Daily Archives: December 31, 2018

December 31 Desires Balanced by Needs

Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.

Philippians 1:24–25

 

One mark of a spiritual man is that his own desires are balanced by the needs of others. That’s the kind of man who could write, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:3–4, nasb).

The Philippian church needed Paul, as did many other churches. Paul knew they needed him badly enough that their need was likely to determine his future, which he expressed in today’s verse.

Although Paul desired to be with Christ in heaven, he also wanted to remain on earth to help strengthen the church. He knew that if he stayed the church would better glorify Christ, and glorifying Christ was all he desired.

As you contemplate a new year, what is Christ asking you to commit your life to? I hope it’s a desire to meet the needs of others with a humble heart.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 392). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Living the Christian life in 2019 — The Cripplegate

The first time I went snowboarding was also only the second time I had ever seen snow. I was truly excited. The invitation to go was easy to accept and sourcing some equipment proved easy enough. The atmosphere among friends was electric. Even the lessons in the basic technique seemed straightforward enough; I’d dabbled in skateboarding in a former life.

But once I was on the ski lift I realized how deceptively high the looming mountain was and how relentlessly steep the daunting slope appeared. There is no way down except …down. Snow is colder and wetter and harder than I had imagined it being. This fun now seemed dangerous. I was committed, and so I slid off the lift and made an uncontrolled beeline toward a bevvy of girls who had no idea that this clumsy South African wrecking ball was about to ruin their day.

The moral of that unfortunate life lesson: you might embrace the image of being a skier, you might look the part—kitted out in all the right gear—you might even master the lingo, but you are not a skier until you actually ski!

Many people talk the talk of being a Christian, but they don’t walk the walk.

They visit Christ, but they don’t follow him. They can hold a conversation in fluent Christianese, their church attendance record is impeccable, they eagerly share prayer requests and even sometimes get teary when they sing. But after visiting hours are over, they slink easily back to their natural abode and return to behaving, talking, and thinking like unbelievers.

As we start this new year, let each of us examine ourselves in the light of Colossians 2:6.

Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.

To bow before Christ as your Lord is the first step in a saving relationship with him.

To “receive” Jesus means to trust in him for your salvation, not just believe the facts about him. Receiving Christ is done by believing the message of salvation proclaimed by his messengers.

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

But does this now mean I can live any way I want, now that I have Christ in me? No. Paul follows his injunction to receive him with: so walk in him.

When you receive Jesus you receive him as your Savior, but also as your Lord. Lordship means that Jesus is not just a first-aid kit when you need help, he is your very life support, without which you are as spiritually dead as a doornail.

Jesus is not just your Savior, he is your Lord, your Master. You are his property. You are either a child of Satan or a child of God.

This is not popular vocabulary these days, but the Bible is not updated to suit our cultural sensibilities. God owns you and you have no rights except those he grants you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Jesus bought you with his blood. Were some Christians cheaper than others? Were some souls on special? No!

And yet some live as if the price they were bought with wasn’t a major sacrifice. Do you know what the Bible says about Christians who live in the flesh and think they are saved?

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

If you insist on clinging to the anchor of sin around your neck, you can’t be assured that you are safe from drowning.

1 John 3:9-10 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

It doesn’t matter what you call yourself or how often you come to church. It doesn’t matter what ski jacket you put on and how often you visit the slopes. If you refuse to ski, you are not a skier. And if you refuse to follow Jesus, you are not a Christian!

Stop talking the talk and start walking the walk!

via Living the Christian life in 2019 — The Cripplegate

December 31, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren took the first step toward a 2020 presidential run on Monday, becoming the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to Republican President Donald Trump.

A senior Republican U.S. senator said he emerged from a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Sunday reassured that Trump is committed to defeating Islamic State even as he plans to withdraw American troops from Syria.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday he was optimistic that Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump could reach a deal to end a government shutdown that includes border wall funding and legal status for some illegal immigrants.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Monday they plan to upgrade their speed boats in the Gulf with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington in the vital oil shipping route.

Russia’s FSB state security service said on Monday it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow and had opened a criminal case against him.

Pollution levels spiked last week in New Delhi, India’s teeming capital of more than 20 million people, climbing to nearly 12 times the recommended level and exacerbating a public health crisis.

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

A cyber-attack caused major printing and delivery disruptions on Saturday at the Los Angeles Times and other major U.S. newspapers, including ones owned by Tribune Publishing Co such as the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.

