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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Risen With Christ

The Preexistent Christ

Col 1.15-17

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[The Colossian Church was being tried by false teachers who were teaching many strange things about our Lord Jesus Christ.  In writing to this congregation Paul sought to deal with these false teachings by providing the truth about who Jesus really was and what He had done for every born again Christian.  In our culture today we find many of the same false teachings.  In the last couple of weeks we have discovered the,] 

  • [Source for a Worthy Godly Walk in the New Birth and empowering presence of the Holy Spirit of God.]
  • [Our Adoption into the Kingdom of Christ and the inheritance promised to every born again Christian.]
  • [Our Sanctification as our Heavenly Father has moved us from Darkness into Light.]
  • [Our Redemption and its glorious deliverance from the curse of the law and the guilt of sin.]

[Today we will discover the truth of who our Lord Jesus Christ really is in that He is the Preexistent Christ.] 

[Read Text and Pray] 

[Illustration – Years ago, when I was a junior in high school I took a class in small engine repair.  That class taught me the basic operation of an internal combustion engine and taught me various techniques for working on such engines.  From that class I learned enough of the basics to know how to work on most of the engines I have owned over the years, in a very basic sense.  All was well until the mid 90’s when I purchased a used vehicle and popped open the hood to see a motor compartment that was packed full of stuff.  Where were the points?  There were none.  I knew where the spark plugs were but some of them were in places I couldn’t stick my hand and arm.  The car I now own, when I first bought it, I couldn’t even find the spark plugs until someone showed be where they were.] 

[Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I came to realize I did know as much as I thought I knew, and that knowledge diminishes daily, so it seems.  What’s my point?  There are those in our day who talk about God as if they know everything there is to know about God.  It seems that some people are reluctant to admit that they may not know everything that there is to know about God and if they can’t understand something then they act as if it just can’t be possible.] 

[If there is anything that we can not and do not understand everything about it is who and what our Lord Jesus Christ is.  But the great part about this reality is that this is a part of what makes Him God.  There are many things revealed within the Bible about who Jesus is that are just astounding.  When we realize these wondrous revelations we have the tendency to do some typical things,] 

  • [We altar what is revealed to make it fit our understanding of things – Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses lowering Christ from a position of deity because we know we are not deity.]
  • [We altar how we view our reality based upon what is revealed about God – In other words we take what is true about Christ and try to make that true about us too.  Like the Mormons trying to make human beings immortal like Christ.]

[We need to understand that while Jesus was a human being, he was also God and those things that are true about us, His creation, are not necessarily true about Him, the creator.  We must think rightly and biblically about who the Lord Jesus Christ was and is.] 

In The Preexistent Christ We Have,

A.     The Manifestation Of God (vs 15) [- Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: - In this verse we discover the likeness or image of God in the incarnation of Christ.  This image is so absolutely unique that the Holy Spirit led Paul to write that Christ is the “firstborn” of every creature.  I do not believe that the term firstborn speaks as much of the birth of Christ as it does of the uniqueness of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is unique because he is eternally existent, yet was incarnated through His human birth through his mother, the Virgin Mary.  At least three things are understood from verse fifteen of our text,] 

1.      The Distinction of God (vs 15, 1 Tim 6.14-16) [Who is the image of the invisible God, . . .   - This distinction deals with the Unapproachable Nature of the triune God.  God, in His nature, is absolutely separated from His creation.  So much so that nothing in His creation can approach unto him.  Paul wrote,] 

[1 Timothy 6:14-16 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. ]

[Consider that God is so perfect, so pure, so absolutely holy that no one can come into the presence of the triune God.  No man can approach unto Him.  This is so true that in the Old Testament God placed a veil between Him and human beings. The process of coming into the presence of God was wrought with sacrifices, purifications, and tedious ceremonies meant to render one holy enough to come near unto God.]

[This was not always the case – In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve walk in the very presence of God.  They were holy and He was holy and they came know God as God knew them.  Then sin came into the world and a separation (spiritual death) occurred.  So that now we are mortally separated from God and in this worldly corruption we still cannot approach our Heavenly Father.  Even when we feel like we have reached the highest spiritual plateaus we still are not what we need to be to warrant the actual, personal presence of God.  Yet, one day, soon and very soon we will put on immortality and will step into the actual presence of God, if we have been born again through our Lord Jesus Christ.]

[Note, that God is unapproachable in His absolute holiness and purity.]

2.      The Declaration of God (vs 15; John 1.18; Matt 1.23) [- Who is the image of the invisible God, . . . – In the incarnation of Christ we have the manifestation of God in His creation and for His declaration.  The triune Godhead, or God in His completeness is still unapproachable, but for the sake of mankind, and because God loves mankind so very much, God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to declare Him.  John wrote,] 

[John 1:18 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.]

