This article is part of the Christ in All of Scripture series.
Christ's Supremacy and Sufficiency
Of all the books in the Bible, Colossians may rightly be considered the most Christ-centered. In this short letter Paul goes to great lengths to proclaim the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ in all things and for all people. The good news of Christ’s lordship over creation as well as his redemption for his people rings forth from start to finish in this epistle.
Knowing and focusing on Christ builds a strong defense and forms a strategic offense against enemies both inside and outside the church.
Paul focuses on these themes because the world, both that of the early Christians and our own, undermines the truth of Christ’s supremacy and sufficiency for all of life. In the hearts and minds of unsuspecting Christians, this can cause uncertainty about Christ truly being our all in all. This can lead to doubts about God’s sovereignty and salvation, despair when life seems confusing and out of control, and outright destruction of the foundations of our faith.
Paul writes this letter as an effective antidote to these very real dangers. He strengthens our gospel defense by fixing our eyes on who Jesus is. We are strengthened to combat the temptations to capitulate to worldly ambitions and desires, reduce the gospel to mere religious maxims, or separate our belief in Christ from our behavior for Christ.
The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible features 375,000+ words of gospel-centered study notes, book introductions, and articles that explain passage-by-passage how God’s redemptive purposes culminate in the gospel and apply to the lives of believers today.
Throughout the entire letter Paul redirects Christians’ often-distracted focus back to Christ, who is the Creator of all things, Savior of all peoples, and Victor over all enemies because of his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation. Knowing and focusing on Christ builds a strong defense and forms a strategic offense against enemies both inside and outside the church. As clearly as any book of the Bible, Colossians rivets us on who Christ is and what he has accomplished—the very motivation and power believers need to live by faith, walk in obedience, and glorify God.
This article is adapted from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. Browse other articles in this series via the links below.
Genesis • Exodus • Leviticus • Numbers • Deuteronomy • Joshua • Judges • Ruth • 1–2 Samuel • 1–2 Kings • 1–2 Chronicles • Ezra • Nehemiah • Esther • Job • Psalms • Proverbs • Ecclesiastes • Song of Solomon • Isaiah • Jeremiah • Lamentations • Ezekiel • Daniel • Hosea • Joel • Amos • Obadiah • Jonah • Micah • Nahum • Habbakuk • Zephaniah • Haggai • Zechariah • Malachi
Matthew • Mark • Luke • John • Acts • Romans • 1 Corinthians • 2 Corinthians • Galatians • Ephesians • Philippians • Colossians • 1 Thessalonians • 2 Thessalonians • 1 Timothy • 2 Timothy • Titus • Philemon • Hebrews • James • 1 Peter • 2 Peter • 1–3 John • Jude • Revelation