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The Preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ

by A. C. Gaebelein (1861-1945)

Arno C. GaebeleinWhat a blessed theme the Person and Glory of our Lord! How inexhaustible and unsearchable! How refreshing to the souls of His redeemed people as well as to the heart of our heavenly Father, who, loveth the Son! To meditate on Him, to behold the Glory of the Lord under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God, means spiritual growth and spiritual enjoyment. This only can make the unseen Person a blessed reality in our daily walk. We pray that all our beloved readers are drawn closer to Himself through these brief meditations. Can we truly say the Lord is more precious to our hearts and that we are living more in His presence than ever before? Has He become the absorbing object of our hearts and lives? Are we more devoted to Him? God grant that this may be the case with all of us. It is the great need we have. It is the good part, which Mary, resting at His feet, had chosen.

In the great chapter which begins the Epistle to the Colossians, after that blessed description of the Son of God, stands this word "that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18). But who can tell out what a preeminence, the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ is? Some day we shall see Him in all His Glory. He Himself will lead us into the Holiest of the third heaven to behold the Glory the Father has given Him (John 17:24); then we shall know His preeminence fully. And yet from Scripture we can learn even now the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In all eternity the Son of God was the object of Love and Glory.

"Son of God the Father's bosom
Ever was Thy dwelling place."

He ever subsisted in the form of God. In all creation He has the preeminence. This is made known to us, as man could not discover it, by revelation. We accept this in faith. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11:3). And all which was called into existence was created by Him and for Him. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him" (Col. 1:16). What a marvellous survey! What power and glory belongs to the blessed Son of God! "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." "The world was made by Him" (John 1:3,10).

He has the preeminence in sustaining His creation. All things consist by Him. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 1:3).

In the Revelation of God He has the preeminence. Both books, the book of Nature and the Book of all books, the written Word of God, the Bible, tell out His Glory. The Bible may be compared to a living organism, like the human body. Every book in the Bible has a specific place and service like the members of the body; the life in that marvellous divinely constructed organism of the relevation of God is the Son of God. Apart from Him there is no revelation from God and no manifestation of God. He reveals God. Throughout the Bible, in every part, He holds the preeminence.

Greater still is His preeminence in redemption. Redemption would be an eternal impossibility without Him. He came from the Father's bosom to redeem us. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but by Him. He gives eternal life. Furthermore as the first born from the dead He is the head of the body. That body is the church and every believing sinner is a member in that body. Each is united to Him and possesses His life. This body with its many members He keeps, nourishes, builds up, sanctifies and ultimately glorifies. In all the great and glorious redemptive work He has the preeminence.

As the glorified Man He is the Heir of God and as such He holds the preeminence in heaven. He has been made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Far above all the angelic beings, higher than the archangel is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Man in Glory.

There is a future preeminence for Him. The day of His visible Glory and power is approaching. Now He is rejected, then He will be enthroned. Upon the holy hill of Zion He will be the King of Glory. His Glory will cover the heavens and His Majesty the earth. He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He will rule as the only potentate and every knee must bow before Him. The song must at last rise in heaven and on earth "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing." Such is, briefly sketched, the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, in ALL things He hath the preeminence.

Can we do anything less than to give Him the first place in all things? He is worthy of it. He died for us. He drank the cup of wrath in our stead. His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree. How great has been and still is His love for us, the love, which passeth knowledge. He is worthy of the first place every moment of our lives. He is worthy to possess all we have and are. We are bought with a price, we are not our own. We belong to Him.

What unspeakable grace from God the Father, that He has brought us into fellowship with Him to whom He has given the preeminence. We please the Father as we delight ourselves in the Son and walk in that blessed fellowship. We must honor Him whom the Father has honored, and as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and accord Him the first place, the Father will honor us (John 12:26). Our hearts too can never fully know the blessed peace of God and rest of faith till we give our Lord the first place. Anything less than that will mean dishonor to Him. "Not I — but Christ" must be the constant cry of our hearts. Not I — but Christ in our daily walk; Not I — but Christ in our service. Oh! that we might realize our great and holy calling, our wonderful privilege, a privilege which is ours for but a little while longer to live for Him, who has in all things the preeminence.

Nothing save Him, in all our ways,
Giving the theme for ceaseless praise;
Our whole resource along the road,
Nothing but Christ — the Christ of God.

From The Lord of Glory... by A. C. Gaebelein. New York: Publication Office "Our Hope", ©1910.

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