Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1967
NUMBER 28, PAGE 6-7a

Giving Christ Preeminence

Larry R. Devore

Introduction: Funk and Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary defines the word "sovereign" thusly: "An individual, governing body, having supreme authority..." also as, "Possessing supreme excellence or greatness, pre-eminent, paramount." Immediately, several thoughts come to mind, and to those of us who like to think on things divine and eternal, they center on Jesus. Jesus is, indeed, sovereign, preeminent, having supreme excellence by all measurements. Notice with me some reasons why.

A. He Is God's Son.

When Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized of John, and was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, the Scriptures tell us that a voice from heaven said, "this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3: 17. God, the Father acknowledges that Jesus of Nazareth (supposedly the son of Joseph the Carpenter) was indeed the Son of the God most high. Jesus was the only begotten Son of the Father, born of a virgin (Isa. 7: 14; Matt. 1:21-23) that He might walk among men, to minister and to give His life, that we might have a hope of life eternal. Let those modernists who think that Jesus being born of a virgin is contrary to the laws of nature, consider this: How do we know it is contrary to the laws of nature? When Jesus was born, it was the first time a begotten Son of God was born into the world. It is contrary to nature's laws regarding a person being born in a human family, but as far as we know, it is exactly in harmony with nature for a Son of God to be born in this way. There was never before, and never since been, a begotten Son of God born into this world, as Jesus was the only begotten of the Father. Without limited knowledge of life and nature (and especially our appalling lack of knowledge of the ways of God. Isa. 55:8-9) It would behoove us not to make a sweeping declaration that the birth of Jesus was contradictory to the laws of nature. The "learned" scientists of our day would not make such declarations on any other subject based upon only one example. Let us remember, we have divine testimony affirming the validity of Jesus' birth, John 20:30-31 (Rom. 10:17). So, a very fundamental reason why Jesus is sovereign, pre-eminent, is because He is the Son of God. Matt. 16:16.

B. He Has Authority.

In Matthew 28:18, we see that Christ has been given all authority, both in heaven, and in earth. The word authority is from the Greek word which means, "To exercise authority to wield power over one." Jesus has ALL authority; he has left none for any man, or group of men. Having all authority, He rightly commands people to believe in Him, and obey Him, to inherit eternal life, Matt. 7:21; Luke 6:46. Therefore, every person must come to God through faith in Jesus, (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24) repenting of sin (Acts 17:30) and being immersed into Christ, (Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38; Col. 2:12) for forgiveness of sins, and to added to the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). Jesus is head over all things to the church, which is His body, Eph. 1:22-23. Brethren in many places are in special need of being reminded that Christ is head over ALL things to the church, not just a few things. If brethren would let Jesus be the head in all things, and look to the Word of God for guidance, then we would not have brethren going all over the land and country building an ever increasing number of human institutions to supplant and usurp the body of Christ, doing the work that has been assigned to God's people, who can carry out that work in the Lord's body. I Tim. 3:15 teaches that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. No human institution is needed or wanted by those who respect the Word of God, to do the work the church has been appointed to do. God is to be glorified in the church, the body of Christ, Eph. 3: 21. Contrary to opinion in some quarters, the Lord's church has not gone out of business. God has assigned the church work to do, and the faithful ekklesia of God will strive to carry out that work. The church has been appointed work to do in; Evangelism, Acts 8:4; I Tim. 3:15; in edification, Acts 11:26; Heb. 10: 24-25; in benevolence, Acts 6:1-6; 11:27-30; I Tim. 5:16. The church of our Lord need not, yea, it MUST NOT depend on any human institution to do any of its work, if it is to be true to the teaching of the New Testament. We need to get back to the teaching of the Scriptures, and follow them explicitly if we are to please God. I Peter 4:11.

C. Jesus Is Preeminent

Jesus possesses supreme excellence or greatness. The letter of Paul to the Colossians was written with this idea in mind, that Jesus is preeminent. Col. 1:15 tells us Christ is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. Verse 16 tells how all things, both in heaven and earth were created by Him. Verse 17 tells us that He is before all things, that all things are sustained by Him. And in verse 18, we are told that, "He is the head of the body, the church.... that in all things He might have the pre-eminence." Jesus wills that we should give ourselves wholly unto Him. He does not force us to serve Him, rather He wants us to serve Him because we love Him, John 14:15,21. He first loved us, and gave himself for us; John 3:16; Romans 5:6-9. Therefore, Paul said in Col. 3:4, " our life': We need to live daily with this thought in mind, to please God in all that we do, that we might gain eternal life. Jesus always did the things that pleased God, John 8:29. Let us follow His example, His footsteps, I Peter 2:21-22. Let us live daily with Jesus, and for Jesus. Paul tells us in Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Let us exemplify Christ as pre-eminent in the lives that we live, realizing that Jesus is our savior, sin-bearer, high-priest, mediator, and sovereign head of His body, the church. Because Jesus is Sovereign and supreme head of His church, let us recognize His authority, respect it, and follow His instructions (i.e. New Testament.)


The New Testament Ekklesia (church) of God is all-sufficient, able to accomplish every work assigned to it. Men dare not add to it institutions of worldly wisdom to "help" it! When they do so, they have gone beyond the doctrine of Christ, II John 9: they become godless people, and they disregard the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. In doing so, they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life.

We have but just touched the hem of the garment, so to speak, in considering the Preeminence of Christ, and what could be, and needs to be said about it. We hope that the things presented will provoke the reader to further study of his own? that each and every one of us will give Christ the pre-eminence in our lives, seeking first the Kingdom, (Matt. 6:33) and giving Christ the pre-eminence, and recognizing His sovereignty over all things to the church, and therewith being content with the work and worship of the church which is ordained of God. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." I Peter 4:11.

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