Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Unavoidable: Jesus Christ is the One and Only Head

One of the most fundamental truths of church life is that our Lord Jesus is the only Head of His body.

"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).

"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" (Colossians 1:18).

My guess is that the vast majority of Christians, if asked, would agree that Jesus is the Head of His church. However, in practice we see a far different picture. In this country headship within the church has become muddled. This is caused by the unbiblical practice of elevating pastors to positions of authority and prestige within the body. While the bible shows us nothing resembling modern pastors, most churches continue with this practice year after year.

If you attend a typical worship service you might not be able to figure out who the head actually is. On the one hand, Jesus will probably receive some form of verbal praise. On the other hand, one man will likely be front and center for the majority of the gathering. The pastor does most of the "important stuff" while pretty much everybody else sits quietly. This typical situation provides the strong message that the pastor is actually the head.

The bible states clearly and unavoidably that Jesus Christ is the one and only Head of His own church. Since this is the case, we ought to gather in ways that model this. No one person should be preeminent. Everyone ought to be involved. All must be on equal footing before God. The only person who should be recognized as being in authority is Christ.

Any deviation from Christ as Head is extremely problematic. This is why God made this truth unavoidable.

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