Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Colossians 1:17-18

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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.

We all know people who believe Jesus was a “good man” or “good teacher”. However these verses teach that Jesus was not created; he simply took on flesh at the incarnation. Some in Colossae were teaching that He was created at some point in history as an emanation of God. Paul instructs them that Jesus existed before all things; He is the Word through which creation was created. In him all things hold together – he gives all things their unity and meaning. He sustains and controls the universe.

He has the preeminence – the first place in everything. It is not the pope, not the pastor, not the bishop, not the deacons, not the elders who are the head of a church. Church leadership is important, but the head is Christ Jesus. Church leaders can provide leadership and biblical guidance, but believers are led by the Holy Spirit within. Too many seminaries teach that churches should be run like businesses, with the pastor as the CEO. I will always regret not speaking up in a leadership class when a professor said that the first thing a new preacher should do is to basically fire all the other staff and let them reapply for their job. Apparently some believe that senior pastors can speak for the Holy Spirit better than He can speak to you. Although a church leader may have insight to share, those abiding in Christ will know the will of the Holy Spirit for themselves as they follow their head, Jesus Christ.

Some scholars waste their time arguing whether “head” signifies “origin” or “authority”. Whatever the meaning here, Christ is both the origin of the Body as well as its authority! The church as a whole is a Body. “Christ is like the Head, and we are the limbs, and the organs, and those parts that function in response to the domination of the brain” (MacArthur). Some members of the body may be doing their job better than others, but we will all function correctly when we follow the “brain’s” leading.

Christ is to have preeminence in all things. Does he have first place in your time? your media choices? your relationships with family and friends? Search your heart for the areas in your life where He is being relegated from the first place status He deserves.

“In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign,does not declare,'That is mine!'”     - Abraham Kuyper

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