To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his own blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory forever and ever, Amen.
In the name of Jesus, our King who came once to save us and who will come back again in order to bring us home, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men…” (Lord Acton, the 19th Century British historian). Do you agree? Does power corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely? If you were to scan human history time and time again you would probably come to that conclusion. For an example, we could look to the history of God’s people. After Moses and Joshua the people were ruled by “Judges.” After the period of judges, they asked for a king. They wanted a king so that they could be like all the other nations around them. So, God warned them through Samuel what a king would do:
This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18)
And what did they say? “But the people refused to listen to Samuel. ‘No!’ they said. ‘We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” And what did they get? Saul, who turned out to be a bad king. David, who was for the most part a good king, but still used his power for his own gain. Solomon, who taxed them very heavily. And then down through history some good, many bad kings. Throughout history we have many examples of kings who used and abused their power. So what happened? What happened to all the great monarchs of history? For the most part now, they are simply figureheads. What people began to discover is that giving so much power to a sinful human being spells only trouble and so now we have democracies all over the place. But we still need a king, don’t we?
That’s what I want to focus on with you today: Everyone needs a king, we have the King we need, and finally what does it mean to live in His kingdom.
Everyone needs a king. Although in America we don’t have a king in name, we still are looking for a king. We still are looking for someone to adore, someone to serve, someone to give our money to, someone to take care of us, someone to fix our problems. So, where do we look? Maybe it’s an actor or actress or some celebrity, maybe it’s our favorite sports professional, maybe it’s a political or governmental person, everyone needs a king. We were built for a king, we were built to submit to a king, we were built to adore, to serve, to give ourselves to a king. Everyone needs a king, everyone is looking for a king, and what God tells us is that there is a King above all kings, there is a King behind all kings, the greatest of kings in this life are just a dim reflection of this true king and if you reject this King, you’ll find a king, you have to. Everyone needs a king, but who is the King we need?
As we take a look at our text from Colossians we notice that we have a description of the King of kings. There is no one who matches this, no one who comes close to the King. You see, this is the King like no other king, this is a King who could do what no other king could do! What did he do? “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” What did he do? He rescued us. We were in a different kingdom: the dominion of darkness. What’s that like? What’s it like to be in the dark? When you’re in the dark you can’t see, you don’t know where you are going, you’re unsure, uneasy, you run into things, you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. I have this problem in my garage, the light switch is in one place and the door is in another place, so if it’s dark out and I want to turn the light off, I shut the light off but then I have to navigate myself across the back of the garage to the door into our house. I don’t always have it all clean. Did I leave that pan of oil on the floor? Where is that nail that I dropped? Is the step stool in the way? Did the kids leave a box on the floor?
We were in a far worse state than that – spiritually dark, spiritually blind. But what did God do? He rescued us. That means he rescued us from a completely helpless and hopeless situation. The word “rescue” means just that. It’s the word for being on the top of a skyscraper that’s on fire, you can’t go back down through the building, it’s on fire. You can’t jump off the roof, you’ll die. Your helpless. You can’t rescue yourself. But then a helicopter comes and rescues you. That’s what God did. We were helpless, we were hopeless, we couldn’t save ourselves, but God came, Jesus came, He rescued us with His life, death, and resurrection. He forgave our sins. He redeemed us. He’s a gracious King!
But God doesn’t stop there what else does he tell us? “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Look at who this King is! He is the image of God, if we want to know who God is, we look to Jesus. He created all things, everything that has power, every person or authority on earth is subject to Him, He is the glue that holds everything in all the world together. And not only that but “He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” He is the head of the church which is His body. He remains in charge not just in the world, but especially in His church, He rules His church like a head does the body, he takes care of it. He has so much power that He raised Himself from the dead and because He did, He has supremacy in everything! And finally, “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether thing on earth or things in heave, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Not only is He the King with all might, power, and supremacy, but He’s the King like no other king. He came not to be served but to serve. He came not to be protected by an army or a secret service, but to give his life up as a ransom for many. He used His power not to enlarge an earthly kingdom, but to win an eternal kingdom for you and me. He used His supremacy not to live in a palace, a White house, or a castle, but to be born in a manger, nailed to a cross, sweat, blood, mocking’s, and death. For what purpose? To win you, to reconcile you, to redeem you, to save you. He made peace with you by shedding His blood on the cross for you. And He further used His supreme power in the waters of baptism or in His mighty Word to bring you out of the kingdom of darkness and unbelief into the kingdom of the light of faith. That’s your King. No ruler, not even Satan himself, can knock Jesus off His throne, Jesus’ term will never be finished, He will never concede an election, Jesus will never be wringing His hands wondering what He’s going to do next. He has all power, He is supreme, and He is the head of the body, the Church, of which you are a part. Your King who loves you more than you can ever know will use His mighty power to lead you and bring you finally to the eternal kingdom of heaven. Relax in the supremacy and salvation of Jesus, the Supreme King of the world.
Relax – Every day, every week there are these things that crop up, problems, difficulties, challenges, maybe it’s in my personal life, maybe it’s because I’m watching the news and stuff I hear about going on around the world, and it’s so easy to become worried or anxious or nervous or scared. What nonsense! Jesus is supreme, Jesus is Lord, Jesus remains in control, that means, I can relax, I have a King, He’s in charge, I don’t have to be.
Reorder – Jesus is the King of the world, but is He the King of your life? Is He the King of your whole life? He is supreme in all things- that means He wants to be the supreme King of your life- not just a part of it, not just a segment of it, not just an app you’ve downloaded into your life, He’s not just a vitamin supplement to your life, He’s not a pill you take once a week on Sunday morning.
Jesus is the supreme King of your life. That means there are no non-negotiables with Jesus. There is no line drawn in the sand that says, “Jesus, you can be my King as long as you don’t cross this line.” “Jesus, you can be my king as long as you don’t take my spouse, as long as you don’t take my child, as long as you don’t mess with my investments or my bank account or my health. Don’t touch that.” If Jesus is your supreme King, there are no non-negotiables. And that goes for sin as well. “Jesus, you can be King of my life, just don’t ask me to give up my bad language, don’t ask me to give up my sex outside of marriage, don’t ask me to give up my gossiping about others, don’t ask me to give up my negative attitude and behaviors.”
Imagine having a friend who’s been diagnosed with a very serious, life-threatening disease and they are going to be dead in a week. You go with your friend to the doctor. The doctor does some tests and says, “I have great news, there’s a cure, and you will live out all your normal days. You just can’t ever eat any more chocolate” You’re ecstatic, you’re jumping for joy for your friend. Then you look over at your friend and she says, “No chocolate? Nope. Can’t do that. Forget about it.” That’s crazy! But that’s our attitude if we’re not willing to get rid of any and all sin. Jesus is your Supreme King that means you say to Jesus, “There’s nothing that your Word says, nothing that your will touches that I will say, “Lord, not that.”
Finally, rejoice. You’re part of the Royal family. People who are members of a royal family get all kinds of privileges, invitations, honor, and prestige, just because of their family name. Infinitely better than that is your place in the Royal family of all royal families, with Jesus as your brother, God is watching over you, God cares for you as His own dear child, God is preparing a mansion of all mansions for you in heaven. Rejoice. You’re part of the royal family. Welcome home!