2008-12-06 - Christ's Church: 2
Ephesians 5:23, "Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."
Jesus Christ is the life of the Church. In proportion as followers of Christ are united to Jesus Christ and are directed by Him and His Word, they constitute His church. The true church has Christ as its head, and only follows His commands. He instructs, and to the degree that the church is not ruled by Christ it dishonors Him. He is not a despotic Lord, forcing His followers and compelling them to submission. Rather, Christ achieves, by His grace and mercy, a voluntary obedience by those who have been receivers of His forgiveness. He is a kind ruler, and His sheep will not follow another. They know His voice; another they will not follow.
Followers of Christ are to hold fast the things they have been taught in the Word of God. We do not need nor desire the refined philosophies of this present age. Philosophies have come and gone, but Christ's true church remains grounded in His Word. It is the one source of all that the church maintains in doctrine, practice, worship, and personal experience. Put all the church leaders in a box, and if they all agree on something that is contrary to the Word of God, the church must put a lid on the box and follow Christ's Word. The conscience of those who follow Christ is bound to the Bible and nothing else. Who is Martin Luther? Who is John Calvin? Who is John Wesley? Who is any leader in Christ's church? They are servants. They are but servants of Jesus Christ, and we only follow them as they follow Christ. Has John Piper shed his blood for you? Is he your master? We may respect his opinion, but it is the opinion and interpretation of a fellow servant of Christ. Christ alone is head of His church. Let us say Solus Christus, an old Latin phrase which means "only Christ," or "Christ alone."
All authority and powers have been placed under Christ, 1 Peter 3:22. He may do with all things as He pleases. Christ is head over all things, but Scripture places a special emphasis on His being, in particular, Head of the church. Ephesians 1:22 is another place where we see this, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church." All others who would claim to be the head of the church are burglarizing Christ's proper authority given Him by the Father. All supposed leaders of the church have done one common thing: They have all died. Christ is alive, and He reigns now from Heaven. He has sent His Spirit to witness to His authority, power, and rule. To claim to be the head of any particular church, large or small, is theft from Christ. Among other commandments, it violates the 8th commandment, because it is robbery of Christ's glory. His glory cannot really be robbed, but man is a selfish, proud creature - and how low must he have fallen to assume Christ's proper position as Head of the church. Let us repudiate any person or authority that usurps Christ's place as defined in Scripture, as Paul shook off the viper into the fire, Acts 28:3-5.
Soli Deo Gloria,