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"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee..." Psalm 60:4

Christ is The Head of The Church
(Eph. 5:23)
(Part 1)

By Michael Zaucha

Written for Our Learning.  The Scriptures make known unto you things that are true, things that are real and genuine and certain: Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23). Jesus is the Leader of the Church. Jesus is the Ruler of the Church. Jesus is the Nourisher of the Church, the Foundation of the Church, and its Builder. Jesus is the Head of the Church. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

And as such, God will not allow this truth concerning His Christ, His Beloved Son, to go unawares neither in heaven nor in earth. There will be a demonstrated reality of Christ’s rule and of His headship, and it will be manifested specifically in His body, the church. However, you will need spiritual wisdom and understanding to discern the reality of His effectual headship, for the eye of the flesh is not able to do so.
The effectualness of Christ’s headship cannot be discerned by outward appearances for they are unreliable unto the attaining to the truth of Christ being Head of the Church. In other words, the physical good health of the individual members of the church is not the proof text that Christ is the Head of the Church. Neither is their worldly prosperity nor the lack of trial or tribulation experienced by the members evidence of Christ’s headship.

God’s is an Eternal Purpose.  Christ being Head of the Church has eternal and everlasting reachings, so you can’t go by feelings or how well or how poorly things are going in your life now in order for you to believe that Christ is the Head of the Church. And a sign hanging on a building that reads “church” does not necessarily indentify “the church” or its Head.

Unto the realization by its members for which Christ is the Head of the Church must be founded and anchored in the Word of God. It will be God Himself who will reveal the Head of the Church and the reason for the church itself. Without this solid foundation, men are building on sinking sand. Therefore, the reality of Christ being the Head of the Church, and the purpose for Him being such will be made known and it will be by revelation from God concerning the Head, His Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the purpose which He – God – hath purposed in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Eph. 3:11). It is in the context of the fulfilling of God’s eternal purpose that Christ is the Head of the Church, and the reason for the church. This is what the Word of God reveals concerning the church and its Head.
Christ is not the Head of the Church in order that the church might be in good physical health and have much worldly wealth. Jesus is Head to fulfill the eternal purpose of God which He hath purposed in Him. Christ is not the Head of the Church that the church might have solid families. Jesus is Head to do the will of God. Jesus declared: “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me), to do Thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:7). And Jesus always does those things which please the Father. Remove Jesus from the church, and it has no purpose and is nothing before God. The church is relevant only to the degree that its Head is working within it, fulfilling the purpose of God.

That Jesus Might Have the Preeminence.  As we consider the Word of God concerning the Head of the Church, it will become clearly evident and obvious that the most vital and principal part of the church is not its members, but its Head. It is not its name that makes the church relevant, but the One that is its Head. And it is not the role in society that is to be sought after by the church, but rather Christ’s role within it.

To do Thy will O God is the meat of the Head of the Church and fulfill the will of God Jesus will do. For the very things that God had purposed for the church are the things that are occurring in them, and the things that the church is partaking of and walking in even now. The church’s partakement of them declare the reality that Christ is the Head of the Church – according as God has revealed it in His Word. The reason for these things being performed in us is because Jesus is the Head of the Church, for God has given Jesus to be Head of All Things, and God has given Jesus – in this glorious capacity as Head, to the church (Eph. 1:22).

Head of The Church, His Body.  The Word of God reveals at least three perspectives of Christ’s Headship unto the fulfilling of God’s eternal purpose. One is that Christ is the Head of the Church, His body (Col. 1:18). As the Head of the Body, Jesus is the giver of life to the body, the sustainer of life and the increaser of the life of the body. And the life spoken of is that of acceptance before God Himself – even eternal life.

Life in this world is most often held up as the primary life to seek after – even in the pulpits - but God’s purpose is eternal life, and God declares that the purposed eternal life is in His Son Jesus Christ. “And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath (this eternal) life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not (this eternal) life” (I Jn. 5:11-12). Jesus is that primary to God and to the church.
Through His holy prophets, God would begin to sow the truth of Christ Himself being the most vital necessity unto our partakement of the God purposed eternal life. Beginning with Moses, God would make known the life-giving provision of Christ Himself unto Him fulfilling all things.
Through Moses, God revealed “the life of the flesh, or the body, is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). From early on, God was making known the necessity of the blood unto life – in the physical body to be sure, but it will be shown to be the case even more so unto the spiritual life as well, and it would be Jesus Himself who would affirm this truth that He Himself is the provision unto the eternal life of the body.
Jesus said: “verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whosoever eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:53-54).
The Apostles would open up and clarify the truth of the effectualness of the blood of Christ unto life before God: we are “justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses”  (Acts 13:39) – “by His blood” (Rom. 5:9); we partake of the cup of blessing in our communion of the blood of Christ (I Cor. 10:16); “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7); we “are made nigh (to God) by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13); we have peace with God “through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20); our conscience is purged from dead works to serve the living God by “the blood of Christ” (Heb. 9:14); we have boldness “to enter into the holiest by the blood of Christ” (Heb. 10:19).
The focus of the Apostle’s doctrine is on the life giving and the life sustaining power that the blood of Christ gives to His body, the church. The church has eternal life because of Christ’s blood and our faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 11:28; Rev. 1:5), in all that it has accomplished and what it continues to do for us.
All of these declarations and the many more the Apostles declare through the gospel reveal the truth that Christ Jesus Himself is our life (Col. 3:4) and declare with power and great glory that it is Jesus Himself, the Head of the Body, which gives and sustains that eternal life. And that eternal life continues on as we abide in Him.

