The Firstborn of Creation
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: The Preeminence of Christ
Colossians 1:15-23 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
The preeminence (v18) of Jesus in creation (v15) presents a comprehensive picture where we can locate ourselves, helping us make sense of life and everything in it.
1. Our Starting Point
v16 “by him all things were created”
v17 “he is before all things”
2. Our Goal
v16 “all things were created through him and for him”
3. Our Present Hope
v17 “in him all things hold together”
v23 “the hope of the gospel… which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven”
Questions for Reflection
What are some implications of the claim that God has created all things (the heavens, the earth; everything visible and invisible)?
How does the way Jesus is portrayed in Colossians 1 (being before all things, with all things created through him and for him) contribute to the claim that in all things Jesus is preeminent?
Is a process of reasoning sufficient to draw a conclusion on whether or not God exists, or what God is like? Why or why not?
Can God be known apart from His choosing to reveal Himself?
What are things we can know about God? What are things we can’t know?
Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). How do we come to know God through Christ?
Why, in light of this passage, do you think people struggle with issues of meaning and purpose in life? How can Jesus as our starting point and end goal contribute to a growing sense of coherence in our lives?
What areas of your life need to be realigned with the reality of Jesus’ preeminence?
As you continue to learn, how do you cope with having to exist and make choices when you don’t know all things? What can help you live well? How does trusting Jesus play a key role?
Prayer of Confession
Our God, creator, redeemer and sustainer: we inhabit the world you have made, but we have misunderstood some very basic things. We have not listened to you, we have not learned from you, and yet we have drawn all sorts of conclusions that dishonor you. We are guilty of arrogance, insisting we are right on matters we don’t understand. We are guilty of apathy, dismissing what doesn’t fit with our personal convictions. We are guilty of actions that flow from our confusion. We acknowledge Jesus as preeminent, and give thanks for the good news that we have been forgiven through his death on our behalf. Teach us and guide us in life. Amen.