Seated at the Right Hand of God
1. Paul states here that Christ rose from the dead and that the believer in Christ shares in that resurrection.
2. The arguments that Paul begins to make in the rest of the book of Colossians are all based upon the truth of the resurrection.
3. Today is the day we as a nation recognize the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
4. As believers, EVERY Sunday is resurrection Sunday!
5. But today is a special day set aside to consider the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
6. And it just so happens that the passage we are presently discussing in Colossians deals with this very issue!
Christ: The Glory of His Person and His Work
A. Who Is Christ?
1. Christ is mentioned twice in this verse.
2. Colossians 1 and 2 describe who He is and what He has done.
3. 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God. He is God!
a. Image implies visible manifestation…
b. God is invisible. No man can see God and live.
c. But Christ is the image of God – a visible manifestation of an otherwise invisible God.
d. Heb. 1:3 – the express image of the Father.
e. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”
4. 1:19 – all fullness dwells in Christ. (deity)
5. 2:9 – In Him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily! (deity in human flesh!)
6. 1:16 – He is the Creator of heaven and earth!
7. 1:17 – He sustains the universe. (Heb. 1:3 – He upholds all things by the Word of His power.)
8. 2:10 – He is the head of all angelic powers.
9. 1:18 – He is the Head of the Body, the church.
B. What Did He Do?
1. 1:14 – The Creator of the universe became a part of that creation by becoming a man (incarnation) in order that he might shed His blood to provide forgiveness of sins for those who believe.
2. 2:14 – He is the One who died on the cross and thus paid in full the demands that the Law had against us… nailing it to His cross.
a. The law condemned us all!
b. Jas. 2:10 – whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all!
c. Gal. 3:10 – cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them.
d. Rom. 3:19 – all the world is guilty before the Law.
e. The law sets forth the infinitely high standard of God’s own holiness and righteousness, demands perfection, and condemns any violation. One violation makes you guilty of all! Continuous obedience and one failure brings you under its curse.
f. The law was designed not to save, but to cause us reveal our sin and our absolute helplessness, and thus to cause us to cry out for mercy… to see our need of a Savior.
g. Jesus died and rose again. He paid the penalty of the law… and redeemed the believer from the curse of the law! That’s good news!
h. Gal. 3:13 – Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse FOR us! He died as our Substitute!
3. 2:15 – He is the One who defeated all the powers of darkness.
a. Satan masterminded the plot to murder Jesus Christ. The powers of darkness worked behind the scenes to scheme to put Him to death.
b. But in the very act of putting Christ to death, Satan and the powers of darkness were themselves defeated!
c. The serpents bite on Messiah’s heel resulted in the crushing of the serpent’s head!
d. Christ was mortally wounded but rose from the dead.
e. Satan was eternally conquered in the very act.
f. The cross was no victory for Satan, but rather, it resulted in his utter defeat!
g. At the cross Christ spoiled the powers of darkness… and triumphed over them in it!
h. Of course, this implies the resurrection… for it was Satan’s goal for the cross to be the END of Jesus Christ.
i. It was God’s plan for the cross to be the BEGINNING of a new, heavenly sphere for Christ and those who trust in Him.
j. Heb.2:14-15 – defeated him who had the power of death!
k. The greatest weapon the devil had to use against us was death, and through the resurrection, Christ conquered DEATH itself!
4. 1:18 – He is the firstborn of the dead
a. He died on the cross for the sins of the world.
b. But death was not the end of Him. He ROSE victoriously over sin and death and hell!
c. He was the first human being ever to experience resurrection!
d. Several others were raised from the dead by the power of God. (Lazarus; Elisha and Elijah raised two boys; etc)
e. However, those people did not experience resurrection, but resuscitation to mortal life. They were raised up in their former, mortal condition—only to die again.
f. Jesus was the FIRST one to be raised up into the glorified state!
g. He is the firstborn of the dead—the preeminent One.
h. I Cor. 15:20, 23 – He is the firstfruits of the resurrection—the very first human being to experience resurrection.
