Colossians 1 - Solo Christo "5 Solas" conference

Solo Christo

 

Colossians 1:13-20

 

I.    Introduction

 

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious (impy-us) is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, session 6, p.45)

 

The Roman Catholic Church, in the response to the Reformation in the 16th century, got together at Trent in northern Italy to give a defense for it’s doctrines.  In this council the Roman church insisted that Salvation is not by the Grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone like the Reformation stated.  The Roman church insisted and still insists today that Salvation is obtained by faith in Jesus Christ and the good works of man.  They teach that a man cannot be saved by faith only but works are necessary to obtain salvation.

 

Robert Sungenis of the Catholic “coming home network” explains the Roman doctrine like this:

 

The Catholic Church teaches that although faith is critically important, it only begins the process of justification, a process which also has a middle and an end. Justification is not a single event of faith alone, nor are works merely the fruit of such faith, but a process whereby the individual grows in justification by his faith and good works, a growth which can be retarded, or even terminated, by faithlessness and bad works, ending in damnation.

 

This is a fundamental difference between the Roman church and the Protestant Church and the reason for the Reformation.  The 5 Solas of the Reformation are the Biblical doctrines that we live and die upon because it is what the Scriptures teaches. 

 

Today I will talk about Solo Christo, which means Only Christ or Christ alone.  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

 

I want to expound the text to prove that salvation is only through Jesus Christ and can be obtained in no other way.  But not only this, but I want to prove that everything in the world revolves around Christ and is for Christ.

 

Many times we think that we are the greatest thing in God’s eyes.  We think that since God made us then we are the pivot that universe revolves around and that God has been working everything out in the world for the sole purpose of pleasing and restoring us. 

 

I want to show from this text in Colossians and throughout the Bible that everything in the world does revolve around one thing, but it is not us, or the Roman Church, or a pope, or a special country, or any single thing that was created; The world revolves around one person, that is the Lord Jesus Christ and all things are disposed of for His glory.  I want to make 6 points from this passage.

 

                1.  Jesus existed before all things created

                2.  Jesus created all things for Himself

                3.  Jesus holds all things together for Himself

                4.  Jesus will reconcile all things to Himself

                5.  Jesus will judge all things for Himself

                6.  All things will ultimately glorify Jesus

 

 

II.   Jesus existed before all things created

 

        A.  v15 – He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of creation.

        The Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons will use this verse to show that Jesus was not God, but the Son of God  who was created by the Father. 

 

        We know from other places in Scripture the Jesus is God and is eternal, like John 1:1 which says:

 

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

        This shows us that not only is Jesus the image of the invisible God but that He is actually God and eternal.

 

        So in this verse 15 when Paul says that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation it can’t mean that Jesus is a created being.  Paul was not thinking in physical terms but rather he was talking terms of rights and privileges.  Jesus has all the rights and privileges of the first born son.

 

We can see a similar reference to Jesus as the first born or heir in Hebrews 1:2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world

 

So we see first that Jesus existed before everything that was created.  He existed before anything was made in heaven or on earth.  He existed before anything that was visible or invisible came to be.  He existed before any thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities were created.  He has always existed eternally with the Father and Holy Spirit as one God in 3 distinct persons.

 

        B.  v18 – He is preeminent

 

We see from verse 18 that Jesus is preeminent which means that He was first.  In this verse, after we are told that Christ is the head of the body, the church, there is a period.  The start of the next sentence says that He, Jesus, is the beginning.  So the word preeminent refers back to the beginning of the sentence to define itself.  It simply means that Jesus was before all things, He was first. 

 

Jesus is first in rank, dignity, honor and power over all creation.

 

He existed before all things and all things that were created, which is everything but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  All things that were created were created through Jesus.

 

III.  Jesus created all thing for Himself

 

A.  Verse 16 says:  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. 

 

Again we see the same thing in John 1:1-3:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

 

Revelation 4:11 says:

 

Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

 

Hebrews 1:1-2 says:  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

 

Jesus, who I am claiming is the pivot that the universe revolves around, existed before any thing was created and then all thing were created by Him and through Him.  So before Buddah or Muhammed or the Pope or any religious leader ever came into existence, Jesus existed.  And not only did Jesus exist, he made everything material and immaterial.  Everything.  How could salvation come through anyone else?

 

Not only did Jesus exist before everything and create everything, He now holds all things together by the word of His power.

 

IV.  Jesus holds all things together for Himself

 

A.  He holds the physical world together.  In verse 17 we see that in Jesus all things hold together.  Jesus continually hold the entire universe together and keeps all of His creation in working order and prevents it from disintegrating. 

 

The reason the earth hasn’t crashed into the sun yet or a giant star or comet hasn’t wiped the earth out is because Jesus is upholding it.   Back in Hebrews 1 again in verse 3 it says: 

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his power.

 

B.  He holds the unseen world together.  The unseen spiritual world is held together by Jesus because He created it.  Nothing goes on Spiritually outside of His Sovereign control. 

 

Even the complexity of micro-biology Jesus holds together.  The human body is so complicated that scientist still don’t understand how we can even carry out a conversation.  Jesus keeps every complex process in our bodies functioning.  He upholds it. 

 

C.  He upholds the church.  It says in verse 18 that Jesus is the head of the body, the church.  The reason there is still a remnant of true believers is because Christ has upheld it.

 

D.  He upholds are marriages and really every aspect of our lives.  The only reason you are still with your wife is because of Jesus Christ upholding you and keeping you together.  All by His grace.

 

C.  He upholds every person on the face of the earth.  The reason we can breathe is because of Jesus Christ.  He gives us breath and allows are heart to beat.  Even when we were lost and wicked and blaspheming his name, He held us together and kept us.  He even kept Hitler alive for a season.  Even when the Romans were physically torturing and killing Him, He upheld their very lives so they could do it.  There is nothing outside of His control and not one breath we take is something we can do outside of Jesus upholding us.  Just think, we breath about 12 -20 breaths a minute.  We times 12 by 60 to get 720 breaths per hour and then by 24 to get 17,280 breaths per day times 365 to get 6,307,200 breaths per year times the average life of 70 years to get around 442 million breaths in the average lifespan of a person.  Now think about all the people in the world right now, about 6.8 billion, breathing.  How many breaths could this possibly be?  Now think about everyone who has ever lived in history and how many breaths they have taken.

 

I want you to understand this:  Every breath, by every person who has ever lived or will ever live has been ordained by God.  That is why the last verse in the book of Psalms says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

 

Without Jesus we can do nothing, not even breath.  Jesus uphold our very life.  Some people think they can be saved without Jesus, or they have the power to save themselves, or they think they have anything to do with their salvation?  They can’t even breath without Christ.  So how can we reconcile ourselves to God?  We can’t but Jesus can.

 

V.  Jesus will reconcile all things to Himself

 

Verse 12-14 says:  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

        And in verse 20 it says that Jesus will reconcile to Himself all things.

 

A.  Jesus is our Redeemer and as our Redeemer He fulfills offices:

 

1.  He is our Prophet by revealing to us, by His word and Spirit, God’s will for our salvation.

 

2.  He is our Priest by offering Himself up as a one time sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.

 

We see Jesus as our Intercessor in many verses  like Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 but in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 we find that Jesus Christ is the only intercessor between man and God.

 

For there is one God, and there is on mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

 

Jesus intercedes for us to satisfy divine justice.  He is the mediator between us as the criminal and the Father as the judge.  We are guilty and there is no escape so Jesus offers His self as the ransom.  He didn’t pay God off with any material thing to free us from the penalty of sin, like a parent would pay to a kidnapper to free his kid, Jesus paid with His own blood because the penalty for sin is death and only the death of a righteous man would satisfy God’s justice.  Jesus is our substitute and bore the penalty for our sin, which is the wrath of God for us.  The Father crushed Jesus instead of us so we can be free from the penalty of sin and receive the reward that Jesus earned for us, everlasting life.

 

Now what other person that has ever lived could do this?  Buddha?  Muhammad?  Could our good works satisfy God’s divine justice?  The more you understand the work of Jesus on the cross, the more absurd you will find any other way of salvation outside of Christ.

 

We see in Leviticus the priests offering sacrifices and burnt offerings continually year after year to atone for their sin but this always fell short and couldn’t take away sins.  But when Jesus went to the cross as our burnt offering and offered Himself up as a sweet aroma to the Father, sin was forgiven and men were reconciled.  Hebrews 10:11-14 says this:

 

And every priest stands daily at his service offering repeatedly the same sacrifices which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until His enemies should be made a footstool for His feet.  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

 

Does that make sense?  We could never atone for our sins, only Jesus could do it for us because he was the Lamb without blemish, he was without sin.  This is the only reason the Father could accept the sacrifice of His Son as satisfaction to forgive sin. 

 

Isn’t the doctrine of the Catholic Church and the many cults that say you need faith and WORKS seem absolutely absurd now?

 

3.  He is our King by subduing us to Himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all His and our enemies.

 

Jesus is the Sovereign King over all creation and has full authority to do as He pleases with it.  He rules creation and is Lord over all, whether people acknowledge it or not.

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Our King of Glory has promised to guide us, defend us, never leave or forsake us, bring us into His kingdom and ultimately conquer all of His and our enemies.

 

How can Jesus bring us into His kingdom?  He is our Justifier.

 

                4.  Justifier

 

When Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay our fine and satisfy God’s divine justice, He made atonement for us.  Because of sin we are God’s enemies and must face the wrath of God.  Through the sinless life of Jesus and His substitutionary death on the cross, He turned us as enemies of God into friends of God by taking the punishment that our sins deserve upon Himself.

 

Just as the sacrificial animal died in the place of the offender so the offender could be ransomed, Jesus ransomed us and earned  pardon from our sin and appeased the wrath of God.

