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More Than A Name

"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."
Good Morning My Beloved,
Welcome! Welcome to worship this Lord's Day.
We're glad to have all of you here with us today.
In preparing for today's message, I was reminded of a joke I had heard many years ago. 
"A mother told her young son to go wash his hands before sitting down to supper. To which he replied, "Germs and Jesus, germs and Jesus, that’s all I ever hear about around here. And I have never seen either one of them."
The very name of Jesus, stirs up a variety of emotions and reactions in people. For some the very name is confrontational. In some places you can not even use His name. You can pray to God but you better not use Jesus’ name! I often wonder why that is.
Jesus was God in the flesh. He brought God to man. I believe that some people would much prefer that God, would just remain a mystery. For them, its easier than being confronted.
Then there are those who just love to speak Jesus’ name, however, not in a respectful sense. It wasn't long ago, I heard a young man boldly exclaim "Jesus Christ," when something hadn't gone his way. I immediately turned and smiled and without any hesitation, I replied, "is Lord!!" I felt really good about being able to help him finish his sentence, in his time of need. As I began to walk away, however, I was no longer under the impression that he felt the same way about my kind gesture.
When you ask people who Jesus is, you will likely get a variety of reactions and perspectives. For some, he was a good man. While others say, he was a prophet like Moses and Elijah. Many more say that Jesus was a religious figure, like Mother Teresa, Buddha and Gandhi.
While to some extent, those answers may be true, as Jesus was indeed good, but there is so much more to the person of Jesus Christ. Even if one does not believe in Christ, if you read his word you, will find some distinctiveness that are not found in any other quote unquote "religious figure."  And I hesitate even using the term "religious figure," when speaking about Jesus, because that’s not who He is.

We worship Jesus because He rescued us from the slavery of sin.

We Worship Jesus Because He Alone Is Worthy.

Jesus is the Revealer of God.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we just thank Your for this rich Word, this powerful truth. Thank You for the clarity. Help us that we would be not hearers of the Word, but do-ers. Bind Your Word to our hearts, that it cannot be removed from us. Strengthen us through Your Holy Spirit, that we may we speak the Truth even more boldly, as the attacks and persecution against us escalate. We know that You protect Your own, thank You Father.
Speak through me O' Lord, that those who have ears might hear what Your Spirit is saying to the church.
Lord, we weep in prayer for all of those who do not yet know Christ, that today would be that day, they would surrender to His Lordship.
We pray this in His precious name, Jesus.
The name above all names!
Today's Message: More Than A Name

During Jesus’ day there was much controversy and confusion about who Jesus Christ was. In the years following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, there were other kinds of confusion that surfaced in the churches. The early church did not have a Bible. They didn’t have volumes of theological commentaries, a plethera of books, containing information about Christ. 

So, God used Paul to address some of the issues that began to surface in individual churches to set their Christology straight. Certain heresies came up in churches. Paul confronted them. What is heresy? It is a contradiction of dogma. For example, if I said that your dog is divine and must be worshiped, that would be a heresy.

There has always been heresy in church. And, if we want to keep away from heresy in the church, we had better have a proper understanding of Christ and Who He is.

So, the Apostle Paul confronted these churches. Here in the book of Colossians, Paul is addressing some heresy that has come up in that church that was robbing Christ of His centrality in the Christian faith. It was causing people to think less of and, in some cases, even deny the uniqueness of Christ. There was an emphasis in angel worship. There was a philosophy called "Gnosticism," which basically meant you can receive salvation from knowledge. It taught of a God who was not near but very far off. This was the situation that Paul was addressing.

Open with me your Bibles to Colossians chapter 1, verses 15 through 20. I personally love this portion of Scripture, such rich treasure, as it calls our attention to the person of Jesus Christ, who He is, why He came into the world and what the birth of the Lord Jesus really means.
I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read. Colossians 1:15-20.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."
So why is it so important that we have proper view of Christ? And is that what is being presented in the church?
You know it never ceases to amaze what people will teach their children to believe. We have the tooth fairy, mother nature, the easter bunny, santa clause to name a few. Yet, many people take issue with teaching their children about God, Jesus Christ, often times exclaiming, "He doesn't exist!" 
On a side note, Does any of you happen to have the most recent forwarding address to santa clause, I didn't quite get my letter to him in time for Christmas. 
Your maturity in the Lord largely depends on your understanding of Christ. Paul went everywhere telling everyone about Christ. He did this by teaching them, by warning them, with all wisdom, in a way they would understand. The goal was to present the everyone to God perfect, meaning complete, in their relationship to Christ. Some people believe that when they became a follower of Jesus that that is all they need to do. 
John Piper once said, "Salvation is not mainly forgiveness of sins it is mainly a fellowship with Jesus." Walking with Christ is more than just praying a simple prayer. You begin a journey, a relationship with a person! Not a religion. Not a denomination! Not a ritual, but with a person! Not with an ideology but with our Creator! 

