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Who is Jesus?
Head of the Church
Part XV of the Series. Bible study on Jesus as the head of the church.

In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about Jesus as God, Lord, Savior, Christ, Creator, the Word, the Son of God, the life, the Light, the Lamb of God, the Firstborn, an Author, a Shepherd, and the propitiation for our sins.

In this article, we talk about Jesus as the head of the church.

Jesus is the Head of the Church
The church is Jesus' body.

  • "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church . . ." (Col. 1:24).

Since the church is Jesus' body, He is the head of the church.

  • "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church" (Eph. 1:22).

Here are some similar figures of speech relating to Jesus position of prominence and authority:

  • The precious cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6).
  • The chief cornerstone of the church (Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:7).
  • The bridegroom of the church (Matt. 9:15; Rev. 21:2).
  • The husband of the church (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 21:9).

Head: The Beginning, Firstborn From the Dead
Jesus is head of the church because He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

  • "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything" (Col. 1:18).

As the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, Jesus has first place in everything. Therefore, He is head of the church --- He has the highest rank in the church (Col. 1:18).

Head: God Put All Things Under Jesus' Feet
After Jesus rose from the dead, and before ascending into heaven, God gave Him all authority.

  • "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth'" (Matt. 28:18).

Since God gave Jesus authority over all things, Jesus has authority over the church.

  • "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body . . ." (Eph. 1:22-23).

The Church is Subject to Christ
Since Jesus is head of the church, the church must obey Him in everything.

  • "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" (Eph. 5:24).

A church teaching the doctrines of men is not Jesus' church. Rather, it's a man-made church, based on self-made religion (Col. 2:23).

Such was the case with denominations that had already begun in the first century, one example of which is the Nicolaitans, a Gnostic sect (Rev. 2:6, 15). These people had gone too far, and did not have God (2 Jn. 1:9).

Brethren who entertain doctrines from other religions, such as the Nicolaitans must repent, or they'll be lost for eternity (Rev. 2-3).

And churches who adopt the doctrines of men and do not repent, are removed by Jesus as a congregation of His people, and become His enemies.

  • "'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place --- unless you repent'" (Rev. 2:5).
  • "'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth'" (Rev. 2:15-16).

As Head of the Church, Jesus is the Savior
Jesus is head of the church, being the Savior of the body.

  • "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body" (Eph. 5:23).

As faithful members of Jesus' church, we'll be saved (Rev. 2:10). Jesus said:

  • "'. . . I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it'" (Matt. 16:18).
  • "And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Heb. 5:9).

In the judgment, we'll stand before Christ and be judged according to His word (2 Cor. 5:10; Jn. 12:48). Then, as faithful members of His church, we'll gain entrance into the eternal city of God (Matt. 25:46).

Jesus is the head of the church. Therefore, we must obey Him in all things, as members of His church.

If we do, we'll be saved from our sins, and live in heaven forever. But if we don't, we'll suffer eternal punishment in hell.

Are you a faithful member of Christ's church?

To be continued.