top of page

Proclaim for the King of Creation (All)

Sermon Series:


Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Colossians 1:15-23


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And everyone said, amen. So this past summer in 2023, an important mile marker was hit for humanity and for our planet at some points this past summer, our human population reached 8 billion people. That is an incredible number. And especially when you kind of put it in context it took humanity, all of humanity, all the way to 1804 just to reach 1 billion people. And so over the last roughly 200 years. This is phenomenal, unbelievably rapid growth to our planet.

And for Christians, there's an interesting aspect to this. This means that the Great Commission, it's getting harder and harder for us to keep on pace with that. Our goal is getting bigger, and the job is getting more serious and dire by the day. Now you may be sitting there going, wait a minute, what's the Great Commission? The Great Commission is essentially the mission statement that Jesus Christ gave the church. He gave it in all the Gospels and it's even recorded in the book of Acts. Let's walk through real quick and just see what Jesus has called his people to do. This is how it's recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. It says, And Jesus came and said,

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

And another account, Mark records Jesus saying this,

Mark 16:15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation".

Luke at another point records Christ saying it like this,

Luke 24:45-47

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

That's an important phrase, we'll come back to that. Now John, John also records an interesting form of the Great Commission when he records Jesus saying this,

John 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

So meaning as Jesus was sent into the world to bring the gospel of peace, we are sent into the world to bring that gospel of peace. And even the book of Acts, now the book of Acts is an interesting book. The book of Acts records the start and the launch of the church. And in the first couple pages we see Jesus' presence right before his ascension. And Jesus gathers his disciples and he says this when he gives them the great commission. He says,

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

And so what we see here is that in every instance of Jesus giving the Great Commission, it has two components. One, that we are to go into the world, and second, that we are to proclaim the gospel. We reached 8 billion people this past summer, and all the introverts got real sick to their stomach. But of the 8 billion people that are now on the planet, 3 billion of them, 3 billion of them have never even heard the name Jesus, let alone hearing that he saves us from our sins. And of all the amazing global missionaries who take up the call to go out into the world, of all the global missionaries, only .37% of them go to the people groups that have never heard or don't have access to the name of Jesus.

Now listen to me for a moment. Supporting, financially supporting global missions is on the one hand, I dare say, attractive. Christians in large part, we feel better about giving money to global missions than we do giving to, you know, say, paying the church's heat bill, even though we all want the heat bill paid come January, right? Many Christians jump at the chance to support gospel-sharing efforts across the globe, but very few Christians will share the gospel with their own neighbor. What's very interesting about the Great Commission is when Jesus gives it, Jesus calls us to start where we are. Like how Luke recorded it, that the repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name, speaking in third person, Jesus speaking about himself, in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem.

Why beginning from Jerusalem? Why is Jerusalem so special? Well, here's the reality. It's not that Jerusalem is so special. It's just that that's where they were. You start with you where you are in your community. And from there goes on and on and on to the ends of the earth. I dare say Jesus doesn't want us to send money across the globe for someone else to share the gospel if we're not willing to go across the street and share the gospel with our own neighbor. As we continue in this Proclaim campaign, I am telling you now as the lead pastor, my heart's desire is that you would know this is about seeing our church continue to get stronger so that we can continue to be a church that both reaches our own community and reaches the world. We want to reach our community and the world at large. Proclaim, hear me on this, proclaim is about fulfilling the great commission. The call of Jesus that both starts with us where we are at and as it continues and as it continues even to the end of the end of the earth.

And so let's get into our passage today. If you've been with us, you know that we have been walking through Colossians chapter one. Go ahead and turn there. Now, if you want to use the Bible as we provided, happy for you to do that. That's on page 1251. As you turn in there in your, in your Bibles, go to Colossians chapter one, we'll start at verse 15. Here's the context, some real quick context for you. The apostle Paul wrote Colossians. He wrote it to a church in a town called Colossae. Paul is writing it from prison and he's writing to this church in essence to talk about number one, how amazing Jesus is to give us a nice Christology, some doctrine of the Christ, how amazing it is what he's done for us, and how we are as Christians to rightly respond to the gospel message. And so hopefully you are now to Colossians chapter 1. We're going to start at verse 15 and we will read down to verse 23. And so with that, would you hear God's word?

Colossians 1:15-23

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

This is God's Word. Let's pray and we'll continue. Let's pray.

Father as we continue through this proclaim journey father. I pray God you will use this to make your church stronger and more united Father we believe that you are calling us to expand this facility so that we can continue to reach more people both here in our community And beyond so father we pray God that you would provide all that we need. Father, we pray that you'd light our path, calling us to deeper levels of reliance on you. And would you please send your Holy Spirits to be with us now as we look at your word. Father, we do love you. We're thankful. We pray these things in Jesus' mighty name. And everyone said, amen, amen.

