The Supremacy of Christ
Larry Ray Hafley
The supremacy of the Lord Jesus is sublimely set forth in the Scriptures. He is "over all, God blessed for ever" (Rom. 9:5), and "is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him" (I Pet. 3:22). Because he is the originator, creator, and sustainer of life, both material and spiritual, the preeminence of the Son of God is undeniable and incontestable. To paraphrase Paul, the invisible authority of Christ, from the creation of the world and the church, is clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Deity, so they are without excuse who do not love him as Lord and crown him as King. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession" (Heb. 4:15).
In The Material Realm
"In the beginning" Jesus was with God, and he was God. "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made" (Jno. 1:1-3). By his Son, the Father "made the worlds" (Heb 1:3). When "amber waves of grain," surrounded by the "purple mountains majesty," were sketched in the drawing room of heaven, Christ was there. When the eagle's head was fashioned with that noble visage and countenance, it was he who draped it in white; and, what is more, it is he who stretched forth the spacious skies in which that great bird could serenely soar and survey.
There is no height, nor depth, nor width, nor breadth that he has not measured in the palm of his hand nor held in the crook of his arm. With an eye-dropper he filled the oceans and with a pinch of dust he planted planets in their place.
In The Spiritual Realm
The prophets spoke of one who with a horde of heavenly hosts and amid the acclaim of angelic armies would ascend to receive "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him" (Dan. 7:13, 14). But nowhere is the magnanimous Messiah's lofty Lordship more eloquently stated than in the epistles of Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians.
The power that raises justified and sanctified saints into heavenly places and that translates them from damnation's darkness into salvation's light is the power that God "wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1: 19-23).
The fullness (pleroma), completeness of God dwells in Christ. In him one does not see a scanty sketch or a simple summary of God. He sees God, for "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (Jno. 1: 18). Likewise, the church is the pleroma, the fullness and completeness of Christ. All that is of God, of Deity, is revealed in Christ. All that is of Christ is manifest in the church. Assuredly, the church possesses Christ, his presence, his power, and his Spirit, but that is not the point. The church is all Christ owns. Materially, the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. It is all his. Spiritually, the church is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. All that belongs to him is found in the church, the realm of the redeemed. If one could see an attribute of God that is not manifest in Christ, Christ would not be the fullness of God. Conversely, if one could possess spiritual blessings outside the body of Christ, the church would not be the completeness of him.
Spiritually, as materially, Christ is the author, perfecter, and sustainer of life and existence. He is "the beginning," the power through which the body receives life and the authority which moves it. His supremacy is not simply that he died, but that from the grave he arose and seized the flickering flame of eternal light from the grasp of Satan and established the beacon of everlasting life above the darkened shoals and shores of death. Now, "he ever liveth to make intercession" for every transgression. In this the manifold wisdom of God and the supremacy of Christ are manifest unto heavenly inhabitants and earthly sojourners.
There is no hill of human philosophy so high nor valley of alien wisdom so deep that it can fathom or mine the riches of the Lordship of Jesus. His humiliation was the depth and his exaltation the height of God's love, thus, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil. 2:9-11).
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 2, pp. 8-9