Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:15-16; New Living Translation)
The sufficiency of Christ and the supremacy of Christ are under attack today, but not so much from advocates of false truth, fake news, or competing religions. The sufficiency and supremacy of Christ may face their greatest challenge from the dry-rot (the apathy) that has set in among His people.
It’s the age old “Christ-but” or “Christ-plus” mentality that has tempted Christians for centuries.
He is sufficient to save us but….I need drugs or alcohol to get me through the day; I need to make this sale however I can; I don’t expect much to change.
He holds supremacy over death and eternity but….can He get me a job? Can He heal my illness? Can He restore my marriage? Can He break my addictions? Can He conquer my fears?
In his letter to the Christians at Colosse, Paul begins to extol the all-sufficiency and supremacy of Christ. He’s writing to people who have started to doubt if Jesus really is enough.
Pragmatism values faith only if it works like we want it to. Hedonism values faith only if it minimizes our suffering and enhances our pleasure. Materialism values faith only if it produces wealth and prosperity. Humanism values faith only if we remain the primary center of attention.
Each of these, running rife in both the first and twenty-first centuries, ultimately dethrone Jesus. So, Paul forcefully declares again that Christ existed before creation; He produced creation; and He controls all of creation. Indeed, He is the reason and the purpose for creation. “Everything was created through Him and for Him.” Nothing lies beyond His control or falls outside His power.
That includes us. And as we declare that Christ is all-sufficient and supreme, we assert His unrivaled place in our lives.
Many people nod their assent to the all-sufficiency and supremacy of Christ, but live as though He is insufficient and non-supreme. On the one hand, we accept the historic teaching about Jesus as delivered to us throughout the ages. On the other hand, we may struggle to truly embrace the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ in our day-to-day decisions and actions.
When we relegate Him to the back-seat rather than the driver’s seat, we lose sight of our purpose and direction. We lose confidence and focus. Ultimately, we lose hope. Does that describe you?
May we trust His sufficiency and supremacy more deeply today than yesterday, and find great joy in being “created by Him and for Him.“