[Declared - ἐξηγήσατο (Gk) from xjgomai  - To lead out, command, be the leader. To dictate, expound, explain. To tell at length, narrate, describe.  An exposition, declaration.  An explaining, explanation.[1]]

[When our Lord Jesus Christ was born he was sent to manifest God to us.  He is the exposition of God.  Jesus is the declaration of God.  He reveals and describes God to us because He is Emmanuel or God with us (Matt 1.23).  Our Lord Jesus Christ was and is the exposition of God to us.  We could not and can not know God apart from our Lord Jesus Christ.]

[Many try to imagine what God must be and who God must be, but their fabrications are just that vain imaginations.  For the minds of sinful and corrupt human beings could never hope to think rightly about a perfectly holy and just God.  Therefore, our text reveals that our Lord Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God.]

3.      The Revelation of God (vs 15; Deut 29.29) [- Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: - Even in the manifestation of God through Christ we have a limited understanding of God.  Not because God does not desire to be known by us, but because our sinful, mortal minds are incapable of a full and glorious understanding of God.  Yet we still have an understanding of God, but it is a limited understanding.  God has revealed Himself to us, through His written Word and through the living Word, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is a glorious revelation, but it is also a limited understanding.  Deuteronomy records, ]  

[Deuteronomy 29:29 29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. ]

[Jesus is the firstborn of every creature in that through His birth you and I come to understand that our Lord Jesus Christ came to remove the middle wall of partition (Eph 2.14) between God and His people so that we now have spiritual access to God in mortality and physical access to God in immortality to come.] 

[As glorious as the new birth is for us it still cannot bring us into a full knowledge of our Heavenly Father.  We have direct access to God, through Christ, but one day we will have physical access to God, just as Adam and Eve had when they walked with God in the cool of the garden.] 

[So, through the revelation and declaration of our Lord Jesus Christ we have the new birth and a fuller, Spirit led understanding of God.  But it is non-the-less still a limited revelation of God.  This understanding is gloriously deeper than any lost man’s understanding can possibly be, but it is still limited by our mortal minds.] 

B.     The Creation Of God (vs 16) [- For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: - If you have been wrestling with the ideas of evolution versus the declaration of God’s creation this verse ought to settle it all for you.  The apostle Paul, through the inspiration of God, declares it plainly for us.  Paul wrote, “For by him were all things created, . . .”  Was there an intelligent designer for the universe, yes there was and is.  This supernatural architect is the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Lord God Almighty.  He was manifested among us and His name is the Lord Jesus Christ.] 

Of the creation of God, in our text we discover,   

1.      Jesus Creative Presence (vs 16; John 1.1-3; Heb 1.2) [- For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  -  This reveals that our Lord Jesus Christ, unlike the rest of the human race, is immortal in His existence.  He is our eternal Lord.  Jesus existed from eternity past and will exist past eternity future. ]  

[When we try to comprehend the eternal nature of our Lord Jesus Christ we at first scratch our heads in wonder.  But the eternal nature of our Lord is an undeniable truth of the Word of God.  Our text declares that our Lord Jesus Christ created all things, and thus He was present and active before the world existed.] 

[The Apostle John wrote,] 

[John 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ]

[The Apostle Paul also wrote,] 

[Hebrews 1:2 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, [the manifestation of God] whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [The creative hand of Christ]]

[Our Lord Jesus Christ existed at the creation of the world.  When the Bible states that God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground (Gen 2.7) it was the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ that molded Adam and it was the breath of Christ that first filled Adam’s lungs.  It is this eternal nature of our Lord Jesus Christ that is referred to in the Revelation when John wrote,] 

[Revelation 13:8 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ]

[Not only did our Lord Jesus Christ exist from eternity past but He knew what He would do for mankind on Calvary’s Cross to save mankind from the wages of their sin.  Yet, He still breathed the breath of life into Adam’s lungs.  Why?  Because He knew what His plan for mankind would be.] 

[In our Lord’s virgin birth we understand that He was a man like us.  In our Lord’s eternal creative presence we understand that He was eternal God unlike us.] 

