Christ the King

JESUS CHRIST is STILL KING

Colossians 1: 9-23

I’m so thankful to have heard it shared in a variety of ways in the last two weeks – God is still in control and Jesus continues to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. It’s absolutely true – God is Sovereign. He created and sustains this world. His plan will never be thwarted. Therefore, as followers of Christ we can take refuge in the sake that God is not caught off guard or surprised by any election — He continues to reign.

But note that the fact that God remains on the throne doesn’t mean that life will be a smooth ride. Life today seems to be a roller coaster that is out of control. There is a security knowing God is in control BUT national debt grows as the value of the dollar diminishes. Our religious liberties are in question as law books thicken. Babies continue to be slaughtered as national policies continue to increase perversion in our nation. We continue to operate on high alert knowing it is not a question of will there be a terrorist attack but when will it be.

It’s been disturbing to watch as social solidarity erodes and different groups of people turn on each other. Ten years ago, it seemed we were entering a mostly-post-racial age in which ethnic differences would no longer be a significant source of social tension. Suddenly, people are having flashbacks to the race riots of the ’60s and ’70s. Now folks were safety pins, a sign that they are a safe person you can trust.

I share this not to take away the hope you have received in your heart when reminded that God is in control. We need to trust in His promises, but the fact that He is on the throne does not negate disastrous aftershocks of bad decision making. Although God is God, He allows us to make mistakes, and we make our share of them.

God was on His throne during the Great Depression. He was on His throne during the Civil War and both world wars. He was on his throne when the world was flooded in Noah’s day. God was on his throne when the Assyrians and Babylonians took His people into exile. He is still on throne today when our Christians brothers and sisters in some places of the world face death or imprisonment for their faith. Others in the world face famine. Others live in great poverty. The Creator was on his throne when the disciples were martyred. He was even on the throne when His Son was crucified.

Across the centuries, Christians have experienced every kind of political corruption and tyranny, but have kept hope alive, knowing that Jesus was their true leader. Our society is racked with anxieties and decline may well be in our future. Things that were good and beautiful may well pass away.

Let’s try not to be too anxious about it, for in the end, all will be well, because Jesus Christ is our True King.

Let’s go to Colossians 1: 9-23 so we might re-affirm the Supremacy of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul knew what the Christians were facing and knew that if they were going to survive they had to have good understanding of who Jesus Christ was

I, using the words of Paul, give thanks to God for your faithfulness to Jesus Christ and pray for you

Since the day I heard about you, I have not stopped praying for you. I continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.  (1:9-12)

Folks that is my prayer for each of you: to be filled with the knowledge of his will, so that you may live a life worthy of being called a follower of Jesus Christ. A life characterized by fruitfulness and good works, endurance and patience. A life characterized by joyful thanksgiving.

For that to happen in the tumultuous day we live in we must have a clear understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what he has done. Paul gives us the most concentrated description of Jesus Christ in all the NT in Colossians 1:13-23:

13 For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 in Jesus we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

God rescued us out one dominion and brought us into another, out of one characterized by darkness and into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ of whom he loves. It is in Jesus Christ we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There is forgiveness in no other name.

15 Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Jesus’ life allows us to have a clear picture of God. Firstborn does not mean created as we are created, butit is an indication of priority. Jesus is over all of creation.

16 All things were created by Jesus: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Jesus Christ created all that is. They were created through him and all things were created for him. All that came into being exists for Christ — that is, it exists to display the greatness of Christ. Nothing — nothing! — in the universe exists for its own sake. Everything from the bottom of the oceans to the top of the mountains, from smallest particle to the biggest star, from the most boring school subject to the most fascinating science, from the ugliest cockroach to the most beautiful human, from the greatest saint to the most wicked dictator — everything that exists, exists to make the greatness of Christ known — including you, and the person you have the hardest time liking.

But of all the things — the millions of things Paul could have mentioned that Christ made and that exist for his glory — he chose to mention these: “thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities.” Now Paul knows that these include evil men and women. But he wants us to know they exist for Christ. They exist to make his glories known.

It doesn’t say he created them evil. In fact, the book of Jude speaks of “angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling” (Jude 1:6). They were created good, and they rebelled against God. Paul knows this. He knows what they once were and what they have become. He knows that Christ with infinite wisdom he took it all into account as he planned the history of salvation.

Therefore, when Paul says, “the rulers and authorities” were created by Christ and for Christ, he means that God created them knowing what they would become and how, in that very evil role, they would still be used ultimately to glorify Christ. Knowing everything they would become, God created them for the glory of Christ.

17 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 and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

He was before anything and everything we know and he is holding everything together. If it was not for Christ everything would fly into zillions of pieces. He is the head of the church, the firstborn to rise from the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

All the fullness of God dwells in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus all things will be brought back into a right relationship with His heavenly father. Jesus makes peace possible

There is One worthy of worship. These truths make clear that Christ is the only being worthy of worship. There were people in Colossians saying that “the worship of angels” (Colossians 2:18) was part of the way up to God. No, Paul says, these angels that some think are so great were created by Christ and for Christ. Don’t worship them. Worship the one who made them.

There is One who can be trusted. The One in whom we have redemption and who holds all things together.

Life may seem to be falling apart at the seams… but Jesus Christ is still charge and will bring about his will…

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed…” Colossians 1:21-23

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