Is Christ Enough? Colossians 1:15-23

As we mediate on Colossians 1:15-23 there are three things we should remember:

We’re in a Cosmic Battle (vs. 12-14)

Paul prays that we’d live a life worthy of the Lord

12 …giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

If you have ever been on a cruise, you might be familiar with “International waters” (duty free alcohol; smoke some Cohiba’s). Some of us think about the world in this way: There some places that belong to Jesus (like the Church, soup kitchens) and some places belong to Evil or Satan (like Satanist meetings, brothels, etc.), but most of life (like our work places, neighborhoods, etc.) are simply international waters—they don’t really belong to anyone—they aren’t really good or evil, they are just neutral.

But Christians don’t believe in neutral ground. Every square inch of the cosmos is claimed and counterclaimed (Psalm 24, 1 John 5:19).

“There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and conterclaimed by Satan.” -C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections

That is why Paul is writing to remind us of the Good News of the Gospel, which proclaims the Power of God:

Through the Cross of Christ, God rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Is Christ enough?

Yes. If I have put faith in Christ, He’s already rescued us from the losing side—the dominion of darkness—and transferred me to the unstoppable Kingdom of Light. The battle is still raging, but the darkness will not overcome it.

Christ is the creator and sustainer of all things (vs. 15-17)

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:  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. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

The Roman world was extremely hierarchical. From the Emperor down to the slave, everyone understood the chain of command and who needed to show deference to whom.  They took for granted that there was a spiritual world superintending human life that was equally hierarchical (with thrones, powers, rulers, authorities, etc.). It seems Paul believes in a monotheistic version of the same scheme. Instead of a hierarchical scheme of gods, there are at least invisible beings and powers, and some of these powers are aligned with the purposes of God and some of them are rogue powers working against God’s purposes.

 Is Christ enough? Can he handle the forces that we’re up against?

Paul reminds us that all things (including things visible and invisible) were created by Christ and through Christ and for Christ. All of creation comes from him, is sustained by him and is being held together by him.

Christ is the Redeemer of All Things (vs. 19-20)

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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.

After Paul reminds us that Christ is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, now in v. 19-20, he reminds us that Christ is also the Redeemer of All Things. Did Christ come to save humans so that you could have a personal relationship with God and live forever? Yes. He actually did come for that. 

But Paul reminds us that the scope of salvation is even greater—it’s cosmic—God is reconciling all things to himself through the Cross.

How then shall we live?

We live as if it were true.

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!''' - Abraham Kuyper:

How would you do your job on Monday if you knew that your company actually belongs to Christ?

How would you spend your money?

How would you treat your spouse?

How would you treat refugees?

How would you think differently about sex?

If all these things truly belonged to Christ?

 

Finally, what is your ultimate hope?

That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him. - Heidelberg Catechsim

  

You are safe.

You are not your own.

You are not on your own.

Your body and soul, life and death, belong to Christ.

Amen.

-Father Jon

Jon Ziegler