And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead…
Some are eminent for one thing, some for another. Some are distinguished for vast wealth, some are ennobled by intellectual resources, some obtain a name for personal bravery, but none has pre-eminence in all things. But in whatever light we look at Christ He is pre-eminent.
I. IN HIS DIVINE AND MYSTERIOUS NATURE. "God manifest in the flesh," "mighty God," etc.
II. IN THE UNRIVALLED GLORY OF HIS PERFECTIONS. He has every attribute of Deity, and "Whatever things the Father doeth, these doeth the Son likewise."
III. IN THE STUPENDOUS CHARACTER OF HIS WORKS.
1. All creation is His handiwork.
2. In the work of Providence governing and sustaining the universe.
IV. IN THE ILLUSTRIOUS DIGNITY OF HIS OFFICES. Shepherd and Bishop of souls; His throne is for ever and ever; He is the Mediator of a better covenant; in Him, as Prophet, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
V. IN THE CONSISTENT TESTIMONY OF SCRIPTURE. Take any doctrine you choose, it must have some connection with Christ. Promises send us to Christ to fulfil them; precepts send us to Christ, by whose strength alone we can perform them; threatenings send us to Christ, by whose atonement and intercession alone they can be averted. Take Christ from the Bible and you its life; its promises have no reality, its prophecies are empty words, its laws lose their power, and its hopes their animation and realization.
VI. IN THE STUPENDOUS WORK OF HUMAN REDEMPTION. For this He alone was competent. Salvation begins and ends with Him.
VII. IN CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE. The Christian's faith is faith in Christ; his joy, joy in Christ; his strength, strength in Christ; his life, life in Christ. Think of what is necessary to a perfect Christian and you will find it all in Christ. All worship is to be offered in His name, and all obedience rendered Him.
VIII. IN CHRISTIAN PREACHING AND TESTIMONY. To bear witness to Christ and to secure Him homage is the end of our creation.
IX. Christ will yet have pre-eminence IN THE WORLD.
(W. P. Appelbe, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.