When someone asks me the question of who Jesus is, any of you who personally know me, know that I believe that we must let Scripture interpret itself. I believe there is none is more grand than this one in the first chapter of Colossians.
Let's look at the first part of verse 15. "He is the image of the invisible God— "He is the image of the invisible God"
Jesus is the Revealer of God. God came to earth and revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not "like" God. He is not "close" to God. He is not "almost" God. Jesus is God! Jesus is God
Jesus is the "us" in the "Let us make man..." Jesus is the us in "Who will go for us." Jesus is Almighty God, made flesh. He is Creator of all things.

Not only is Jesus the Revealer of God, He is "the firstborn over all creation." Allow me to clarify that, this does not mean that He was the first being "created." The word "firstborn" here means preeminent. This means that Jesus was already here when it all happened. He is the Creator of all things.

It is in the sense of what Jesus said to them in John 8:58, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

How do you get to know someone? You spend time with them. You talk with them. You study them. You think about them. Same way with Jesus Christ.

As we read what said Paul, one thing is clear, he wanted to assist the believers in Colossae in their maturity. That was his goal, his purpose. Paul also said, that he works very hard at it.

In verse 16, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."

So, not only is Jesus the Revealer of God and the Creator of the world, He is also the One who holds it all together. He is the Sustainer.

This means that when they put Jesus on the cross, Jesus was the One who spoke the seed into existence that grew into the tree that became the cross that He was hung upon. This means that He is the One who called the molecules together that made the metal that was formed into the nails that was nailed into His hands and feet. That means that He is the One that gave the breath of life to those that mocked Him and nailed Him to the cross.

Jesus Christ is the One Who created the universe and allowed Himself to die so that He could be our Redeemer. Jesus is the One who had victory over sin and death so that I could have eternal life.

Beloved, we must not forget who Jesus is! We must not take what Jesus has done for granted. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; and on that glorious day when we see Him, face to face, we will fall to our knees and worship before Him. 

Romans 14:11 says "For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God."

As we previously discussed, there are conflicting views of Christ. I'd like to point out, that you’ll be safe if you follow the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

A person has to want to grow. I can’t force you to grow. I can’t make you to want to become mature. I can however, through my teaching, encourage and provoke you to want to mature. However, there are some people that just settle for where they are spiritually. I do not believe, we can afford to do that! You’ve got to press on in your relationship with Christ. There is so much God wants us to experience and know about Him.

Physical growth takes time. We can all agree on that, am I right? We understand that you don’t come out of your mother’s womb, fully grown, 6 feet tall. It takes time to grow and develop. It’s a process. The same is true in our Spiritual growth, there is no "instant growth," in the Christian life.

For Paul, it was worth the struggle. And, I confess, it is a purpose I have built my life upon. My mission in life is to communicate and encourage faith in Christ in the lives of those inside the church and outside the church. I want to see every one of you grow and develop a stronger faith. However, you know, I also want to help others outside the church develop a faith too.

So, what is your understanding of Christ? What is your Christology? Is he simply "the big guy," "the man upstairs" to you? Some sort of genie? A good luck charm? Maybe your view of Jesus is based on some painting you’ve seen, a statue of somber Jesus. It is my desire to encourage you to rethink your view of Christ.

Most of us know certain facts about Christ. We know that He was born into the world. We know His mother’s name was Mary. He was born in a stable. He grew up and at the young age of 33, He was crucified. We know, He rose again on the third day. 

But is that all there is to know and understand about Jesus Christ? Absolutely not!

To see Jesus, is to see God! In our text, verse 15 through 20, we can know with all certainty, Jesus is the exact image of God. 

