The High Christology of Colossians
Christ is Preeminent
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sermon; #1501; 78 minutes
There are two extremes of the scholarly study of Christology (the study of Christ): Low Christology, which conceptualizes of Christ as human only, and High Christology, which conceptualizes of Christ as fully human and divine. The apostle Paul infused the Colossians with a super dose of High Christology. Various currents of Judaism, Hellenism and paganism, including philosophies such as incipient Gnosticism, Docetism, Asceticism and neo-Platonism were inundating the Colossians (and their sister congregation at Laodicea). The effect was to corrupt the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The savage wolves espousing these alien doctrines were able to destroy the church in Asia minor by AD 56, as Paul suggested in II Timothy 1:15. High Christology as a doctrinal stance was not enough to prevent their eventual apostasy any more than it has prevented the pervasive antinomian practices of mainstream Christianity today. As God's called-out ones, we must respond to the marching orders of Paul's High Christology, realizing that our calling has provided a knowledge of God's will and the means to respond to this will. As we respond to God's will, we begin bearing spiritual fruit. Passively hearing the Gospel is not enough: God requires a lifetime of bearing fruit. Our unique calling has delivered us from the power of darkness, placing us on a lifelong trajectory to the Dominion of Christ. Having already paid for our sins through His blood, the First of the Firstborn, the Heir of all things, the Creator, the Sovereign Lord, and the Executive of the Church is busily at work, sanctifying us, qualifying us for membership in His Family and meaningful roles in His Kingdom.