 

Jesus Justified us at the cross.  The believer is now pardoned of all his sin and accounted as righteous in God’s sight, only by the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us, received by faith alone.

 

Do you see where you are involved in any way in this whole atoning work?  We are not.

 

Do you see where your works fit in?  They don’t.  Jesus did it all.

 

The only way for fallen man to be reconciled to God is through the righteous life and atoning death of Jesus on behalf of sinners.

 

The Catholic Church disagrees.  They stand on this statement from the Council of Trent, chapter 8, canon 9

 

In Catholic theology, a person is justified by faith and works acting together, which comes solely from God’s divine grace. Faith alone never obtains the grace of justification.

 

Do you think this is just the old Catholic Church?  I walked in to the Cathedral in Helena to share the gospel with the priest.  It turned out to be my old priest from Butte, Father O’Neil, who is in line to be the next bishop in Montana.  I grew up in the Catholic Church until God saved me at 28.  I talked with him about salvation through Christ alone.  He actually told me that the way you get to heaven is to love people and then went on to say that if you never have heard of Jesus Christ you can still get to heaven by your works.  We argued for a bit until he stormed off and said I just wanted to argue. 

 

The Catholic Church has no scripture to back this doctrine of Faith and works up expect the verses they twist to fit their agenda.  We will all be judged for what we teach by Jesus.

 

 

VI.  Jesus will judge all things for Himself

 

        A.  Judge

 

Not only did Jesus exist before everything, He also created all things, and holds all things together, and reconciles all things to Himself and He will ultimately judge all things according the righteous standard of God.

 

Matthew 25:31-33 says:

 

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

 

Every person who has ever existed will stand before Jesus Christ when they die and every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

 

People can believe like Oprah who said, “One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there is only one way.  Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.” 

 

People can believe that salvation can be gained in a thousand different ways but when they die, reality will be revealed and if you are trusting in your works or anything else besides the grace of God alone by faith alone through Jesus Christ alone for the Glory of God alone foretold in Scripture alone then you will be cast into Hell.

 

The increasingly quoted verse that you all know in Matthew 7:21-23 says:  (Jesus talking)

 

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord,” did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?  And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

 

These people are depending on Faith and works, just like the Catholic Church and many of the cults.  They call Jesus Lord and then rely on their works to gain entrance to heaven, but without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ their sins cannot be forgiven.  If the blood of Christ has not been applied to you then you verbally say that Jesus is your Lord but you will end up in Hell.

 

Jesus is your judge and all men will give an account but whether you confess Jesus as Lord or not, will not diminish the Glory that Jesus Christ will receive from everything in creation.

 

 

VII.  All things will ultimately glorify Jesus.

 

        A.  Romans 11:36 says:

 

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever. Amen.

 

Whether you will confess Jesus as your savior and receive mercy or you hate Jesus and are cast into Hell, you will bring glory to God.  Romans 9:22-23 says:

 

What if God, desiring to show His wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of His glory for vessels of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory.

 

All glory is due to Jesus and will be taken by Jesus and will be given to Jesus.  Like the great hymn writer penned:

 

All the glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain; who has borne all our sins, and has cleansed every stain.

 

When you begin to realize that everything created revolves around Jesus Christ and His glory and you begin to understand the exclusivity    of the atonement and the singular way to satisfy the justice of God then you will realize the absolute absurdity of the doctrine that says you can gain salvation through some other means without Christ.

 

        There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

 

        Where does God the Father come in?  The Father did decree all of this to be done through His Son Jesus as the means to accomplish His     end which is glorifying Himself through His Son Jesus

 

        The Holy Spirit applies the redemption purchased by Christ and applies that which God has fore-ordained.

 

        1 Peter 4:10-11 that the body of Christ working together will glorify God through Jesus:

 

        As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good  stewards of God's varied grace:  (11)  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

        So how does Solo Christo apply to us?  We know the truth that salvation can come through Christ alone.  This is a doctrine that can never be compromised. 

 

        This means that every religion in the world is wrong and Chritianity can never unite with them on anything. 

 

        This means that anyone who says salvations comes by any other way besides through Christ is wrong and we should not unite with them.

 

        This means that anyone who says that salvation comes by Christ and ANYTHING else is wrong and we should divide. 

 

        Salvation through Christ alone is uncompromising.  Our life depends on it and we should live and die on it.

 

        How should we respond to this doctrine?

 

        We should understand that only Jesus Christ can save us and uphold     us and that He gave His life for us so WE should give every breath of our bodies to Him.  We should be faithful to the only One that was capable of saving us.  We should be like this Rwanda man.

 

In 1980 a young man from Rwanda was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made- I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving & dwarfed goals.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.

I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.”

 

Give everything you have, all your time, money, resources, and breath to Him who gave us everything we do not deserve.

 

Stand on this doctrine of Christ alone and never comprise it or unite with anyone who says that salvation can be obtained by other means.

 

 I will end the way the book of Jude ends in the last verses:

 

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  (25)  to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty,dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

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