More About Jesus – The Head of The Church

There was a silly old cartoon where one character would ask the other, what are we going to do tonight?  The answer was, the same thing we do every night.  Try to take over the world.  That was what those two lab mice did every show.  Every night they would try to take over.  That might be funny in a cartoon.  But the sad thing is, that the thirst for power is very real.  We see it in the world all around us.  Wars on top of wars.  We see it in brutal politics.  In fact we see it all around us.  From big corporations to small offices.

There is a woman named Jessica who worked in the office of a small law firm in Phoenix AZ.  She is not the owner.  She is not the office manager.  She is not one of the bosses, but it was her goal to run that office.   She builds alliances (a posse if you will).  Uses intimidation, threats and bulling.  Jessica gets her posse to file false complaints against any co-worker that does not bow to her.  She expends a lot of effort on all kinds of crafty, snake like stuff.  Just to rule a small office.  And that is not a rare situation.  There are horror stories in abundance of home owners associations.  There is someone trying to rule almost anything.

And sadly that tendency of human sinful nature does not stop at the local church doors.  An old time Pastor, (who at the time had pastored for 36 years) said in a message.  “You start a church and, make no mistake, someone is going to run it.  Usually some man with some busybody behind him.  So I decided long ago, since someone is going to run it, it might as well be me!”

Jesus is supposed to be the head of the Church.  The pastor is to be what we call the under shepherd.  He is to be a servant leader that is being obedient to Jesus and leading the way He says things are to be done.

The marching orders, the organization, the things that are done, the things that are not done, the rules, the music, and everything else is to be determined by the head of the Church.  And that is to be Jesus.  It is not God’s plan to have a human headquarters somewhere giving orders to local churches.  Jesus is to be the direct authority over each individual local church.

I  Jesus being the head of the Church was predicted

Psa 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Jesus is the foundation of all.  He is the head of all.  And that would include the local Church.  This was foretold long ago.  Look in Matthew at how Jesus uses this scripture in the Psalms.

Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Mat 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Mat 21:45  And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

Notice who it is He spoke this to.  It was spoken against the chief priest and Pharisees.  The religious leaders of the day.  They had quit letting Jesus be the head long ago.  And Jesus was not pleased.  Man had taken over His authority and were not running things according to His will.

So Jesus took it from the Jews and turned to the Gentiles.  Jesus is to be the head authority and not a group of men.  We see here that this plan was thought of long ago.  Jesus did not start the Church and then have to think up a make shift plan for how to run it.

Jesus being the head was appointed by God

Eph 1:22  And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

God the Father gave this authority to God the Son.  Isn’t it amazing how man keeps insisting on intruding upon what the Almighty Father gave to Jesus?  There are some groups who start off with what I believe are good intentions.  They start churches, win souls, start more churches, and keep growing.  All good.  But they do not make each church independent.  At some point the leadership gets taken over.  Then instead of good decisions being sent out, you get things sent out that corrupt many of God’s principals and institutions.

God’s way is better.  If one of God’s independent Churches goes bad.  (And they can and do from time to time) then you lost one church.  If a man made authoritative structure goes bad, then you just lost all of them in the organization.  It is best to leave the authority where God put it.

II  Jesus showed His authority over the Church

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

He commanded them to go to a certain place.  When they came, He commanded them with what we often call the great commission.  He gave these commands; these marching orders, to a visible local body of believers.  A local church.  This is what the Head of the Church told the Church to do.  Teach all nations.  Teach them about Jesus, and how to get saved.  That comes first so you can obey the second command, and that is to baptize them.  And after that you are to teach them everything else.

And then He closes with this.  I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

He did not leave and leave us alone.  Hello, He is still here.  He is still watching.  Still on the throne.  He is still to be the head of each local Church.  Still guiding; still empowering; still leading.  But all too often His local bodies of believers are not listening to His leadership.  Instead they are joining and following some organization that man created.  You see a picture of this in Revelation.

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I know that verse is used for witnessing.  But that is not the context.  In Revelation chapter 3 Jesus is talking to the local Churches.  All too often Jesus is standing at the door of His own Church knocking and can’t get let in.

III The Local Church is pictured as His body

Eph 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Eph 4:8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Eph 4:9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

Implications.  The Church belongs to Him.  He takes care of it, He adds to it, He gifts the body.  He does this so that every member will be benefited.

IV  The head commands the body

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 5:33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

Some pictures, illustrations, allegories, and so on in the Bible you are not flat out told what it is about.  This one he flat out says this is really about Christ and the church.

So the whole husband wife relationship is really supposed to portray, and show forth the relationship of Christ and the church.

Jesus loves the church, and the church is supposed to respect Jesus, Listen to Jesus and follow Jesus.

Eph 1:22  And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

There is a silly worn out expression that says, “The tail does not wag the dog.”  No the dog wags the tail.  We are not to be stepping out of our proper place and tell Jesus how things should be run.  We are just members of the body.  We might be a finger, or a foot, or an ear.  We each have a proper place and function.  Everyone is important; even the feebler parts.  We all have a part to play, but none of us are to be the head.

Horizontal authority structures do not let Jesus be the head over all things to the church.  Some horizontal fellowships do not have what they call a denomination headquarters calling the shots so they think they are fine.

But they still have very strong horizontal authority.  They cooperate with each other to black list people.  The peer pressure is very strong.  Everyone does what all the others do. They are very susceptible to doing the trending thing.

At first you see it in the look and type of tract that they use, to the graphics; to the way they handle money.  They are often looking to each other on how to do things instead of looking to Jesus.

Last year I seen an instance where they were starting to do this with theology.  Someone in the group introduces a false belief and others start picking it up.  The excuse was a lot of the other preachers are believing this now.

That is all messed up.  Jesus is to be the head over all things to the church.

V  Jesus is the Head so that He might have the pre-eminence in all things

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

In Col 1:18 there is what you can call a parenthetical statement in the middle.  It is additional information that is inserted mid thought.  If you look at the verse without it you get, And he is the head of the body, that in all things he might have the preeminence.

One of the reasons Jesus is the head of the church is so that he can get the preeminence.  If an organization of men are the head, then they will take some if not all of the credit.  If a body of believers obey the orders of an organization, then they are giving the preeminence to them and not to Jesus.

And notice the verse says he might have the preeminence.  Might have.  Jesus gives us the free will to choose to give Him the preeminence or not.  A local church as a whole can put Jesus first in the leadership of the church or not.

And this also goes for each individual member as well.  If every member realizes that Jesus is the head and they choose to give Him preeminence, then there will be great unity in the church.  You will not have strife and leadership issues.

If you take the headship of Jesus in the church seriously, it will change how you treat His church.

You will love it

You will respect it

You will support it

You will be involved in it

You will not stir up trouble in it

And you will not throw a fit if something is not just the way you want it.  We would all do well to leave the authority and leadership of the local church where it should be and that is with Jesus.

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