T HE U PWARD C ALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN C HRIST J ESUS .
(Philippians 3.13-14 NASB )
#02-08137
N OVEMBER 4, 2008
T HE P REEMINENCE O F C HRIST
That in all things He might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1.18b ASV)
Lately, I have written much about the shaking that is going on in the world today and what it signifies
in relation to God’s purpose and plan. We are living in days of shaking that, I believe, will ebb and flow
like the ocean’s tide until, finally, the end of our present eon arrives as fixed by our Father’s authority.
However, I also believe that this shaking will intensify in the days ahead. Exactly what it will look like
and when it will come, I do not know; but be assured, it will come.
Today is Election Day for the US President, and barring some unknown event or wrench being thrown
into the voting process, by the end of the day, we should know who will lead our country for the next
four years. I have further thoughts on the outcome of the election and what will follow but will refrain
from writing about them, at least for a few days.
One thing is for sure; if all goes as planned, there will be one man who will be prominent in the news.
But I have a question for all believers: Who is preeminent in your life today?
The word prominent means that the object in view (person, thing) has some importance or some
influence. Many things in the world can be rightfully viewed this way. Without doubt, whoever wins the
presidency of the US will be prominent, not only today but for at least the next four years. Whether or
not you agree with the person’s politics or worldview will not change the fact that that person will be
prominent.
However, the word preeminent is much greater, for it means that the object in view is something
unique, something special, or something supreme. Admittedly, some men are considered preeminent
because they are supreme in some aspect or realm of the kingdoms of men, but can any man be
described as preeminent in all things, in the heavens and on the earth? Of course, the answer is that
there is only one man that fits this description, and He is the Second Man, the Son of God, the Lord
Jesus Christ.
Consider how Paul described the preeminence of Christ.
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. (Colossians 1.15-17 NASB)
The preeminence of our Lord Jesus demands that He be first in all things, that He be central and
supreme in all things. After all, He is the Creator of all things, both in the heavens and on earth, visible
and invisible. There is absolutely nothing that has existed that has not come from His loving, creative
hands. He is the very Architect of the universe, through whom the Father created. The world was
made through Him (John 1.10). He is the firstborn of this creation, which is something many people try
to explain away, but Paul was quite clear that He is not only the Creator of all things but He is the
firstborn of all things. Absolutely nothing existed before Him and nothing exists apart from Him. If
somehow we could get beyond God’s Son, which is impossible to do, we would discover that there is
nothing. He is first in rank and supreme in His creation. He is first in death and in life. He is before all
things and He holds all things together. If we could see all things of God’s creation, we would see
Christ in them all. Thus, He is preeminent in all things. The fact of the matter is that He is all.
For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1
Corinthians 8.6 NASB)
We exist through God’s Son, which means our very existence is dependent on Him. Take Him out of
the equation and we have no life. The whole universe would have disintegrated and ceased to exist if
the grave could have held Him. He holds all things together and upholds all things by the word of His
power (Hebrews 1.3). Simply, Jesus Christ is the very glue of all that exists, even down to the
smallest atom. Why? Because He says, “I am the Life.” Apart from Him, there is no life. When He
breathed life into man, it was His life, God’s life.
Those of us who believe on the Lord Jesus and trust Him need to be reminded, in this day in
particular, of the preeminence of Christ. He is the Head of the church (ecclesia) and, in His place as
our Head, He is our Leader. As the Lord’s people, the danger we face in this day of uncertainty is
losing sight of our Head and allowing the things going on around us and in the world to distract us
from the one thing that will bring us through these days, and that one thing is the Lord Jesus Himself.
We need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12.2). We need to exalt
Him and give Him the preeminence in every aspect of our lives, and all the more so in this day of evil.
Dear beloved ones in Christ, I have heard from more than one source that some Christians are very
fearful of the days ahead. Perhaps, some fear the uncertainty of what lies ahead, some fear that
unrighteousness and evil might rule the day, and some fear persecution and suffering for being a
Christian. Some of these things might in fact come upon us. But are we to fear them? Are we to allow
these things to rule our lives? Are we to be defeated by these things? I believe Peter gives us the
answer to these questions.
Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble-
minded: not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for
hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For, He that would love life,
and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no
guile: and let him turn away from evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears unto their supplication: but
the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil. and who is he that will harm you, if ye be
zealous of that which is good? But even if ye should suffer for righteousness’ sake,
blessed are ye: and fear not their fear, neither be troubled; but sanctify in your hearts
Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason
concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear: having a good
conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile
your good manner of life in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye
suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. (1 Peter 3.8-17 ASV)
Clearly, Peter tells us how to live in this day, and the key is to sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord or
set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts. When we do this, we are making Christ preeminent in every
aspect of our lives. This is how we will endure to the end and how we will live righteously, even if the
days are filled with unrighteousness. Let it ring in our hearts: That in all things He might have the
preeminence!
The Upward Call #02-08137 by — Stuart H. Pouliot