“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. “
The Holy Spirit draws a line under the seven descriptions of Christ and adds them up. Here is the total– “that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
“that in all things He may have the preeminence”
Jesus Christ is exalted over all creation because of this list of seven superiorities (Phil. 2:9). The phrase “that in all things” climaxes the list of the superiority of Jesus Christ. Since he is all that the seven statements say about him, he should “have the preeminence.” “Preeminence” means to have first place. The word means to be first, hold the first place, or highest dignity. Because of his uniqueness (the seven distinctive), he should have the highest dignity to our minds. Jesus Christ should hold the supreme rank, the supreme authority in our lives.
The Bible uses “preeminence” twice in the Bible, here and 3 John 9, “Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence.” Big shot Diotrephes loved to be first. He wanted to be number one in the local church. It is either Christ or Diotrephes, Christ, or any other leader in the local church. It cannot be both. Christ must be first. Jesus Christ will not play second fiddle to anyone. He will not be second in any church or family. He will remove any rival.
In Greek, “preeminence” was used of athletes who won their events at the Olympic and Pythian games. The athlete who won first place held preeminence.
Jesus Christ should hold the predominant place in our hearts.
Jesus Christ’s preeminence does not depend upon whether we hold him as such in our hearts. He is preeminent whether we honor him or not. Do you give him first place in your hearts (1 Pet. 3:15)? Does he come before our business, husband, wife, or children? The Bible holds him as preeminent. Whether we hold him as such in our hearts depends on how much we allow him to occupy our hearts. The Christian who does not hold him in the first place is a miserable person. We are sad people when we put ourselves first. There is no way to break that misery until we place Jesus Christ as preeminent in our hearts.
Jesus Christ wants absolute capitulation; we must get off the throne of our lives. Jesus must be King of the hill. He will not share that position with anyone. He must be number one on our list of priorities. This sense of focus may explain why some of us have difficulty in our Christian lives. He must be the absolute authority in our lives. He did not die merely to get us to heaven. He wants to take us to heaven first-class. Most people go to heaven second class. This attitude is the key to abundant living.
We will never have a moment’s peace until we get our eyes off ourselves and put them upon the preeminence of Jesus Christ. We cannot love and appreciate Jesus Christ until we know something about the seven areas that precede the statement about his superiority. First, we know who he is; then, we love him. Unless we understand his greatness, we cannot give him the dignity and honor he deserves. Loving him is the result of knowing him. Otherwise, it is sheer emotional pap without substance. Passionate love is up one minute and down the next. Love based on truth is solid and lasting.