So if you have your devotional packets that we've been using for this Proclaim journey, here's your first fill-in. It's a simple title of today's message, Proclaim for the King of Creation. That's what we are about. Every message in this series is about we proclaim for some reason, and today we're talking about how we proclaim for the King of Creation. And as we look at our passage, I want to give you our main idea here this morning. And I'm going to go off script for a second, I want to share something. This entire campaign has been a tremendous amount of work for our leaders and our staff and our church. And we had to get prepared well in advance for this. And so we actually outlined the messages for this sermon series way back in the summer, early summertime. And I'm gonna share with you the main idea from this passage, which I believe is a key idea. But I'm gonna tell you now, I did not feel the weight of these words over the summer like I do right now. I fully believed it then, but in all honesty, there's a greater weight that I feel right now to say these words than this past summer. And it's this, this main idea I'm telling you, it is embarrassingly simple, but strikingly profound. And it's this, the world needs Jesus.

The world needs Jesus.

When we outlined this message series in early this summer, we had no idea we'd be on the brink of World War III at this moment. But I'm telling you, the world needs Jesus. Israel needs Jesus. The Gaza Strip needs Jesus. The Palestinian people need Jesus. The world needs Jesus. Your neighbor needs Jesus. We need Jesus. The world needs Jesus. So as we look at our passage today, I want to give you three points that we're going to be walking through.

1. We proclaim because Christ is over all.

2. We proclaim because of what He's done.

3. We proclaim because we have hope to share.

1. We proclaim because Christ is over all.

There are some very important phrases about Jesus in this passage, and I want to make sure that we dial in and we understand what Paul is saying because if we don't understand it, these phrases can sometimes take us in the wrong direction. So let's look at this. Look at verses 15 to 16. Keep your Bibles open. It says, He, speaking of Jesus, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through him and for him.

Now let's clarify a couple things. Number one, when it says that he is the image of the invisible God, it does not mean that he is a replica. It means that the invisible God was made physically present with us in Christ. God, the Son, who existed from all eternity stepped into the world that he created when he was born that baby boy at Christmas time and don't worry we'll be celebrating that soon enough no Christmas songs in the next couple weeks or so but we will get to it it's coming it's coming so God the Son the second member of the Trinity who existed from all eternity stepped into creation born at Christmas and he was forever given the name Jesus but when it says that he is the firstborn of all creation, that's not stating that Jesus was created. Again, God, the son from all eternity, took on human nature when he was born at Christmas, taking down the name Jesus. But that's not to say that he was created. It's a simple statement of his primacy. His place is the head of all things. And I am telling you now, this is good news because Jesus is a good King. And the more people come to submit to Christ, the more people who come under His gracious, loving rule and reign, the more that this happens, the sooner we'll have peace on earth.

But this next verse here, Colossians 1:17, I'll tell you now, it's a very special verse to my wife and I. See, when my wife and I were engaged and we were going through premarital counseling, the pastor asked my wife and I to search the scriptures and to come up with a verse or a passage that we would use as kind of like the bedrock to our marriage. An important task. And so my wife and I, we scanned the scriptures, my fiance at the time, we scanned the scriptures and we found Colossians 1:17 and we said, this is going to be our verse. Colossians 1:17 says this, it says, and he is before all things and in him all things hold together. That's the verse we wanted over our marriage. Why? Here's why. Because we knew that love as a feeling comes and goes. And all God's people said amen. Love as a feeling comes and goes, but if Christ is above us, if he's above our marriage, if we submit to him and he comes as the authority in our marriage, guiding our direction, if our marriage was found in him, then he will unite us in marriage. You know what that means? It means he will hold us together. That when that feeling of love waxes and wanes, that Christ is the one who will hold us together and if he's the one who holds us together. We can make it through.

During our engagement, some people threw a wedding shower for us. Let me just tell you, I just love me some wedding showers. It was just so much fun. At this wedding shower, we shared that we chose, we had chosen Colossians 1:17 as our as our verse. And I remember this one person and we read the verse and this one person said. In a very depressed and slightly confused and somewhat, I'd say, snarky voice, they said this. Oh, but that verse doesn't say anything about love. And it was a stark reminder to me that when it comes to marriage, our world cares more about love than Christ. And I'm not talking about God's love. I'm talking about this worldly, emotional love that's more selfish than selfless. In our world, we want to feel the feels. That's more important to us than the truth when it comes to marriage. I'm here to tell you, if more marriages were built on the truth of Jesus rather than the emotion of love, we wouldn't see the divorce rates that we do. And that's not to shame those of you who have gone through a biblically sanctioned divorce. That's simply to state out the fact that our world cares more about feeling the feels than knowing the truth. People, we need to know that Jesus isn't just over our lives, He's over our marriages. Why? Because He's over all. And both, husband and wife, need to submit to Him. He sits as King and Creator, and it's Him we proclaim to the world because of who He is, but also because of what He's done.

