CHRIST IS ALL
Col.ossians 3:1-11 December 12, 2004
In this study the thought I want to develop is in Colossians 3:11, “Christ is all and in all.” In our text there are two “alls,” and you will notice at once that they are in the present tense. Christ IS all and Christ IS in all.. The translators took the liberty to change the sentence structure in the latter part of the verse. Most translators render our text, “Christ is all and in all.” Another rendering is, “Christ is everything and in us all.” However, in the original it reads like this, “All and in all is Christ.” It is noteworthy that in the sentence, as Paul wrote it, Christ is placed last, and it would appear he did this to give Christ a greater emphasis. It is not said that Christ is all to all men or that He is in all men. There are men in the world to whom Christ is nothing. He scarcely enters into their thoughts. Some even use His name to curse by. There are others in the world to whom Christ is something but not much. The meaning of this verse is that Christ is all to Christians and is in all Christians.
We shall begin with the first part of the text, “Christ is all.” These are few words, but no preacher can fully expound the statement. It means Christ is all things; He is everything. He is our common center, our standard of reference; and He is the sum of all we acknowledge and desire. He is the living Divine center of the human race. This statement goes along with the purpose for which the book was written. A study of the book reveals it was written to counteract certain teachings, ideas and intellectual concepts which endangered the faith of Christians. Ideas were being advanced which implied Christians did not have all the knowledge that was needed in this life, and that Christ was not the only thinker in the world. This posed a great danger to the church. During the first two or three centuries of church history there were two threats to the religion of Christ. The first was the threat from the culture of the Old Testament church, based on the religion of Moses. The second threat to the church was from the world of Greek culture and learning, which disagreed with doctrines of Christ. This culture did its best to remove Christ from the topmost niche and rob Him of this authority and uniqueness. . The Greek philosophers were the intellectuals of the ancient world and were looked up to for their wisdom and understanding of the world in which we live. The wisdom of Greek culture disagreed with the teachings of the Christian religion, and many Christians were disturbed by this conflict.. This threat led Paul to give this warning to Christians in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”.Christ abolished the Jewish religion and replaced it with His own.
In addition Christ has wiped out the glory of Greece, Greek culture, and the wisdom of its great philosophers and thinkers. However, these two cultures have been replaced by a new world culture of human wisdom and understanding, based on assumed scientific reasoning; and it is taught in most all great universities in the world. I entered into the pursuit of knowledge as a young man after world war II and graduated from two universities. As a result, I am well indoctrinated in the new world culture system of wisdom and understanding which has arisen in the last three hundred years. Much that I learned was good and enlightening, but I found that much that is taught in our great universities disagrees with the Christian religion, , even as did the Jewish culture and the Greek culture. Thus I had to make a decision, and that decision was and is that Christ is all, that Christ is everything to me, that He is the Divine center of the human race and the universe, and that in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
First of all, I would suggest to you that Christ is all in regard to the physical universe. Greek thinkers invented many speculations about the universe and its origin. In the last three hundred years many other speculations have arisen about the universe and its origin. Some of the Greeks who became Christians combined the ideas of Greek philosophy and Christianity. They held to speculations about the origin of evil and the creation of the world which contradicted the teachings of the New Testament. They maintained that the universe was created by an evil god who was ignorant of the one true and living God. To prevent Christians in Colosse from being enamored and influenced by this Greek philosophical speculation, Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16: “ For by Christ all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” That one statement wiped out all Greek speculations of the first century, and it wipes all speculations in the 21st century. We learn from this passage that Jesus Christ was the Creator of the universe.
Furthermore, this truth does not disagree with Genesis 1:1 which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”. That there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead is a revelation of the Christian religion, supernaturally revealed to the apostles by the Holy Spirit. In John 1:1 the apostle said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God...and the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” This passage declares that Jesus existed in the beginning, at which time He was not Jesus of Nazareth, but the second
person of the Godhead. When He became flesh He assumed the form of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus Jesus was Immanuel or God in the flesh. By comparing Genesis 1:1 with Colossians 1:16, it is clear that God the Father created the heavens and the earth through God the Son, the second person.
John 1:3 states that all things were made by Jesus Christ and without Him nothing was made that was made. This divinely revealed fact settles forever the question about the origin of the universe and the origin of life.
