When you think about Jesus, what’s the first word that comes to your mind?
Your response might be “Lord,” “love,” “Savior,” “sacrifice,” “King,” “humble,” or “Friend.” And you would be correct God’s Word confirms these are accurate perceptions of Him. There a multitude of phrases and terms used in the Bible to describe Jesus. However, perhaps the most important is one which is rarely considered. It’s found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians:
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (1:18)
Paul proclaimed Jesus should have it “in all things,” so it must be important.
So, what exactly is preeminence?
The technical definition of the Greek word translated here as preeminence means “to be first, hold the first place.” In other words, to be preeminent means to be considered the most important, the most well-known, the one valued most highly. Paul is saying Jesus should have, and does have, first place in everything.
Why should Jesus have preeminence?
Paul lists some reasons for Jesus’ preeminence just prior to verse eighteen:
We have redemption (purchased freedom) through His blood (14).
Because of His sacrifice, our sins are forgiven (14).
He is the “firstborn” (first in rank) over all creation (15).
He created everything in heaven and on earth (16).
Everything was created for Him (16).
He existed before all creation (17).
He holds everything together (17).
He is the Head of the Church (18).
The Bible provides many more reasons why Jesus is in first place:
He’s our King (1 Timothy 6:15).
He’s our Savior (1 John 4:14).
He’s the One Who gave His life for us (1 John 3:16).
It’s in His name only by which we’re saved (Acts 4:12).
His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9).
At His name every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10).
He’s the Son of God (Romans 1:4).
He will judge the world (2 Timothy 4:1).
He has all authority in heaven & earth (Matthew 28:18).
The Scriptures are all about Him (John 5:39).
He’s our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
He’s our righteousness (Romans 3:22).
He’s the way (John 14:6).
He’s the truth (John 14:6).
He’s life (John 14:6).
He’s the alpha and omega (beginning and end) (Revelation 1:8).
He’s the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
He’s the power and wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)
For these reasons and so many more, Jesus is and should be number one in everything. Yet, Jesus never forces Himself into our lives. Therefore, oftentimes we allow other people, activities, or things to take His rightful place.
So, how can we allow Jesus the preeminence in our lives He deserves?
1. By seeking His will in every decision we make (Luke 22:42).
2. By thinking about Him in everything we do (Psalm 119:15).
3. By choosing to obey Him every moment, in every situation (John 14:21).
4. By taking time to be still to talk to Him and hear from Him (Psalm 46:10)
5. By seeking to know Him more every day (Jeremiah 29:13).
6. By thanking Him for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
7. By talking about Him with others (Colossians 4:5-6).
8. By allowing Him to receive the glory in all we are and do (Colossians 3:17).
9. By keeping our minds pure (James 4:8).
We must connect everything we say and do, and all we are, with Jesus all the time! When we do this, He’ll be preeminent in our lives, and we’ll experience the joy of abiding in Him and representing Him well to the world.
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Pastor Robb is an assistant pastor at Calvary Nexus. He enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and hanging out with his grand kids.