I. Jesus is Lord of Creation.
A. Image of the Invisible God
B. Firstborn of All Creation
C. By Him, Through Him, For Him
D. Before All Things
E. All Things Hold Together
II. Jesus is Lord of the Church.
In considering Jesus as Lord of the church don’t think 1. Church Service, 2. Church Building, 3. Even church family, 4. Think universal church – the people of God from every generation who have embraced Jesus – the people whom you are a part if you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior.
A. Our Leader
2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:2–4
· As our body responds to the impulses of our brain, we should respond in obedience to our head, Jesus.
· Illus – Daddy, you’re the boss of the church right? – Jesus is the chief Shepherd.
· He may lead us out of our comfort zone – Luke 9:23
· He is the leader corporately and individually. If God is your co-pilot, change seats
Is Jesus your Leader? Wake up every morning committing to Jesus to follow Him as your Leader. Jesus, you are my Lord, the Leader of my life. I will go wherever you want me to go? I will do whatever you want me to do? I will stop whatever you want me to stop. I will follow you. There are some things that I feel like I need or want to do today? Are these the things you want me to do? Lead me, Jesus, today.
B. Our Founder
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
· The people of God have their, our, origin in Him.
· Hebrews 12:2 – The founder and perfecter of faith
· Phil 1:6
When Jesus called you to Himself, He began a work in you and He who began a work in you promises to complete it. He is not done with you yet. He is continuing to work on what he began. This promise is true for the chuch universally, our church family, locally, and you individually.
C. The One Who Rose and Raises the Dead
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:20
· Born from the dead is a strange phrase except in the case of Jesus for Him the tomb was the womb that brought every lasting life to all who trust in Him.
· He came back to life and walked out of a tomb and he fives new life to all who trust Him. We taste of that new life in the new spiritual life we receive the moment we trust in Jesus. We shall fully experience that new life when Jesus comes again and the dead in Christ are raised imperishable bodies fit for eternity with Him.
· The tomb looked bleek and hopless. But with Jesus there is always hope.
You may be experiencing the pain of hopelessness now. A broken family. Financial ruin. Unexplainable depression. Jesus brings hope to hopeless situations. Look the firstborn of the dead!
D. Worthy of First Place
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
· In our church Jesus deserves first place.
o Does our church revolve around Jesus or buildings, rolls, programs?
· In the life of a Christian Jesus deserves first place.
o Does your life revolve around Jesus? Your Spouse? Your Job? Your children? School? College?
Let’s love our children enough to teach them life does not revolve around them. Life revolves around Jesus?
John Bunyam lived in England in the 1600’s. He had four children with his first wife. She passed away. He remarried. When his oldest daughter, who was blind was 10, He would spend the next 12 years calling a prison cell his home. He was from time to time giving leave, but he would always have to return to his prison cell unless he stopped preaching about Jesus. But Jesus would have first place. It wasn’t easy. He would have to leave his children with their step-mother, who by the way, also gladly support her husband in standing firm on the gospel of Jesus. Nevertheless he was sometime tormented that he might not be making the right decision in regard to his family.
The parting with my Wife and poor children hath often been to me in this place as the pulling of the Flesh from my bones; and that not only because I am somewhat too fond of these great Mercies, but also because I should have often brought to my mind the many hardships, miseries and wants that my poor Family was like to meet with should I be taken from them, especially my poor blind child, who lay nearer my heart than all I had besides; O the thoughts of the hardship I thought my Blind one might go under, would break my heart to pieces.
As we wrestle with the choice of giving first place in our lives, let us not forget those for whom the decision would cost them their freedom or their very lives.
“There is a great gulf between the Christianity that wrestles with whether to worship at the cost of imprisonment and death, and the Christianity that wrestles with whether the kids should play soccer on Sunday morning.” John Piper
From that prison cell, John Bunyan would write what would become the second most printed book in the history of the English language. The first is the bible. The second is “Pilgrims Progrss.” The parable of a Christian striving through the difficulties of this life to make Jesus first on His way to heaven.
Is Jesus preeminent in your life? Does He have first place?