Summary: The forth in a nine part series of messages from the book of Colossians. Deals with Christ as the Head of the Church, particularly His pre-eminence
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: Colossians 1:18-22
Title: The Head of the Church
Date: August 4, 2002
Introduction: Often the question arises in the local church, “who is the head of the church?” That question has caused conflict in many churches because often times there are those within the body who believe that they have a right to head the church. Over the years I have met many people who believed that they were the head of the local church. I have known some Deacons who believed they were the church “bosses.” I have met some other officers of the church, WMU Directors, Treasurers, Trustees, even some Sunday School Directors who thought that they were the head of the church.
But Paul answers the question for us plainly in our text when he declared that Christ was the Head of the Church. Paul tells us that only Christ deserves that place of honor and that only He can have it. For that reason the local church can never be headed by a person. No person in the church can be her head, for that position is reserved for Christ Himself.
Now there are human leaders in the church and the Scriptures are very definite as to who they are and how they should operate, and we’ll deal a little with that this morning, but those people are servants of Christ. He is the head of the church. So how should His headship affect the local church?
Lets look carefully at our text this morning.
I CHRIST IS TO HAVE PREEMINENCE IN THE CHURCH (18)
A. He was before all things (eternal).
B. He is the firstborn from the dead.
1. His resurrection proves His deity
2. His resurrection is a sign of His authority.
C. No earthly office can come close to His position.
1. He has called people to serve Him through the church.
2. They draw their authority from Him.
a. Pastor is undershepherd – second in command, with authority given by Christ in His Word. In Acts 20:28 we are told that Christ has made the pastor “overseer of His church which He purchased with his own blood.”
b. Make no mistake Scripture makes it clear that of all God’s human servants it is the pastor who has the most authority, but even He is not Head of the Church, for only Christ can hold that position.
c. Deacons are servants with no Biblical authority.
d. No other office is even mentioned in Scripture, so those positions hold no authority.
D. Because church leaders draw their authority from Him, they should be Christ-like in their leadership.
E. The truth church will have Christ as the preeminent figure, not any man.
II CHRIST HAS MADE PEACE FOR THE CHURCH (20)
A. Christ made peace with God for us on the cross.
1. Because of our sin the Bible says we were enemies of God.
2. His blood paid for our sins according to 1 Peter 1:18-19.
3. Christ bought the church with His blood and it belongs to Him.
B. