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Head of the Church

Head of the Church

Words of Faith 10-8-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019


Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 1

 [18] And he is the head of the body, the church;


       When I was growing up we sang a little song that came into church circles and eventually made it into a hymnal or two.  The song was sung among the people of God to one another and declared-- "I am the church; you are the church; we are the church together.  All who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes we're the church together."  It is a sweet song, and it expresses a simple truth.  The second verse said: "The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is the people."

       That is a hugely important truth!  Church is not a place we go or a building we enter.  Church is us!  The proclamation of this song is very true and celebrates the fact that as believers, we are the Body of Christ-- an organism, not an organization. 

       But there was something missing in all that.  One could easily sing this song and get the impression that the church is a sort of democratic club.  We are so accustomed to concepts of egalitarian citizenship that we often miss the fact that the church is constructed in a way that is very different from government or civic organizations.

       Christ is the Head of the church.  He was not elected to that position by an electoral college.  He was not appointed by a gathering of cardinals or a house of commons.  It is not a position that any of us will ever assume.  Christ is the Head of the Body, the church, and this is not debatable, nor is it negotiable.  In fact, to ignore this fact is both ignorant and foolish. 

        Yes, we may vote in the church as a way of expressing discernment concerning His will.  But we would never vote to express our own will, in the same way, that we might in a homeowner’s association or a county election.  Even when we do vote, we must remember, it's not about me.  It is about the will of the Head, and such humble privilege is a sacred responsibility.

         So how did this come up?  Paul was laying a foundation to try and straighten out a heresy in Colosse.  Some had taken the view that Jesus was just one of the many layers of cosmic powers in the universe.  Some thought he was just an angelic sort of level in the heavens.  No.  Not at all.  Not even close.  He is the head-- For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together (v16-17).

         Christ is supreme in every way, especially in terms of the church, the "called out ones" that follow Jesus.  He is the head of the Body, not a foot or a hand.  To be the "head" of the church is to be its sovereign.  He is not only the thinker and decider; He is also the source of the church's life.  Without the head, there is no life.  

        Some would seek to decapitate the church either with bad doctrine or political maneuvering.  But Christ, as Head of the church, is its Chief, its Leader and the one who guides and governs it.  The emphatic meaning of this text is that Christ alone-- Christ and no other--is Head of the church.


        Lord and Christ, I submit to You and You alone as the head of the church.  Remove from me my petty desires and efforts to control.  Forgive me for my sinful efforts to shape the church into my image rather than listen to You.  I submit to You for You are the Head.  In Jesus' Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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