• The concept of firstfruit indicates that there are more to come!
• Christ is the first Man to enter into the glorified state.
• But we too will share in that glory! Believers in Christ will share in God’s great resurrection program!
5. 3:1 – Christ was raised up from the dead and is now seated at God’s right hand.
a. Lazarus was raised from the dead only to face death again. He was raised back into the earthly realm of mortality.
b. Christ was raised from the dead to enter into heaven… to glory… in a glorified human body suited for eternity… at the Father’s right hand…
6. Summary of His Person
a. Christ is God…
• He is the image of the invisible God. God revealed to us!
• The fullness of the godhead dwelt in Him bodily.
• He is the Creator of heaven and earth.
• He is the head of all angelic powers.
b. Christ became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ.
c. Christ died on the cross.
• Christ was able to shed blood and DIE for the sins of the human race because He became a man.
• Thus also, the sacrifice of Christ as God-Man was a sacrifice SUFFICIENT to satisfy divine justice.
• Thus Christ provided redemption for those who believe.
• And Christ defeated Satan and the powers of Darkness.
• Christ fulfilled all the demands of the law and redeemed us from the curse of the law.
d. Christ rose from the dead.
• By rising from the dead Christ not only defeated Satan and the powers of darkness, but He defeated death itself for the believer.
Christ: The Glory of His Resurrection
A. Christ Rose From the Dead To Be Exalted
1. The Eternal Son of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, humbled Himself in becoming a man. (Phil. 2:6-8)
a. Vs. 9 – He died but He was highly EXALTED!
b. He was given a name ABOVE every name… that every knee should bow to Him and acknowledge Him as LORD.
c. Lord: that is who He is… and who He always was and always will be… even though during His earthly ministry He didn’t LOOK like the Lord God Almighty.
2. In taking on human flesh, the Eternal Son of God became LOWER than the angels. (Heb. 2:9)
a. But this humbling of the Eternal Son was only for a little period of time… His earthly life as Jesus the Christ.
b. “For the suffering of death” — And the reason for this period of humiliation was that the Eternal God might experience DEATH in our place.
c. But after His death, He was raised up again… and was CROWNED with glory!
3. Eph. 1:19-20 – the resurrection power of God demonstrated in raising up Christ and seating Him at God’s right hand.
a. Christ was made lower than the angels (principalities and powers) in His period of humiliation… His earthly ministry.
b. But He was raised up FAR ABOVE all principalities and powers!
c. Vs. 22 – and ALL THINGS in the universe have been put under His feet. He is Lord of all.
B. Seated (Col. 3:1)
1. Christ not only rose from the dead, but He ascended into heaven itself for us!
a. Christ did not rise from the dead to remain in the weak, mortal, and earthly condition into which He entered through incarnation.
b. Christ’s period of humiliation ENDED with His resurrection and ascension!
c. Christ rose from the dead to be CROWNED with glory… the same glory He shared with His Father before the incarnation! His eternal glory!
• John 17:5 – And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
d. Acts 1:9-11 – The fact that He was seated in heaven implies the ascension.
• Lazarus was resuscitated to mortal life to walk on earth in the weakness of human flesh to die again.
• Jesus was the firstfruit of the resurrection. He was raised to DEFEAT death… and to pave the way into the eternal, glorified state!
• Christ was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven and was seated at God’s right hand.
• His seat is in heaven. It is not an earthly, Davidic throne of the Messianic Kingdom, but the heavenly throne of Almighty God!
2. Heb. 1:3 – He was seated because His work as Redeemer was finished.
a. His final words on the cross: it is finished!
b. His work as Redeemer is finished.
c. As a priest after the order of Melchizedek, He offered HIMSELF as a sacrifice for sin.
d. His sacrifice was sufficient to PURGE all sins. And because His work was done, He was seated. He rested from His work as Savior. It is finished.
e. The work of purging and cleansing sin—dealing with the sin issue has been forever concluded at the cross. Hence, the seating of the Savior in heaven. Rest!