Jesus wasn’t merely "representing" God, He was and is God! In John chapter 14, verses 8-9 the disciple Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

And to see and understand Jesus is God, is to understand that He is Creator, Who made everything in heaven and earth, things we can see and things we can’t, the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for His own use and glory. Christ Is The Creator. 

In the middle of verse 16, all things were created by him. Whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. Now those terms are familiar to any student of the New Testament, we see those terms numerous times in Paul's writings. They are indicative of ranks of angels, Jesus Christ, is over them all. 

So, Jesus’ life did not begin in Bethlehem, it began long before that. In fact, it didn’t have a beginning! It always was and always IS. Scripture says "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. There is nothing before Alpha and nothing after Omega. 

Verse 17 says, "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

He holds all things together. He is in complete control. He knows just how much of this and how little of that it takes to sustain the earth, and keep it spinning.

Jesus is the Head of the Church! Not man! And thank God for that truth, because I, for one, would make a terrible, terrible God!

Jesus Christ was the first to rise from the dead. Yes, there are passages in the Bible that tell how He raised people from the dead, like Lazarus. However, they eventually died. Jesus was crucified and three days later, He rose again to live forever. He is indestructible!

Hebrews 7:16 says it this way, "who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life."

Christ is supreme over all creation, supreme over the church, supreme over the grave, supreme over authorities, supreme over all other powers and kingdoms. All of that and so much more.

As a footnote, every one of those statements that was made in verses 15 through 19 is absolutely exclusive. There are true of Him and no one else! And the sum of them is found at the end of verse 18, ".... He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."

In verse 19, Paul adds a word about Jesus in His relationship to all other revelations. "For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him" It was the father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in him.

So, allow me to ask you this question…Is Christ truly supreme over your life?

I don't want you to answer that, I just want you to give that some thought... Only you and He know the truth.

Jesus did not ask our permission to create the world. He didn’t need it! Nor did He need our permission to be Lord over the church. But you know something, He must have your permission to reign supreme over your life. He won’t come in unless you ask Him...

Verse 20, "and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

There's something else I'd like you to consider: If Jesus is Supreme over all then He is sufficient FOR all. If He is Creator He knows how to create from nothing. He knows how to fix things. If he is ruler he knows how to rule. He knows how to provide.

Romans 8:32 says "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"

Though He needs your permission to enter your life today one of these days the Scripture teaches us that every person will declare he is Lord. We’ll never get away from him. Even if this is your last day to attend church… you will hear about him again. You will see him again and our knees will bow before him and say you are Lord! So, ultimately one way or the other he will be supreme over your life.

Biblically speaking, the metaphor of the body is used. The church is the body and Christ is its head. That’s comprehensible to us. We understand it's meaning. All the functions of the human body are subject under the control of the head, both voluntarily and involuntarily. In other words, Christ is the source of all truth, of all wisdom, of all knowledge, all growth and guidance in His church.

In Matthew 16, Jesus said, I will build my church.

And John chapter 14, verses 1 and 2 says "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you."

What a tremendous truth! He is preparing a place for us. He’s preparing our dwelling. He's not up in heaven bingeing on HeavenFlix or anything.

While I’m not sure what kind of decor your dwelling is going to have in heaven, but you I can tell you that are going to be completely blown away by its beauty! You will not be disappointed.

Hear me out, a little broken down shack in heaven will be plenty enough for me, so long as I have Jesus!

In Closing...

I want to leave with some thoughts on what Jesus is doing now. What is the truth regarding what He is doing now. Is He up there in heaven just hangin around? Is He just paling around with Moses and the twelve? Not exactly. For one thing, He is praying for you! How's that for a prayer Warrior? And He is praying that our faith will not fail!

He is also making everything ready, He's preparing to come and get you and me.

John 14:3 says "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

He’s preparing to do that right now. We’re on His timetable though. I really believe that when it’s our time to go and you are a believer I really believe you’ll meet Jesus. If thousands upon thousands of believers die everyday wouldn’t that be tough for Jesus to meet all of them at the same time? Nothing is impossible with God.

Look, I don’t know how it’s all going to work out. That’s a mystery but one I look forward to encountering. One look into Jesus’ eyes and I’ll say "I’m so glad I’m here with you."

And if you're His own, I know that you will too..

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

Copyright © 2019-2021 All Rights Reserved

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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