifts among other believers. We will also sometimes experience tension and conflict, and learn the balance of grace and truth. Church also provides accountability for us as believers, as well as community. We aren’t meant to walk alone – we’re meant to be in community with one another.
The end of this passage in Colossians says, “...and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (v 20)
If we recognize that God wants to reconcile the world to Himself, we can participate in His plans and not be alarmed by what is going on around us. We will be alarmed by news headlines if we are in our own little worlds and not aligning ourselves with His purposes.
Instead of filling our schedules to the brim and being focused on our own agendas, let’s try to make space for connecting, listening, and seeing people. Let’s take the time to align ourselves with His purposes and pray for the people around us.
We have an opportunity right now to help people who are searching for answers, who are anxious, and who are looking for meaning. We want to be available to help others find the answers they are looking for and to help them reconcile themselves with God.
When we align ourselves with the purposes of God, He allows there to be a deep sense of joy and peace in our hearts. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” It is a gift to participate in kingdom-building work, and it’s one we do not want to overlook.
Mandy manages CFC’s social media presence. She started attending CFC in 2016 after God led her to visit the church with her husband, Ben. Mandy also serves on the Writing and Research Team for the Women’s Ministry and as a preschool teacher for Community Kids. She is grateful for the opportunity to combine her love of content creation with her desire to serve the Lord. Mandy lives in Lancaster with Ben and their three girls: Elyse, Evelyn, and Ella.