The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
March 11, 1990


1) Jesus -- "The First-Born" (Part Two) (Tom Edwards)
2) God's Love for You (poem) (Tom Edwards)


Jesus -- "The First-Born" (Part Two)
by Tom Edwards

Last week we noticed that the term "first-born" is used in Isaiah 14:30 to show of an extreme condition in poverty. Today let us continue with this study.

Observe how God refers to His chosen people in Exodus 4:22,23: "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, `Thus says the Lord, "Israel is My son, My first-born. So I said to you, `let My son go, that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born.""'

Literally, there is only one first-born that a man can have. Even though Abraham had twelve sons by four different women, it was still only Reuben whom he referred to as his first-born (Gen. 49:3).

Figuratively, however, this word can extend to a multiple of applications. We have already seen it used in referring to Jesus, to the poorest of the poor, and now to the nation of Israel.

Israel itself was actually made up of millions of people; but as a whole, God speaks of them as His first-born because of their SPECIAL relationship to Him. Out of all the nations on earth, it was only Israel whom God selected "above all people" (Deut. 10:15) to be His chosen race.  Surely, many of them must have felt exalted by this.

Consider also Psalm 89:26,27: "He will cry to Me, `Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.' I also shall make him My first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth." This one whom God would make His first-born is David (Psalm 89:20-25), and the Lord describes in the same passage the meaning of this -- David would become "the highest of the kings of the earth." Once again the term "first-born" is used to express an EXALTED DEGREE. As king over God's people, David was elevated to the highest rank of authority; thus, the term in this context indicates SUPREMACY.

As we reflect upon these truths, it helps us to more thoroughly understand why Paul refers to Jesus as "the first-born of all creation" (Colossians 1:15). By so doing, the apostle is expressing the Lord's EXALTED POSITION, His SUPREMACY, His PREEMINENCE over all things; for Christ has been exalted to the right hand of God to serve as  "Lord of lords and King of kings" (Rev. 17:14).

God's Love for You
by Tom Edwards

When you're caught up in your troubles
And there seems nowhere to turn,
Just remember Jesus loves you
And for your salvation yearns.

This is why He went to Calvary --
Taunted by the savage crew --
And so willingly had yielded
To be crucified for you.

There they nailed Him so securely
To the cross which bore His weight,
And from which He writhed in torment,
Just to change the sinner's fate.

But in order for this blessing
Of salvation to be yours,
You must hearken to the Savior
By obeying through His word.

For it's not in mere "faith only"
That will turn your life around,
But in meeting His conditions
That will make you heaven bound.

So no matter what your problem
Or the sin that made you fall,
Come and listen to the Savior
For on the cross He died for all.

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17;  John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland, Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards