“Head Over All Things to the Church”
Introduction. (Ephesians 1:15-23). In this text we note how God the Father, exalted the Christ (God the Son) in His resurrection. Not only did His “mighty power” conquer death, but it also exalted Jesus in other ways. He is above all “principality, power, might & dominion” - this sets Jesus above not only earthly powers but also angelic powers. But note as well, He is “Head over all things to the church” (vs. 22). This morning, I ’d like for us to discuss this together for a few minutes.
I. Gave Him To Be Head” (22b). What does it mean to say that Jesus is “Head” of the Church? The Bible is its best lexicon of itself. It tells us what “headship”Êis.
- It is defined by comparison. (Ephesians 5:23-26) This is a type of leadership. It is a rank of authority. (cf. I Cor. 11:3) This is not (as feminists scholars try to suggest) the idea of the man as source - with no leadership, it is a rank. Not because a man is better, or more capable but simply because of the order of creation and the order of God’s design.
- It is defined by the Old Testament. (Isaiah 9:12-17) Here it is clear that the “elders” (vs. 15) or “leaders” (vs. 16) are called “the head” (vss. 14-15). This makes it clear that for Jesus to be the “Head”Êmeans that Jesus is the leader of the church.
- The World Shows Contempt for Christ’s Exalted Position. It does this by putting men in the place of Christ (popes, councils, creeds). It does this by teaching doctrines which Jesus didn’t teach (salvation by faith only, sprinkling or infant baptism, once saved always saved). It does this by practicing things Christ has not authorized (“contemporary worship”Ê- not just style but unauthorized practices, i.e. bands, choirs, rodeos, dinners, ball games, etc.). If something does not come from Christ it is usurping His Headship to do and teach it.
II. “Over All Things” (22c).Some say, they are doing things in Christ’s name, even though they don’t have specific authority for their teaching. Back to the text, I ask the question...
- How Much is “All Things”?
- He created all things. (Colossians 1:16-18).
- He is the head of all principality. (Colossians 2:9-10).
- How Can Man Usurp Christ’s Headship? We must show respect for the pattern of authority which Christ set up. He taught while on the earth and we can read His teachings. But He also gave authority to His Apostles.
- Jesus Set Up Apostolic Authority.
- The Apostles were given authority. (Ephesians 2:19-20). II Thessalonians 3:9 Paul makes it clear that He had authority.
- This Authority did not allow changes. (Gal. 1:6-11).
- We must “hold fast” to the Head. (Colossians 2:18-19). How do we do this? By “holding fast to the word” - note: Ephesians 5:25,26). We can never take the attitude that says “I know the Bible doesn’t authorize this but look how successful the world is when they do it?” - That isn’t “holding fast to the the Head.”
III. “To The Church” (22d). (Ephesians 1:23)
- The Church is the “Fullness of Christ” How is this true?
- It fulfilled His purpose. (Ephesians 3:8-11)
- It does His work in the world. (Eph. 4:15-16) This is God’s work, but notice how it is accomplished... (4:11-14).
The church (as Christ established it), isn’t very flashy. No stadiums backed with roaring crowds, not mass marketing and hype -- just some simple men and women who had been with Jesus.
- Example of Jeroboam. (I Kings 12) Jeroboam thought what God had set up wasn’t enough. He changed the place of worship, the priesthood, the way it was done and thousands followed him. This lasted for generations. But it was wrong, and it ultimately was the reason that God brought the strong hand of the Assyrians down upon the tribes of Israel that followed the sins of Jeroboam carrying them off, never to return as a people.
- When is Jesus Our Head? (Colossians 2:9-12) Note: Just like the text we began with, we can be buried with Christ through baptism and raised up with Him through faith. What happens then? Note: (Ephesians 2:4-6) The text we began with noted how Jesus was exalted, this text tells us that we can “sit beside”Êthe one who has all authority! Won’t you do that this morning?