AP Top Stories

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Saturday called on federal courts to enforce existing immigration laws to stem the tide of undocumented migrant families from entering the United States and Congress to fix a broken immigration system that has created “a humanitarian crisis” at the southern border.

Colombian authorities are investigating a possible plot involving Venezuelans to assassinate President Ivan Duque, a top official said Saturday night.

A U.S. healthcare worker who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while treating patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in the United States on Saturday and was put in quarantine in Nebraska.

At least 22 people died from a storm that swept through the central Philippine islands, authorities said Sunday, with rescue operations under way in flood-inundated communities.

Israel’s ultimate weapon: killer f-35 stealth fighters on steroids. “The F-35I will also be certified to carry major Israeli-developed weapons systems in its internal weapons bay, notably including the Python-5 short-range heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and the Spice family of glide bombs…”

Indian navy divers on Sunday launched an operation to find 15 men trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded “rat-hole” coal mine in remote northeast India, police said.

Egypt said Saturday its security forces have killed 40 militants in raids on their hideouts in the Sinai Peninsula and the Greater Cairo area, just hours after a roadside bomb targeted a tourist bus in the capital, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide.

A volcano on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali erupted Sunday, belching ash high into the air and over nearby villages as officials warned tourists to keep clear of the area.

Yemen’s Shiite rebels on Saturday said they handed over control of the main port in the Red Sea city of Hodeida to the coast guard and local administrators, but the government denied that, calling it a ploy by the Iran-aligned rebels to maintain control of the strategic facility.

Dutch police on horseback broke up a “Yellow Vest” protest in The Hague on Saturday and arrested eight people after the demonstration turned violent, police said.

BBC

President Donald Trump has now said the abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria he announced earlier this month will be carried out “slowly”.

A camera-equipped drone will watch over New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City, the NYPD has confirmed. It is the first time the force has used a surveillance drone to monitor the annual party in Times Square.

Brazil’s incoming far-right president has said he will seek to issue a decree loosening the country’s gun laws. Mr. Bolsonaro has said more guns would allow “good people” in Brazil help combat violent crime.

Music festival-goers across Australia have been warned about a “dangerous orange pill”, after a young man died of a suspected drug overdose.

WND

Ten months after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead, the sheriff of Broward County where the incident took place says policy is being changed to require officers to try to confront active shooters, instead of leaving it optional.

“Selfie wrist” is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. People who experience selfie wrist may feel a tingling or sharp pain, which comes from flexing your wrist inward or holding your phone too long without moving.

The first-ever multi-season TV series about Jesus’ life, “The Chosen,” has now become the most crowdfunded film projects ever, surpassing $5 million in investor pledges for the project.


News – 12/31/2018

Top Republican indicates Trump rethinking plans to withdraw from Syria
“He told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria,” the South Carolina lawmaker said. “I think the president is committed to making sure when we leave Syria that ISIS is completely defeated and we are inside the 10-yard line,” he said,…

Iraqi warplanes strike Islamic State leaders in Syria
Iraqi warplanes hit a meeting of Islamic State leaders near Deir al-Zor in Syria on Monday, destroying the building they were gathered in, the military said in a statement, without giving further details about the militants targeted.

Iran denounces Brazil’s plan to move embassy to Jerusalem
Iran has denounced plans by Brazil’s newly elected president to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Monday that such a move “will not help with peace, stability, security and retrieval of the Palestinian people’s rights.” He added, however, that “relations with Brazil will eventually be continued.”

Report: Kim sent Trump ‘conciliatory message’
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a “conciliatory message” to US President Donald Trump, the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported Sunday night, according to Reuters. The report did not include details about the substance of the message but said they related to US-North Korea talks.

Palestinian-American sentenced to life in prison by PA for selling properties to Jews
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah on Monday sentenced a Palestinian American citizen to life in prison with hard labor for his involvement in the sale of properties to Israeli Jews. The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested by the PA last October despite holding an Israeli ID card in his capacity as a resident of east Jerusalem.

Report: Russia Threatens Israel With Missile Attack
In response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last Tuesday, Russia threatened to respond to further Israeli action in Syria with surface-to-surface missiles against targets inside Israel. An Israeli military intelligence website reported that one such missile was already fired last week.

Palestinian-American sentenced to life in prison by PA for selling properties to Jews
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah…sentenced a Palestinian American citizen to life in prison with hard labor for his involvement in the sale of properties to Israeli Jews. The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested by the PA last October despite holding an Israeli ID card in his capacity as a resident of east Jerusalem. The US State Department and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had protested against the incarceration of Akel by the PA.

Amal Fathy: Egypt court imposes jail term over harassment video
An Egyptian appeals court has imposed a two-year prison sentence against the women’s rights activist Amal Fathy, who criticised the authorities for failing to tackle sexual harassment. Fathy was charged with “spreading fake news” in May after posting a video in which she recounted her experiences. She was handed a two-year jail term by a lower court in September, but it was suspended pending an appeal.

Russian security agency arrests ‘US spy’ in Moscow
Russia’s FSB state security agency says it has arrested a US citizen “caught spying” in Moscow. It named him as Paul Whelan, saying he was arrested in Moscow on 28 December and charged with “espionage”. The FSB, Russia’s main counter-espionage service, gave no further details. If found guilty, he faces between 10 and 20 years in jail, Russia’s Tass news agency reports.

Angela Merkel: Germany to take on greater global responsibility
In 2019 Germany will assume greater international responsibility and must stand up for its convictions, Angela Merkel has vowed in an annual address. The chancellor said old certainties about international cooperation had “come under pressure”, alluding to strained US-German relations. This year, President Donald Trump and the chancellor have clashed on German domestic and foreign policy issues.

N. Korea continues missile development
North Korea has continued its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles despite declaring a halt to launches, having conducted a missile-linked radio wave experiment early this month, it has been learned. Despite sanctions limiting the North’s petroleum supply, the North Korean military is continuing to train at its usual levels.

Expert warns of 100 MASSIVE volcanoes on cusp of eruption – but no one knows which FIRST
ONE of the world’s foremost volcanologists has warned that there are around 100 “explosive” volcanoes around the world that could cause devastation at a moment’s notice. The further caveat is that no one can be sure which will blow first. Professor Stephen Sparks, from the University of Bristol, was discussing which volcano is currently the world’s deadliest – but couldn’t settle on a single one.

Mysterious space sounds picked up in EERIE recording by remote Antarctic base
SCIENTISTS working at a remote research station in Antarctica have recorded “eerie” sounds from space when trying to pick up lightning activity signals. The mysterious space sounds were picked up by an antenna which lies beneath the Earth’s geomagnetic field lines. The scientific research team at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recorded their bizarre sound signals during an attempt to detect signals from lightning activity and space storms.

New US law threatens Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation
The security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel hangs in balance due to a new US legislation, which is expected to take effect next month… The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump back in October and recently approved by the US Congress, would allow US authorities to seize assets from any foreign “terrorist entity” that receives financial aid from the American government.

160 Christians Seized by Communist Chinese Police, Social Media and Cell Phones Blocked
As part of its continuing crackdown on Christians and other religious believers, the Communist government of China seized a reported 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church…In addition, Communist authorities seized another 60 members of the church on Dec. 16 and placed a lock on the gate to the church.

Netanyahu Says Brazil Will Be Moving Their Embassy To Jerusalem To Join Growing List Of Nations Already There
It takes tremendous courage to defy the majority to go it alone and do the right thing. President Trump showed courage not displayed by Obama, either of the Bushies, Slick Willy Clinton, or even Ronald Reagan for that matter when he walked in the footsteps of Harry S. Truman, defied all the talking heads, and did the right thing regarding Israel.

ISRAELI MYSTICAL RABBI: First Super Blood Moon of the Year Sign of Earthquakes, Governments Will Fall
On the evening of January 21, as the holiday of Tu B’shvat begins, a lunar eclipse will pass over the Washington D.C., just as the President will reach the halfway point of his term in office. The eclipse will be a super blood moon, described in Jewish sources as having powerful significance.

Russia threatens Israel with a massive missile attack on the Jewish State
In response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last Tuesday, Russia threatened to respond to further Israeli action in Syria with surface-to-surface missiles against targets inside Israel. An Israeli military intelligence website reported that one such missile was already fired last week.

IRANIAN CARGO PLANE SUSPECTED OF BRINGING ARMS TO HEZBOLLAH DEPARTS TEHRAN
“The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East.”

Israel is building a Land flowing with milk and honey…and WATER
The Bible suggests that Israel is a land flowing with milk and honey, but today, with steadily decreasing amounts of rainfall and drought conditions, flowing water is perhaps more essential.

Rose Parade queen says she’s first to be Jewish, LGBTQ
A California teen says she will be the first Jewish, LGBTQ and glasses-wearing queen to reign over Pasadena’s storied Rose Parade.

Major U.S. county pays up for censoring ‘anti-Muslim’ ads
King County, Washington, the home to Seattle, has paid a hefty price for censoring the ads that run on its transit system’s buses, writing a check to the American Freedom Law Center for $200,000 to cover the attorneys’ fees for a lawsuit brought by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and their organization.

Is Ebola the Globalist Answer to the Rise of Populism in Europe and the US?
As it was in 2014, Ebola is on the loose. Central American illegal immigrant caravans are invading the US and we seem to reliving history as these two events seem to be, once again, coinciding as a threat to all of humanity, particularly to those people living in American and Europe.

Everyone safe but watched in mega-city full of cameras
Municipal officials in Shanghai now take pride in the litany of Internet of Things applications in their city that make streets and homes safer.

NYC’s New Year’s Celebration Will Be Dedicated To ‘Freedom Of The Press’
This year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve bash will have a theme, according to New York City’s Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment commission: a celebration of the downtrodden, oppressed members of the mainstream media.

Netanyahu speaks to Brazil Evangelicals, presented with ‘savior’ stamp
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised the Brazilian Evangelical Christian community for its strong support of Israel, as the visiting leader of the Jewish state was dedicated a stamp marked with the word “Savior.”

World’s Youngest Leader Closes Mosques, Deports Imams From Austria
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the world’s youngest leader, has ordered the closing of seven mosques and has begun deporting “radical” imams back to their homelands due to violations of a recent law in Austria that bans “political Islam”.

Media buries the truth about illegal immigrants bringing wave of hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV to America
An astonishing report from Judicial Watch reveals how the same deceptive media that goes insane over U.S. children who are unvaccinated simultaneously goes to extraordinary lengths to cover up the disease infestation of illegal migrants.

Christian Persecution Is Breaking Out All Across the EU
This is only supposed to happen in Russia, the Middle East or Communist China. Amazingly, Christians are being persecuted all across the European Union as the EU is being exposed for who they are really are.

More Obama crimes emerging after the fact, including treasonous cooperation with Iran
Congressional and foreign policy critics of former President Barack Obama’s engagement with Iran have long suspected there was much more to it than just a “nuclear agreement” that many felt was a bad deal for the U.S. and our friends in the Middle East.


Headlines – 12/31/2018

Jordan insists it respects peace deal, after minister walks on Israeli flag

In New Year greeting, Putin says he hopes for more cooperation with Israel

Hamas chief will meet Russian FM in Moscow next month, official says

New US law threatens Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation

Israel plans new West Bank settler housing project by Bethlehem, dubbed E2

‘It was terror’: Palestinians decry rise in attacks by Israeli settlers

IDF sees drop in West Bank terror attacks for 4th consecutive year

Minister doubles down on labeling Arab lawmaker a ‘terrorist’

US warns travelers to ‘exercise increased caution’ in Israel

Netanyahu: If Hezbollah provokes us – it will get hit hard

Iranian cargo plane suspected of bringing arms to Hezbollah departs Tehran

UAE regulator evaluating resuming flights by national carriers to Damascus

Why eastern Syria matters to everyone in the Middle East

Top Republican indicates Trump rethinking plans to withdraw from Syria

Graham rips Obama over Iraq troop withdrawal: ‘That’s a bunch of bulls—, pardon my French’

Iraq hints at bigger role in Syria after US withdrawal

Iraqi Sunni authority slams Grand Mufti’s Christmas fatwa as ‘reckless’

Assad Authorizes Iraq to Attack ISIS in Syria

Syria: Assad has decisively won his brutal battle

Beyond Syria: the Arab Spring’s aftermath

Ahead of Coptic Christmas, Egypt creates body to fight ‘sectarian incidents’

Sudan’s Bashir tells police to rein in force against protesters

Dozens have been killed by the regime. But Sudan’s protesters march on

Houthi militias admit death of top leader as Yemeni army advances in Harad

Bangladesh Prime Minister Wins 3rd Term Amid Deadly Violence on Election Day

N. Korea’s Kim vows more summits with south next year

Merkel vows Germany will keep pushing for ‘global solutions’

Border money would fund ‘not just a dumb barrier,’ says border chief

Trump points to ‘wall’ built around Obama’s DC home during fight for border wall funding

Shutdown compromise? Republicans float ‘Dreamer’ extension in exchange for border wall funding

Increasing number of churches agree to protect immigrants from deportation

Giuliani suggests Mueller cover-up, charges Dems ‘absolutely’ could have prevented illegal immigrant cop killing

