Every single verse of Colossians 1:15–20 “proclaims the absolute supremacy of Christ,” said California pastor Hanley Liu during the 2022 Pastors Conference in Anaheim, June 12.
Ultimately, Liu said, Christ must be proclaimed as supreme over all things because He is preeminent over His creation and His Church.
“The Church is our greatest hope in times of hurting because the Church is the visible body of Christ. The Church points, the Church ought to point us, to Christ the head,” said Liu, pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut, California.
“What’s encouraging for us, pastors and leaders of the Church, is that when this text teaches us that Jesus is supreme, sovereign over all things, all things in heaven and all things on earth, this includes every single thing that has discouraged or divided the Church.
“Everything that has caused you, pastors, sleepless nights and stress, all of that falls under the sovereignty and supremacy of Christ,” he said.
Realizing Who has the answers
In speaking of the challenges of COVID-19, Liu said he had to make peace with the fact that he doesn’t have answers to all of the problems pastors have faced during the past two years.
“I didn’t get the memo from my seminary that my M.Div. turned into an M.D.,” he quipped. “I could not answer questions that are not contained in the Scriptures, but that is not our task.
“Our task … is to study the text, the Scriptures, diligently and to proclaim the text for clarity and to apply the Scriptures with wisdom, pointing people to the ultimate wisdom of the Scriptures, which is Jesus Christ, and we sit down. We sit down in the pew under the throne.
“Our biggest encouragement is that we stand in the pulpit, but Christ sits on the throne.”
Ultimately Jesus is the glue that holds all things together, said Liu, who said pastors often feel pressure to hold everything in their church together — struggling marriages, a daily flood of emails, demands and other challenges.
“He is sustaining all of creation,” Liu said. “He sustains all things as we speak. … The Son is holding everything together.”
‘The big idea’
“Despite our various opinions,” Liu noted, “and considering the issues we must tackle as Southern Baptist messengers this week, one thing is essential: We must remember Whose name it is we represent, Who we proclaim, especially when it comes to matters of denominational integrity and accountability.
“This text gives us encouragement,” he noted “It reminds us of not just what we represent as SBC messengers. We represent our churches, but this text reminds us of Who we proclaim.
“Christ is our highest proclamation. We proclaim Him.”
View photos from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference here.
For more stories from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, visit thebaptistpaper.org/sbc2022.