In this sermon, Pastor Neil preaches on the supremacy of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who was both God and man. Here are some excerpts:
The church – this church – belongs to Jesus. It does not exist for us. It exists for Him. For His purposes and glory. Dear friends, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Let’s love one another like Jesus. Let’s have the same attitude of humility toward one another that Jesus had. Let’s bear with one another and forgive one another as Jesus has forgiven us. Let’s stop “biting and devouring each other,” as Paul warned the Galatians, or we may “be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15). No one wants that to happen (except Satan). Let’s never let it happen.
It is all about Jesus, who “is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead” (18b).
This, of course, is a reference to the resurrection of Jesus, never to die again. All of this, says Paul, is “so that in everything He might have the supremacy” (18c) – because, in fact, He is supreme. He is pre-eminent in everything in the entire cosmos, from one end of the universe to the other. This position of pre-eminence, this status of sovereignty and supremacy, is His exclusive right. It belongs to Him and Him alone.
The climax of this Christological passage comes in verses 19 and 20, where it says that just as it pleased God “to have all His fullness dwell in (Jesus)” – a declaration restated in Colossians 2:9 (“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”), in case there was or is any doubt about what Paul means – it also pleased God “through (Jesus) to reconcile to Himself all things … by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”
The fullness of God was resident in Jesus. He was both God and man. Not either/or, but and (both). It was necessary for Jesus to be both God and man to fulfill His mission to “give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).
Before you leave church and get on with your day, think for a moment about what Jesus has done. He has made peace between you and God through His blood shed on the cross. He has made peace between you and God through His death in your place. He has done it. It is a done deal. The work of salvation is telestai, as Jesus said on the cross. “It is finished” (John 19:30). All you have to do is accept it, and this peace is yours as a gift. All you have to do is accept Him, receive Him by faith, repent of your sins and believe in Him. If you have never taken this step of faith, please don’t put it off. You may never be this close to the kingdom of God again.
But there is something else I need to say to you today. Jesus has made peace for us with God. Having this peace with God, the Bible urges us to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). So let us, with hearts of love, make every effort to do what makes for peace (Romans 14:19). As far as it depends on you, pursue peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).
Every church experiences conflict. Every church has disagreements. Every church is far from perfect, because it is made up of people who are far from perfect. Ours is no exception. Sometimes we say things or do things that hurt or upset others. So we have conflicts. The thing is, we cannot allow the conflicts we have to define us or divide us. We just can’t.
If you need to make peace with someone in our church family, please don’t put it off. Do you remember what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount? “If you’re at church and, just as you’re about to give your offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, leave your offering, go immediately to your friend and make things right. Then come back and offer your gift to God” (Matthew 5:23-24, paraphrased). Don’t put it off. Don’t wait for some more advantageous time. Seize the moment today.
Remember, too, the price Jesus paid to make peace for you with God. It comes to you, to us, as a free gift. But it came at great personal cost to Jesus.
I hope you have seen Jesus today. I hope you have heard the voice of Jesus speaking to you. I hope you – we, all of us – will see Jesus for who He is and will give Him the place of pre- eminence in our lives and relationships.