3. Heb. 10:11-12 – His work is finished, so He could be seated and rest.
a. 10:11 – Old Testament priests offered sacrifices continually!
b. Their sacrifices could NEVER take away sin, therefore there was no end to the offering.
c. 10:1-2 – the Old Testament sacrifices were ineffective and the proof was the continual offering. If they WORKED they would have ceased!
d. 10:12 – But Christ offered ONE sacrifice for sins and sat down, indicating that His work was finished… perfect… nothing needs to be added.
e. 10:17 – Christ provided forgiveness of sins—to be remembered no more!
f. 10:18 – Hence, Christ was seated. There is no more offering for sin… except by those who refuse to believe that what Christ did was sufficient!
g. Hence, every religion of works declares their UNBELIEF… they do NOT believe that what Jesus did was sufficient.
h. Faith BELIEVES that what Jesus did finished the job. Those who believe can enter into REST… seated with the Risen, glorified, exalted Savior!
i. Col. 3:1 – As believers in Christ, we have been raised up WITH Christ! We have been seated in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus!
j. Thus, we SHARE in His heavenly position and glory!
k. In a very real way, HIS resurrection becomes OUR resurrection!
4. Man was made a glorious creature—crowned with glory and honor. (Heb.2:6-7)
a. David stood amazed at the love of God in giving such honor and dignity to man!
b. Man was created in the very image of God! Crowned with glory and honor at creation!
c. At creation, Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth… co-regents over God’s creation!
• Such honor and dignity given to a mere creature… a speck of dust… caused David to stand in awe.
d. Yet, sin caused man to lose his dominion and crown, and his honor was turned to disgrace.
• We look at what mankind has become and stand in horror.
• When we look at mankind as created by God, David stood in awe! Man was the crown of creation.
• Now he is a fallen creation… lowered into sin, shame, degradation, and ultimately death and condemnation.
e. Therefore, God sent His Son to become a man—to suffer and die—to conquer death—to defeat the devil and bring back dominion over the earth to man—to restore man to a position of glory and honor!
f. But the New Testament reveals that Christ, the Second Adam, MORE than restored to man what the first Adam lost!
• God created Adam to have dominion over the earth. Yet Adam was created lower than the angels.
• But as Christians, by faith, we ROSE with Christ spiritually… and we are raised with Him into a NEW REALM—the heavenly!
• We are not in Adam, but in the Second Adam – Christ.
• And thus, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ… far above all principalities and powers!
g. Christ makes it possible for men to rule and reign over the earth—but to rule jointly with the Son of God!
• Christ makes it possible for men to share in HIS glorious reign in His Messianic Kingdom!
• Christ makes it possible for man’s sin to be forgiven and He also provided for HIS righteousness to be imputed! The righteousness of God is available to all who will believe!
• Jesus rose from the dead and brings believing mankind with Him!
• And one day our bodies will also be raised from the dead into that glorified state!
h. In Christ our position in glory is higher than Adam experienced before the fall!
i. Redemption in Christ does not restore us back to pre-fall conditions. Redemptions brings us higher than Adam ever was—higher than Eden… as far as heaven is above the earth!
j. Resurrection is MORE than a reversal of death.
• In the resurrection, Christ became a New Order of Being… Head of the New Creation.
• As new creatures, we share in this new creation!
• And resurrection of the body doesn’t restore us back to the earthly mortal realm. Resurrection brings us right into the eternal, glorified state!
k. Christ’s earthly body was mortal but was raised to immortality. He died, but is alive forever more!
l. One day, we shall be LIKE Him…
5. Heb. 2:10 – Christ not only ROSE and ASCENDED into glory. He brings US with Him!
a. He brings many sons into glory! (bring = bring to a point of destination; to lead…) He leads His sons home to glory!
b. As believers, we are identified with Christ in His resurrection.
c. We are members of His body. When He rose from the dead, in a spiritual sense, we SHARE in His resurrection.
d. We are now seated WITH Him in glory.
e. He is the CAPTAIN of our salvation!
