GIVING CHRIST THE PREEMINENCE

  Let us read Colossians Chapter I
That in all things He might have the preeminence. The word "preeminence" means "occupying the foremost or first place".

  In a prophetical meaning there will be a day when He will be Lord over all, and when, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". (Phil 2:10-11)

This prophecy will take place "in the whole world" in the future. However, the verses below apply to the present church age, and to each of us Christians personally.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

  In this verse the word "that" is "hina" in the Greek, meaning, "in order that", which refers to something that has been said earlier, and gives the reason why He should have the pre-eminence

In order that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Because of that (the things said earlier about Him) He might have the preeminence.

  In verse 12 Paul says, "thanks should be given to the Father", and proceeds to give the reasons for the "thanks":

  1. v 12.He hath made us meet (fit, or qualified) to share in the inheritance coming to the saints.
2. v 13.He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."

Beginning in verse 14 Paul gives the reasons that the Son has the right to have the pre-eminence.

  1. v 14. He gives redemption through His Blood, and, the forgiveness of sins.
2. v 15. He is the image of the invisible God, and He is the first born of every creature.
3. v 16. He created all things; in heaven, in earth, visible, invisible, thrones, dominions, principles, or powers, and they were created by Him and for Him.
4. v 17. He pre-dates everything and holds them together.
5. v 18. He is the Head of the body, the church, and He is the first-born from the dead. [the first one to be resurrected from the dead.]

  The pre-eminence in verse 18 is directed to two persons.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ, who is to have the preeminence
 2. And any saint. [you or me].Who is to give the preeminence.

  The Lord Jesus Christ is qualified to have the foremost, or first place in every aspect of our lives. In our homes, business, friendships, and in our priorities

  JESUS CHRIST ALONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE PRE-EMINENCE.

  There is only one Person in the whole universe that has the absolute power and right to have the first place in our lives.

  Others may seek to occupy first place, but it not their right to have it. All others are robbers of this rightful place that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ ALONE. 

  The devil seeks to have the pre-eminence in our lives, but it is not his to have. If he does have the pre-eminence it is because we allow him to have it. We GIVE it to him.

  Here are a few more reasons that the Lord Jesus has the right to have the pre-eminence in our lives:

  [1] Because He made [created] us.

We are His by ownership. He created us that He might be first in our life.

  Col 1:16 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:

  [2] Because He Redeemed us.

Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

  We belong to Him by legal rights, for He purchased us with His own life's blood.

1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

  [3] Because God the Father has given him the pre-eminence.

 In Col.1:15-20 we are told that God has given the Lord  Jesus the preeminence in 9 things.

  In Matt. 12 the Lord declared Himself pre-eminent when He said, that He was greater than the Temple, v 6; the Sabbath v 8; the devil v 29; Jonah v 41; and Solomon, v 42. He is greater than them all.

  ALTHOUGH HE HAS THE RIGHT TO THE PRE-EMINENCE IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, HE DOES NOT ALWAYS HAVE IT.

  He does not because of human preference, or choice.  The principle, or rule upon which He operates is to allow man to yield to His supremacy. When we do not allow Him to have the pre-eminence it is because we make ourselves first.

  Notice in Luke 9:59-61, the words "let me first".

  Luke 9:59-61 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

  The believer should not put even the dead parent before what Christ has called them to do. "let the dead bury their dead".  Let the lost in sin (dead spiritually) put others in preeminence.

  When the Lord calls, we put NOTHING first.  He is preeminent and His calling is preeminent.

  3 Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

  Sometimes another person has first place in our lives.

Matt 10:37-38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

  Sometimes it is personal ambitions, love of pleasures, or possessions that comes first.

  THE LORD JESUS MAY BE PRESENT IN OUR LIVES BUT NOT PREEMINENT.

  If we are a Christian, He IS present in our life, however, we may not permit Him to be foremost in our life. He may be "in", but not King,.  He may be a Resident, but not President.

  HE MAY EVEN BE PROMINENT BUT NOT PREEMINENT.

  He could hold a large place in our life, an important place, and yet not occupy first place.

  I believe THIS IS THE CASE OF MOST CHRISTIANS

  WHEN THE LORD JESUS DOES OCCUPY FIRST PLACE, THREE THINGS ARE EMINENT, or obvious. (clear)

  1. There is a supreme love to His Person. We love Him more than any other person or thing. (without losing our responsibilities to our family}.

  Peter had to declare his love as such.

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?  (his fishing boats and gear) He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

  2.There is unquestioning obedience to His commands.

  John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

  If we hold Christ in preeminence we will love Him and if we love Him we will obey Him.

  In John 5:2 the Lord's mother told the servants to, "Do as He says". When they obeyed, He performed a miracle.

  3. This is a complete submission to His will. When the Lord Jesus occupies the foremost place in our lives, we will serve Him in the as He chooses and we will be willing to suffer should He will it, and if necessary to die for Him.

  Our attitude will be, "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight."  Matt. 11:26.