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The Preeminence of Christ

Introduction: Here we have the Apostle Paul addressing the saints and faithful brethren at Colosse (verse 2). He gives thanks to God for their faith (verse 4), hope (verse 5) and love (verse 4). As Paul is charging them to walk worthy of the Lord (verse 10), he mentions the Father (verse 12) and seemingly loses track of what he was talking about. Then in verse 13 Paul mentions Jesus Christ and just loses himself bragging on Jesus. It is during this time of exaltation that we find that Jesus is to have preeminence in “all things” (verse 18). But what does that mean?

The word "preeminence" is only found three times in your Bible, but we also have four occurrences of the root word eminent. Let’s take a look at these scriptures and see if we can build a definition.


  • Ezekiel 16:24 That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.
  • Ezekiel 16:31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street;
  • Ezekiel 16:39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places:
  • Ezekiel 17:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent:


  • Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
  • Colossians 1:18 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.
  • 3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

From looking at these passages we can see that the word eminent has a connection to “high places” or an elevated place and the word preeminence seems to mean “an elevated position or rank” or “superiority due to merit”. So now looking at Colossians 1:18 we can determine that Paul is telling us that Christ is superior in rank or position. This preeminence has nothing to do with you for Christ received this preeminence by merit. So let’s look at Colossians 1:18 and see in what ways Christ is preeminent.

  1. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IS HIS ORIGIN (verse 18 who is the beginning)
    1. Jesus Christ is before all things (Micah 5:2; John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5, 24; Revelation 22:13)
    2. Jesus Christ created all things (John 1:3; Ephesians 3:6; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 3:14)
    3. Jesus Christ upholdeth all things (Psalm 75:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3)
  2. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IN HIS POSITION (verse 18 he is the head of the body, the church)
    1. Jesus Christ has authority over nature (Matthew 8:27)
    2. Jesus Christ has authority over heavenly powers (1 Peter 3:22)
    3. Jesus Christ is the King of Glory (Psalm 2:6)
    4. Jesus Christ is equal with God (John 5:18; John 10:30; Philippians 2:6)
    5. Jesus Christ is heir to the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5)
    6. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 1:2; 5:23)
  3. CHRIST IS PREEMINENT IN HIS RESURRECTION (verse 18 the firstborn from the dead)
    1. Jesus Christ proved that Hell couldnt hold Him (Acts 2:27,31; Revelation 1:18)
    2. Jesus Christ proved that the grave couldnt hold Him (Acts 2:31)
    3. Jesus Christ is the only one ever who raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19-21; John 10:17-18)
    4. Jesus Christ is the only one who will never die again (Romans 6:9)