2.      Jesus Creative Power (vs 16; Matt 26.53; John 10-15-17) [– For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, . . . – Our Lord Jesus Christ is the master architect of the ages.  The fact that all things were created by Him reveals that nothing was outside of His creative plan.  What was created by our Lord Jesus Christ?] 

a.       [Everything in Heaven – Every planet, star and celestial body was created by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Every Cherubim, Seraphim, and Angel was created by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Absolutely everything was created by Him.] 

b.      [Everything in Earth – Every plant, fish, foul, and animal were created by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Every specially designed human being was uniquely created by the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Those beautiful flowers and their sharp thorns, those crops of grain and delicious vegetables, and the pesky insects that like to eat on our crops were all created by our Lord Jesus Christ.] 

c.       [Everything Visible and Invisible – Everything we see and admire as well as everything that is smaller than our eyes can behold, yet we now know are the building blocks of all life.  Molecules, atoms, DNA and even smaller were all created and put in place by our Lord Jesus Christ.] 

d.      [Every Authority and Power – Every governing authority, every political power, every kingdom or dominion was all put in place by our Lord Jesus Christ.  These include those who honor our Lord Jesus Christ and strive to live in His kind of honor, righteousness, compassion, and kindness.  This also includes the ruthless tyrants and philosophers who deny our Lord’s existence and trample the people our Lord loves under their greed and lusts.  They were all created by our Lord Jesus Christ.] 

[The Lord Crucified – Now think for a moment.  When we think of the Lord Jesus Christ we often think of Him as battered, weak, and suffering a cruel death upon Calvary’s Cross.  But our Lord is anything but weak.  Yes, He was humiliated.  Yes, He died upon that Cross.  But even then He was anything but weak.  He could have called twelve legions of angels to deliver Him from that cruel Cross (Matt 26.53).  But He did not.  Why?  Because we needed a Savior, so our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and me (John 10.15-17).] 

[Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty, infinitely wise and infinitely powerful.  He was Almighty God before the world began.  He was Almighty God when He was laid in the manger.  He was Almighty God when He hung on Calvary’s Cross.  He is Almighty God seated on the right hand of God the Father right now.  He will be Almighty God when He returns to stamp out every wicked nation at the battle of Armageddon.  That is who our Lord Jesus Christ is!] 

3.      Jesus Creative Purpose (vs 16; Philip 2.10-11) [- For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: - There are those today who would defiantly say, “No, Jesus is nothing to me and he is not my lord.  I don’t believe it so it is not so.”  I tell you on the authority of the Word of God that all things were created for the Lord Jesus Christ.  You can raise a rebellious and obstinate nose to the Lord Jesus Christ if you like but one day,] 

[Philippians 2:10-11 10 . . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ]

[You are here today, in this Church, because you have chosen the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Be confident my Christian friend you have made the right choice.  Don’t let this world’s nay sayers cause you to doubt.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty and He is coming again and every tongue will confess that He is Lord indeed.  Those who willing choose Him in this life will reign with Him for eternity to come.  Those who refuse Him in this life will kneel to Him just prior to their eternal condemnation.  What a sad day that will be.  Trust Him and love Him today, before it is too late.] 

C.     The Provision Of God (vs 17) [- And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. – There are those who think that since the Lord Jesus Christ has ascended on high, according to us Christians, that He no longer has any kind of authority on this earth.  But the truth of the Word of God reminds us that He has physically resurrected and ascended and now sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; the greatest position of authority in all of creation.  Peter wrote,] 

[1 Peter 3:22 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. ]

Our text in Colossians reveals, 

1.      Our Lord’s Preeminence (vs 17; Isa 43.11; 44.6; Rev 1.8) [- And he is before all things,. . . – Our Lord Jesus Christ is the authority of all authorities.  He is the sovereign Lord God Almighty.  There are those who think they are prominent and powerful in our world and culture, but they just think they are so.  They don’t have any real lasting power.  However, when it comes to our Lord Jesus Christ   It is our Lord who says,] 

[Isaiah 43:11 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ]

[Isaiah 44:6 6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ]

[Revelation 1:8 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ]

[To our world, it may seem as if God is not really in control.  But He is and one day soon our Lord Jesus Christ will return and His preeminence will then be fully revealed.  This world’s governments won’t be able to prevent His return in glory, the anti-christ won’t be able to prevent His return in authority, no one and nothing will be able to prevent our Lord’s return.  He is the preeminent Lord of all creation.] 

2.      Our Lord’s Provision (vs 17) [- And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. – Everything continues and exists because our Lord Jesus Christ wills it so.  Everything continues as we know it because our Lord holds everything together and in place.  You have your health and consciousness because our Lord wills it so.  Everything is and continues because of our Lord’s faithfulness.] 

[So, the question from our text today is, How do you view the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do you honor Him as the God of all creation, the Provider and Protector of all life?  Do you recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the Manifestation and Revelation of the Lord God Almighty?  Have you surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and then have you surrendered to Him as the preeminent sovereign of your life?]


[1] A Greek-English Lexicon: Based on the German Work of Francis Passow, By Henry George Liddell, Franz Passow, Robert Scott, Henry Drisler, Published by Harper & brothers, 1848, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Jun 2, 2006, 1705 pages


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