Dossier fails the test of time; Trump-Russia collusion claims now called ‘likely false’

Cyberattack by Foreign Entity Halts Deliveries of Los Angeles Times, Other Newspapers

Origin of virus that hobbled newspapers still unclear

Franklin Graham: Facebook ban was ‘personal attack toward me’

More retailers are banning cash

Dow is set for triple-digit gains on hopes for US-China trade talks

Trump Hails ‘Big Progress’ Towards China Trade Deal

China Pushes for Primacy in Space

Indonesia’s latest tsunami raises global questions over disaster preparedness

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Cold Bay, Alaska

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Lubuklinggau, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits Carlsberg Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits Carlsberg Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Eruption Of Lava-Like Liquid Triggers Panic In Earthquake Vulnerable Tripura

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 33,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Death toll in Philippines floods, landslides rises to 68

California’s largest utility provider could face murder charges for wildfires, AG says

Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II

Chuck Todd says his show is ‘not going to give time to climate deniers’

Ohio fails to override Kasich’s veto of 6 week heartbeat abortion ban

Evangelical leader banned from Facebook for ‘hate speech’ 2016 post over transgender bathrooms

Trans Actors: We Would Be Proud To Play a Trans James Bond

Old favorites, outdated attitudes: Can entertainment expire?

Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target’

Calif. organizers cancel Women’s March for being too white

Man With Gun Told Police He Was Going To Texas Church To Fulfill ‘A Prophecy


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Are Russia, Iran and Syria Headed for an End Times Meltdown?

How Bethel made a mockery of the Australian Gospel Coalition

Americans Trust Clergy Less Than Ever, Gallup Poll Finds

Baptist, Catholic Delegations Meet to Promote Christian Unity

Armed, masked man arrested after allegedly heading to fulfill ‘prophecy’ at Texas church

Southern California Pastor Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molestation

Dallas Pastor and Gospel Singer, “The Apostle” Charged With Child sex Abuse

Facebook apologizes to Franklin Graham for temporary ban

85 churches built in Moscow in 8 years

India – Baby girl born with three hands is worshipped as a god

Asia Bibi’s neighbors want her dead: There is no forgiveness for insulting Muhammad


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Let the Church seek God’s honor, not this world’s acclaim.

A timely article from Phil Johnson as we continue to fight the modern-day downgrade that’s coming against the body of Christ.


Scripture forbids believers to imbibe the world’s values (cf.1 John 2:6;Romans 8:5-6;Matthew 6:19-21) or set their affections on things of the earth rather than on heavenly things (cf.Colossians 3:2;1 John 2:15;Matthew 16:23). Christians do not belong to this world. We are not beholden to the world. We cannot legitimately court the world’s admiration or approval. And it is wrong to think otherwise. Jesus told His disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:9).

That truth is ignored or rejected by multitudes of 21st-century…

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December 31 The Preeminence of Christ

“[Christ] is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first–born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him.”

Colossians 1:18–19

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Christ has preeminence in everything.

The apostle Paul presents four great truths in Colossians 1:18 about Christ’s relation to the church. The first is that Christ is the head of the church. This concept looks at the church as a living organism, inseparably tied together by the living Christ. He controls every part of it and gives it life and direction (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12–20).

Christ is also the source of the church. The Greek word translated “beginning” (arche) is used here in the twofold sense of source and primacy. The church has its origins in Jesus. God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). As head of the Body, Jesus holds the chief position or highest rank in the church. As the beginning, He is its originator.

Another truth is that Christ is the first–born from the dead. Of all those who have been raised from the dead or ever will be, Christ is the highest in rank. Furthermore, it is Christ who will cause the resurrection of others (John 5:28–29; 6:40).

Finally, Christ is the preeminent One. As a result of His death and resurrection, Jesus has come to have first place in everything. Paul states that truth to drive home as forcefully as he can that Jesus is not merely another emanation from God.

Paul then summarizes his argument by saying that all the fullness of deity dwells in Christ alone (Col. 1:19). It is not spread out in small doses to a group of spirits, as the false teachers were saying. Rather, in Christ, and Him alone, believers are “complete” (2:10).

What should be your response to the glorious truths about Christ in Colossians 1:15–19? Be encouraged to meditate on the glory of Christ as revealed in this passage. Doing so will help you be transformed into Christ’s image and will prepare you to behold His glory in Heaven.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for each of the four truths discussed above.

For Further Study: According to John 1:16, what have you received?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.