2. We proclaim because of what He's done.

Let's look at our verses 18-20. Look at your, keep your Bibles open. It says, And he is the head of the body. What's the body? The church. The church is the body of Christ. It goes on to say, He is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Here it is, people. Such an important truth. The church is the body of Christ and Jesus is our head. Now, what does this mean? It means that we're connected to him. That is clear and obvious and beautiful.

But here's what I think we forget at times. If we are the body of Christ and we're connected to the head, who is Jesus, you know what that also means? It means we're connected to each other, that we are one in Him, that we are to serve and love and honor and respect one another. And I think people have forgotten that. I think especially if the American church realized that we are connected to each other, that our faith isn't just this personal, silent, secret relationship between us and God, but it's something we share together. I think if more people realized that, we would see much stronger attendance patterns than we do today in the American church. And as a church, we are connected to Christ our King. But listen here, it also says, this is an interesting phrase, it says, He is the beginning. Again, this is to highlight that Jesus is not on equal footing with anyone, but He is first, meaning He rules, He reigns, it means He's ahead of the stars, when you look at the beauty and the wonder of nature and creation, Christians, we sit and we take it all in and we say, Jesus is over all of this.

Let's do a little Bible study here because there's some competing verses here that aren't really competing, but we want to make sure they work together. Verse 15 says, He is the firstborn of all creation. Now verse 18 says, He's the firstborn from the dead. Creation to dead. Okay, what's going on here? Well first, he's the firstborn of creation. Listen, listen, we already stressed this. Not that he had a beginning. This is about his headship. He's the, and then it goes on to say, he's the firstborn from among the dead. Born from the dead, meaning, meaning he was raised to life. So Christ is the author and the beginning of life, but he's also the guarantee of our birth or our life after death. This is a profound and prophetic and poetic way to say exactly what verse 18 says.

Look at the end of verse 18. It says that in everything, he might be preeminent. When's the last time you used that word? You haven't. I know you haven't. Ain't none of you used that word before. Preeminent. But you know what? Don't worry about it. Here's why. This word here in the original language, the original Greek, this word, pro-tu-o, pro-tu-o, pro-tu-o. My Greek professor's going to fail me now. I already took Greek, by the way. Pro tuo. That word. It's the only time we see that word in all of scripture. So not only do you never use it, but the Bible uses it only once. Why? Because it's such a strong and profound word that we don't just use it for any old thing. We use it for very rare cases, like announcing that Jesus is over all.

Paul goes on to say in verse 19, it says, for in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Let me say it again. Paul says in verse 19, for in him, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. This is so key. Follow this. The fullness of God. Let's explain this for a moment. So, whatever it is that makes God, God, I'll just go ahead and just dumb it down and I'll say whatever the God stuff is, whatever the stuff is that makes God, God, Jesus is made of that. The fullness of God is in Christ. Now we have a theological term for it, we say essence. The essence of God is within the essence of Christ. God's essence is in Christ's essence. They are made of the same "stuff". This is why we talk about God being a Trinitarian God. That we have one God in three persons. Father, Son, and Spirit. That they are one in essence, three in persons. And we use the word persons because we just don't have a better word than that. We have one God in three persons, all made of the same essence, all made of the same fullness. Now listen to me, when we talk about the Trinity, when we talk about the very nature of God, we do this with the utmost humility, we do this with profound mystery. We are three-dimensional momentary beings trying to understand the 11 dimension eternal God. There's no way we could possibly fully understand what it means for God to be one in three, but yet that's what we see Scripture reveal to us. And so we approach God and the doctrine of God with humility, but also holding mystery in hand. But this God is not a God who sits up in heaven, eating popcorn, watching events unfold like some movie. This is a God who steps into his own creation to take control. Jesus stepped in to our world to do something about our predicament.

And look what it says in verse 20. It says, And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. So we proclaim who he is, but also what he's done. And what has Christ done? There it is. He's died on the cross for our sins. And when he died on the cross for our sins, he satisfied true and eternal judgment and justice. Our sins are now paid for. See, our sins are crimes against God and crimes need to be punished, they need to be held to account. And we're all going to face that one day apart from Christ. But what Jesus does is He steps in our place, goes to the cross, and when He was nailed to the cross and tortured and died. That was him stepping into our place, taking our sin and our punishment. Your crimes have already been held to account. Your crimes in Christ have already been punished, which means there's no more punishment left for you, for those who are in Christ. That we have new life and a fresh start.

