When Epaphras reported to Paul about the church at Colosse, he must have told him not only of their loving nature but also about a strange, new teaching bothering them. It claimed to be a philosophy (2:8), had elements that sounded like Judaism (2:11,14,16-17), insisted that certain mystical powers were to be worshipped rather than Christ (2:15,18-19), taught the body is evil and must be abused (2:20-23), but claimed to be Christians (2:3-10). How do you respond to such a complex, multifaceted teaching?
The Holy Spirit though Paul exalts the supremacy of Christ. He taught Jesus as the absolute supreme and sufficient One throughout the epistle (read through and see how many proofs of this you can find in these four short chapters—I found 13 in just the first two chapters). But I want you to notice seven great works of Christ, found in Colossians one, which point to His matchlessness.
- REVELATION (9). As opposed to the false knowledge of the ones condemned by Paul in this epistle, Paul points them to “the knowledge of His will” (9) for “understanding” (9) and “increasing in the knowledge of God” (10). Such allows us to walk right and bear fruit. The written revelation strengthens us with His might. He did that work through the Spirit (Jn. 14:26; 16:13).
- SALVATION (14). Paul tells us we have redemption and forgiveness in Him! He did that work at Calvary.
- CREATION (16). There was no creative act without Him. “All things” were created by Him. That’s exhaustive in nature.
- INCARNATION (19). Though coming in the flesh was not necessarily an act performed by Christ, He did the work of being a human flawlessly. No one else ever did. In Colossians 2:9, Paul completes the thought implied here, that the fullness of God dwelt in Jesus “bodily.” It also connects the statement in verse 19 to the thought in the next several verses. This work was completed at Calvary (cf. Jn. 19:30).
- RECONCILIATION (20-22). His death at Calvary, called redemption and forgiveness earlier, also involved bringing mankind back to God. Sin separated us. When we favorably respond to His offer, Jesus brings peace and makes us presentable (22).
- EXPECTATION (27). What was long a mystery is now known: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” His successful atonement gives us hope in the most hopeless circumstances.
- FORTIFICATION (29). God left us a work to do, nothing more important than the evangelization of the world (cf. 23,28). Jesus strengthens us for that task, causing us to have supreme confidence (cf. Ph. 4:13).
Nobody can compare to Jesus. Not the mystery cults. Not materialism. Not world religions. Not atheism. Jesus is supreme because His work is sublime! May this help us never surrender!