• Captain = archegos = primarily signifies one who takes a lead in, or provides the first occasion of, anything; pioneer.
• Like a pioneer, the Son of Man “leads the way to heaven!”
• He was the first glorified Man to enter heaven… to be exalted to glory! A man in glory!
• He was the firstfruit of the resurrection…
• As the Pioneer – He paved the way for others. As the firstfruit, He is the assurance that there is more fruit to come.
• Christ was the first human being to experience death and conquer it—and to be exalted to the heavenly realm.
• He paved the way for others to follow… right through death, resurrection, and exaltation!
• He leads many sons… not back to our former earthbound existence, but He leads many sons to GLORY!
C. The Right Hand of the Father
1. Right hand is the traditional symbol of royal power and authority.
2. This is the highest dignity and honor in heaven.
a. Acts 2:33 – the place of exaltation.
b. I Pet. 3:22 – the place of exaltation over the angelic realm. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
3. Heb. 8:1-2 – The “right hand of the Father” is the place of His High Priestly ministry — We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;? ?A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
a. Christ’s ministry to us today is from the seat of Majesty and glory… and resurrection power!
b. On earth in His period of humiliation, He grew tired; He slept; He wasn’t always nearby His disciples.
c. But from heaven, He is not distant. He ever liveth to make intercession for us! We can come to the throne of grace day or night!
4. Rom. 8:34 – The “right hand of the Father” is the place of His ministry as our Interceder… and Advocate.
a. Isn’t it good to have someone at the Father’s right hand who is our Advocate and is praying for us?
b. In fact, He ever liveth to make intercession for us!
c. When we sin as a Christian, it does not change our position before God. We are still His son and saved. But it does hinder our fellowship and walk.
d. And when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us… and Christ is there as our Advocate to claim the power of His blood to cleanse us from all sin.
e. The devil continually accuses the brethren of sin before God’s throne. Christ is seated there as our continual advocate defending us against all the accusations of our adversary the devil.
f. Mary, the mother of Jesus was a wonderful, godly woman who loved the Lord. But she was a sinner like you and me.
g. I’m glad she’s not my Mediator or Advocate. Jesus Christ is the one in glory pleading my cause before the Father’s throne!
h. He alone can stand before the Father and say, “I paid for that sin. This one has trusted in ME. This one is a son of God. This one is IN Me… and there is no condemnation to them in Christ Jesus.”
i. That’s the kind of Advocate I want… One who is seated because His work of satisfying divine justice with respect to my sin is FINISHED! And One who is seated at the right hand of God—the place of majesty… divine power… omnipotence… authority over all—heaven and earth!
Christ: His Invitation
1. Wherever He was, Christ’s invitation is the same: Come Unto Me!
a. Isa. 55:1 – Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
• If you’re thirsty—then come!
• The water of eternal is FREE, because the price has already been paid!
• The message is simple: Come and drink! How simple is faith—as simple as drinking water.
b. Matt. 11:29 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
• If you’re tired and weary of sin and the vanity of life—then COME!
• Christ invites you to come and He will give you REST for your soul!
c. Rev. 22:17 – And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
• If you’re thirsty—if nothing in this life really satisfies your soul, then come and drink freely… and receive LIFE!
• God has done everything needed to bring you into heaven… but He forces no one to come.
• Come is a command—but it requires a response on YOUR part.
• Will you come… or will you not?
• Phil. 2:9-10 – After the cross came the resurrection and ascension. God highly exalted Him… and all men will ultimately BOW before the exalted, resurrected, glorified Savior. Some will bow in heaven… some will bow in hell… when it is too late.
• Won’t you come to Christ today? What better day to be raised from spiritual death than on resurrection Sunday? Come today. Christ rejects none who come in simple faith!