We have, the Bible says reconciliation. Now what's reconciliation? Let me clarify. Here's a simple definition. Reconciliation is the restoration of relationship. So when it talks about how we've been reconciled to God, it means that our relationship with God has been restored. Because that sin problem that was between us and God, that kept us having a relationship with God because we had that sin, Jesus took care of that. He removed that barrier. So now we have full access to God for a deep and profound relationship marked by love and grace and forgiveness. And this is the result. It's peace. This church's namesake that we have peace with God because the sin that's ruined our relationship and caused strife between us and God that's been removed so we can have a relationship. We can have peace with God again. That's what Christ has done. And that's the hope that we share. We proclaim because we have a hope to share.

3. We proclaim because we have hope to share.

Paul goes on to clarify exactly what Christ has done. As he does this, he encourages us to stay the course. I know so many Christians who go off course. We're called to stay on course. Look at verses 21-23. It goes on to say, And you who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach.So not only is our sins removed, we are seen as clean, as holy, as righteous, as blameless before God.

But listen here, look at verse 23. You can't just accept what Jesus has done and go on your own merry way, going back to your own life of sin. If you've truly repented and placed your faith in Jesus and he's truly come in and taken away your sins and washed you white as snow and he's made you new again, you've got to stay on course. Look what it says, verse 23, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. So Paul's reminding them of who they were and who they are now in Christ. And that is the hope we share, that we have been made clean, we've been made new. That even us, as we were hostile towards God, spitting in his face, doing evil deeds, even as we were doing this, Jesus died for us. That's a love you're not gonna find anywhere else. That's why I follow him over anyone else This is why Paul tells us continue in the faith stead stable and steadfast not shifting from the hope of the gospel That you've heard The hope of the gospel the truth of the God truth of God.

This is the hope that we have to share This is the mission and message that we have before us that Jesus himself gave to us that we would go and proclaim. But it starts with you. It starts with you, dear Christian, where you are, and then it goes from there. And so proclaim is not just about building a building. Proclaim is about building what we have here so that we can continue to do ministry here and beyond and everywhere else. And you know, most of you probably know, that we're not waiting for sticks and bricks to continue this mission. We've already continued this mission We've started something new in a new community. We've planted a church in a neighboring community We planted a church in Wayland a couple weeks ago It's going amazing. I want to share with you an update. So would you please watch the screen?

Hey, peace church, hey here we are in Wayland. I'm here with Pastor Aaron Lewis.

Hey Peace Church family.

Hey we want to give you an update on what's going on with our new Wayland plant. Awesome things are happening. So Pastor Aaron is going to give us a tour and find out what's going on here.

Absolutely, come on in.

This is a pretty awesome place, just the way it looks. Clearly it's not set up for church right now. But give us a tour of what it's like for someone attending the Peace Church Wayland Campus. They park outside, right, and then they come in and how's it go? What's the flow like?

Yeah, absolutely. Well, we have two main points of entry. So the door we just came in is one of them, and then over here on the backside, and so we've placed our guest services spot right here in the middle of everything. So it's the very first thing people see when they walk in and where we do coffee, cookies and lemonade afterwards. And so this is kind of like our lobby area here where lots of connection happens after church. It's a really cool space.

Where do you stand? Where do you preach from? Where do people sit? How do people sit?

Yeah, so right down in this area on the cement, this is kind of like our stage area. And so this is where the worship team sets up. The worship leaders lead worship from this space. Whoever is given the message actually preaches out to the congregation.

So Aaron, Peace Church has had a call and a vision to multiply for a long time. We talk about the need here. Is Wayland a growing community? Why did we plant Wayland?

Yeah, well, absolutely. Wayland is a growing community. We have new construction going up all over the place, businesses coming in. But then there's also a family-focused sense of Wayland itself. It just meshes so well with our core value. So to have a church come alongside families who are really looking for that family-focused church is really important. Yeah.

The launch is now, what, five, six weeks in?

Yeah. And we're already having over 250 people coming every single week.

It's been a little bit more than that, right?

About 270, which is amazing. For a church plant, only five, six weeks in the mix. God's obviously doing something awesome. Absolutely. So as we said, family focus is a big deal for us. So where do the kids go?

