Within the book of Colossians, the main theme, Christ is supreme, is both validated and illustrated throughout the contents of the book. Paul begins his letter to the Colossians by introducing himself and declaring the grace of God in Colossians 1:1–2 which says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our father” (Col 1:1–2, NIV). By introducing himself in this manner, he is communicating the supremacy of Christ over his call to spread the gospel. Also, his mention of the holy and faithful who are in Christ, demonstrates a belonging of the believers to Christ. Colossians 1:1–2 shows that Christ reigns supreme over all people and all those who believe in Him and who are called to spread the gospel. Paul further describes the supremacy of Christ over the lives of believers in chapter 3. He explains that because Jesus is supreme over the lives of those who believe in Him, their lives are “…now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3, NIV). It is for this reason that believers should make heavenly things a priority and “…set [their] hearts on things above…” (Col 3:1, NIV). Paul also continues to address Christ’s supremacy over his call to ministry in Chapter 1:24–29. In verse 24, he makes it known that it is for the body of Christ that he suffers. He rejoices in this suffering because it leads people to the kingdom of God. Then, in verses 25–27 he declares that the content of his message is Christ, saying, “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness” (Col 1:25, NIV) while in verse 29 he confirms that Christ is the one who provides him with the strength to execute and fulfill his ministry. Not only is Christ the reason for Paul’s ministry but Paul is also lead by Christ throughout his ministry.
Furthermore, in verses 12–14, in his prayer and thanksgiving, Paul describes the gifts that God the Father has given us through Jesus Christ. He says, “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance…for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption…” (Col 1:12–14, NIV). Through Jesus Christ, God has made believers His children “and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Rom 8:17, KJV). It is also because of Christ that Christians are delivered from the power of darkness (Col 1:13), excepted into His eternal kingdom (Col 1:13), and redeemed and our sins are forgiven (Col 1:14).
Colossians 1:15–20 focuses on Christ’s dominion over all things and verse 15 establishes this stating, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col 1:15, NIV). Christ is God and therefore is the precise portrayal of God. Being the firstborn of creation, He has all authority over all things. Verse 16 goes on to say, “…whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Col 1:16, NIV). All authorities whether they are physical or spiritual, were and are established by Christ and under the power of Jesus Christ. While verse 17 proves that Christ is the Sustainer for “in him all things hold together” (Col 1:17, NIV), verse 18 demonstrates Jesus’ spiritual supremacy. He has defeated death and the grave thus making Him supreme over the spiritual and non-spiritual world. Paul says, “…he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Col 1:18, NIV). Lastly, through His death, Christ has given all people the opportunity to be reconciled to God “for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him and through Him to reconcile to himself all things…” (Col 1:19–20, NIV). Christ’s supremacy confirms that He is not only equal to God but He is fully God. He is not only a man who is to be considered as more extraordinary than all the rest but He is above all things.