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The First Place.
pp. 155 - 159
"that in all things He might have the pre-eminence" (Col. 1: 18).
The above quotation is taken from the A.V. Paul expresses his conviction that in
every thing the Lord Jesus Christ should be pre-eminent. If we are able to look up the
passage in The Englishman's Greek New Testament, with interlinear literal translation,
we will find the following:
"And He is the Head of the body, the assembly; Who is (the) beginning, first born
from among the dead, that He might be in all things holding the first place; because in
Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell" (Col. 1: 18, 19).
In Letters From Prison, page 129, Stuart Allen gives "the first place" as a suitable
In the context, we have the reasons set out which we will consider later, but first let us
remind ourselves of other passages of Scripture which provide a useful background.
There are other Scriptures which show that Christ is supreme, and which refer to Him
before He appeared on the earth. In John's Gospel we read that the Word was God. All
things were made by Him, so He was the Creator. The Word was made flesh and dwelt
among us (John 1: 1, 3, 14). Then if we refer to John 17: 1-5, and read our Lord's
wonderful prayer, we observe the prayer commences "Father, the hour is come; glorify
Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee ...".
"And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had
with Thee before the world was" (17: 5).
Here we have a glimpse of the glory which the Word had even before the world was
made. John 1: reveals that all things were made by the Word and without Him was not
any thing made that was made. So we have a view of a supreme Creator Who laid aside
His glory and came down to this earth for our sakes that we might be redeemed.
Another passage which is important is Phil. 2: 5-11.
Here we find Christ's
humiliation described in some detail. Christ Jesus, being in the "form of God" (or having
the status of God), took upon Him the "form of a servant" and was made in the likeness
of men. He humbled Himself even more, and became obedient unto death, even the
death of the cross. Then we read of His exaltation, and how He will be supreme.
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given Him a name which is above
every name: that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, and ... every tongue
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
We will now consider the context of Col. 1: 18:
"In Whom (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of
sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by Him
were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,