I wonder if you realize the greatness of this profound truth you have just heard, and I hope you have learned.. In my eighty years of living I have discovered many truths, and as I ponder over all that I have studied and all that I have learned there are three truths I consider the greatest. They stand out above all others, and . I call them the three greatest discoveries of my life. Of course, this is my personal assessment I will speak of one of them in this message.
One of the greatest discoveries I have made in life is that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe. This fact was a mystery, hidden for ages and generations, not made known to the children of men for the first four or five thousand years of human history. No one knew this truth from Adam to Christ, covering we believe over four thousand years. What about the Jews, God's chosen people for 1500 years?. They did not know precisely who created the universe. Genesis 1 indeed says God created the heavens and earth, but they did not know there were three persons in the Godhead. Genesis 1 does not say whether it was God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. The Christian religion has made known the truth of the triune God, and has revealed the truth that it was not God the Father or God the Holy Spirit who created the world. It is the teaching of the Christian faith that the second person of the Godhead did the actual creating of the universe. Anyone who does not believe in the Trinity will never know who created the worlds. If you have a problem believing in the Godhead Three, if you are not certain, then you have not yet learned this great truth All religions that reject the Christian religion will never know the origin of the universe or the origin of life. Christ as Creator is a discovery of the Christian religion. The truth that Jesus Christ created the universe and created all life is one of the greatest discoveries of my life How did I discover it? The apostles of Christ were the first persons on earth to learn this truth; it t was revealed to them from heaven; and I learned that truth from them. The true relationship of Christ to the physical universe is that He personally made it; it belongs to Him, and He made it for Himself.
Another truth we learn from our text is that Christ is all in the realm of true religion. Another dangerous concept taught by some of the Greek Christians was that the simple gospel was well enough for uneducated Christians, but some thought they possessed higher knowledge, based on human learning. They were called gnostics. The word gnostic means knowing, and they adopted this name on the presumption that they were the only Christians who had a true knowledge of Christianity. Paul does away with the arguments of the gnostics, and all their modern-day revelations, by stating quite clearly that there can be no fuller revelation than found in the religion of Christ. The apostle lays it down that the religion of Christ needs no additions, and that men can add nothing to what Jesus and His apostles revealed about true religion. Colossians 2:3 declares that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. In 2 Peter 1:3 that apostle utters a statement that dismays all self-styled alleged revelations that adds to or takes away from anything said in the Bible. Peter said that God has given to Christians, “All things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ who called us to glory and virtue.” This means that no one can tell us anything about true religion that is not found in the Bible. It also means that we should not believe anything of a religious nature which cannot be verified in the word of God. The Bible contains all we needs to know about God, life here and life in the world to come.
I call your attention to one more thought in the text. Not only is Christ all; Christ is also in all Christians. Colossians 3:11 says, “There is neither Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” This statement includes all of the chief racial and social groups of the first century, and we are distinctly told that Christ lived in the hearts of all these different racial groups when they became Christians. In becoming a Christian one puts off the past sinful life by repentance and puts on the new man of the Christian life. When they became new men and women in Christ, it wiped out all social and racial distinctions. When one believes in Christ, renounces and turns away from his former sinful manner of living and is buried with Christ in baptism, the old man of the former life has been forgiven, and a new person in Christ has been created. Jesus Christ lives in all Christians, regardless of social or racial condition.
I have said all that to say this. Jesus Christ is the principle of cohesion in society. He brings the divided elements of society into a togetherness, a brotherhood. Unless society abides in Christ, it is a fragmented society. Without Christ mankind will remain divided—class
against class, color against color, race against race, and ideology against ideology. The United Nations, for example, cannot unify the nations of the world. Americans enjoy more freedom than any nation on the face of the earth, but our society does not cohere. In spite of our constitution and freedom, American society is a divided society. Nothing can take the place of true religion. Americans have the finest government in the world, but America needs the religion of Christ to bring healing to a disintegrated society.
In the first century the Church of Christ was the only place in the world where barbarians, , Scythians, Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free people could meet together in brotherly love. Christians made up the only integrated society in the entire world. Men and women of all classes met together in mutual respect and brotherly love. The New Testament church is the uniting place for a fragmented society. If you want to make this a better and more peaceful world, if you want to go to heaven when you die, then yield your life to Christ. Believe in Him with all your heart, turn away from a life of transgression against God, openly confess your faith in Christ, and seal it in the beautiful act of baptism, a burial in water, followed by a resurrection to a new life in Christ. If you do that and live soberly, righteously and godly as a Christian for the rest of your life, you will go to your eternal resting place in heaven.