Yeah, I'll show you. Sweet. So kids are in here. Yes. So on Sunday, we actually deck this place out with toys and carpets and small kid tables to be able to craft that, all of that kind of thing. We worship together. We have a large group teaching. And then we actually break off into separate smaller groups, discuss the teaching and that kind of thing. So let's go back inside and talk a little bit more about the ministry and what's going on here.

So when we talked about the vision for Planted in Wayland, around 140 people from our Middleville campus signed up to come and be a part of the seedbed congregation to help get this going. This Wayland campus is having almost double that amount of people come each Sunday, which is amazing. So the question I kind of have is, what makes up this other segment of people?

Yeah, well I think we're across the board. There are Christians who were kind of displaced and kind of left out in the cold, not really knowing what to do or where to go next. And they've really found a home here. And then we've had people who have been running from God hard, that just our presence and showing up gave them that moment to ask, is this God reaching out to me? And so they're here as well. And so we have everybody across the spectrum that this church is reaching.

That's awesome. So Aaron, this is an awesome place. God really delivered for us in letting us use this space, which is really cool. We know that what we want to see happen in Waylands, we want to take some of the DNA at the Middleville Caledonia campus, see it transplanted here, talking about being gospel-centered, family-focused, and kingdom-minded. So just as we close up, what's something from your heart, something you're really excited about with what God is doing here at the Wayland campus?

Well, we just announced that we'll be moving to two services come November 12th. And it's incredible to see all that God has done and the people that he has just sent. And so we want to make sure, as we ask people of Peace Church Wayland to be kingdom-minded and to invite people, we need to do our due diligence and make sure we're providing the space necessary. You know something about struggling with space, right? Yeah, we know a little bit about that. And so for us, that step is moving to two services on November 12th. We want to be a kingdom-minded church. We want to be beyond the walls of our church and even beyond the boundaries of our community. We want to plant in Wayland. We want to plant beyond. We want to see God's work continue.

So this is a real-life demonstration of Peace Church being kingdom-minded. It's why we're going to Proclaim. It's why we're planting in Wayland. It's part of who we are. It's something we want to see God continue to do. Absolutely. Yeah, it's, it's, uh, it's pretty amazing what God's doing over there. I thought we, I thought we might have at least a year before we considered two services and we're moving to two services over there even before Christmas. And that's because God is on the move over there. It's just a further confirmation that Wayland needs the gospel. We need the gospel everywhere. The gospel is needed. And Peace Church.

I want to remind you, this is, this is God's work God is the one doing this and he allows us to be a part of it and God used the financial investment of this church That we were willing to make in a community not our own to see the gospel continue to flourish and it is We want to see this happen both here in Wayland and we want to see it continue into Grand Rapids and beyond into the ends of the earth Church We are given a great commission. And so our response must be great, because it's a great call. So I'm just going to say this. I know, listen, I know, nobody likes to hear a pastor talk about money. I'm with you. I don't like it either. But I'm going to say this to you. We have a great commission before us. And so I'm going to call on the people who call this church home. I'm speaking to you. If you call this church home, I'm praying that you will make a great contribution in response to God's great call, his great work and the great commission. So I want to give you a thought to think about over this next week as we consider what God's calling us to give towards this. Here's a spiritual and financial challenge.

Are we ready to realize our money actually belongs to the King and therefore it should be honoring to Him firstly?

We can't talk about how Jesus is over the galaxies and over the lilies of the field without also realizing he's also over your finances. They belong to him. He just lets you use some of it. And here's what I'd say to you. Because they are his, we can trust him. God is doing something amazing in this church. He's been doing something amazing for nearly 60 years. But I tell you this, I believe our best days are ahead. And I believe that our most effective days for the kingdom are right before us if we have the passion and the commitment to give to see that happen. Church, a generation has gone before us that's been so sacrificial to produce what we all get to enjoy now. It's our turn in the history of Peace Church to do this for what God's doing now and what He's going to do.

And so I'm calling on Peace Church, do this for God, do this for the church, do this for your neighbor, do this for the world. Because the world needs Jesus. And so church, with our hope to share, we want to let the world know how amazing Christ is. We want to demonstrate that through our faithfulness and our generosity, but we also want to demonstrate that through our worship. So would you please stand and let's prepare our hearts to worship. Would you please put your hand up in the air?

Father God, we come before you asking that you continue to fill this place with the power and presence of your Holy Spirit, that we'd be a people who respond in worship so that when the watching world looks at this church, at least they will be able to say that church believes what they say It's a father. I pray God that you would fill this place again Continue to do so that we would respond and worship for who you are and for what you've done God you are good and you are good to us Be with us now as we worship you in Jesus name. We pray these things and everyone said amen. Amen.

bottom of page