The Head of The Corner.  A second perspective of Christ’s headship is that of a building project, but not one that is like of the earth, but rather one that is eternal in the heavens. As is God’s way, He began to speak through His holy prophets about what He would do: “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. 28:16).

There is only one reason for the laying of a foundation stone, and that is to build a building upon it. And that is precisely what the gospel announces Jesus is doing and Jesus made known that He is The Foundation Stone. Jesus said: “did ye never read in the Scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the Head of the Corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Mt. 21:42; Mk. 12:10-11).
This building is the desired and purposed habitation of God, both for now and into the ages to come and  - know this and rejoice and give thanks – the building material for that eternal dwelling is that of all the members of the church. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.”
And now the Apostle will open up the reason for the Head of the Corner and of Christ’s preeminence in the project – “In whom (in Christ) all the building fitly framed together” – because Jesus is the Head of the Corner the following is occurring – “growth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” The Apostle clearly declares the nature of what is being built – an holy temple. Therefore, and we must come to this conclusion, no unholy thing or anything that defileth will be used in the building. For what Jesus is building is “My Father’s House” – the Holy, Holy, Holy God and only the most precious building materials will be used. That is why Jesus is refining the Church now – “in whom (in Christ) ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-20).
The focus of the Apostles is on the Head of the Corner and what He is doing in the fitting together of all the members. All the members are being fitted together to produce the whole. This is something that only Jesus is able to do for a building that all does not fit together is unstable and unsuitable for habitation.
It is not often one hears about a body of believers growing, as opposed to individual members – synchronized so to speak – together - so that each members growth complements and aids in the advancement of the other members and yet, this is what Jesus is producing, and when you not only are given to see His wonderful working, but to also know that you are a part of it, it is marvelous in our eyes. In the church that Jesus, the Head of the Corner, is building all the members are fitted together with the other members unto the fulfilling of the whole.
One more thing that I must speak on concerning Christ and His preeminence in all things for the failure of men to recognize and acknowledge His preeminence is disastrous in every sense of the word. The failure to believe in Him and to submit to that which Jesus is doing will result in the most deadly of everlasting results – even the separation from God and His Christ for ever and for ever.
Jesus said concerning this truth: “what is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the Head of the Corner? Whososever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Lk. 20:17-18).
Brethren, this is not symbolic language or something that can be dismissed because God is love. God has made Jesus the Head of the Corner, exalted Him to the right hand of the Throne of God, given Him the preeminence in all things and over all things, and whosoever rejects Him as such will ultimately be destroyed by Him when He returns in His glory, and the glory of the Father, and the glory of the holy angels to punish such ones “with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (II Th. 1:9). No one can afford to be wrong about Jesus.
But oh, to whosoever falls upon that stone, The Head of the Corner, whosoever believes in Him, and clings unto Him with purpose of heart, and trusts wholly upon Jesus for salvation, who willingly hangs the very destiny of their eternal soul upon Him, you shall not be disappointed in that day when Jesus comes again. Jesus Himself has affirmed this to be true.

The Head of All Things.  The final perspective that I will speak about concerning the Headship of Christ is that He has the power and the authority to fulfill and to accomplish all that His Father has purposed, and God has given Jesus, the Head, all power and authority in heaven and on earth.

When it comes to the church, let me remind you of some of the things God has purposed for it – and this includes each and every member: to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29); that ye might be blameless and harmless without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (Phil. 2:15); that ye might be holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight (Col. 1:22); that when Jesus returns ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless (II Pet. 3:14), that ye are sanctified wholly; your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Th. 5:23), that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27).
That each and every member might possess the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding might be enlightened, that ye might know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:17-18); to be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21); to overcome the wicked one (I Jn. 2:13).
And not only bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10), but also that they all are prepared unto glory (Rom. 9:23), that all are meet for the Master’s use in the ages and world to come. To accomplish this and all the more the Scripture reveals will take power, yea rather mighty power, even exceeding great power, and the gospel announces that God has wrought – or activated to show its effectiveness - this exceeding great power in Christ Jesus, and God put it on display when He raised Jesus from the dead, who dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him (Rom. 6:9).
This is the power that is directed to the church, to us-ward who believe to effect all that God has purposed. While this is truly good news, there is still more to come for the church for there is by necessity the need for one to direct and minister this power to the members of the church. And the gospel continues to declare the good news: “when (God) raised (Jesus) from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him” – in this most powerful and necessary capacity -  “to be the Head Over All Things” – this is the position Jesus now holds even forevermore, and in this glorious capacity He is specifically given – “to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23).
 

Conclusion.  Brethren, none of the things that have been purposed of God for the church could have been accomplished apart from Christ Jesus. The gospel not only acknowledges and affirms that truth, it also declares that God has given Him to the church to perform that which God has purposed. “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).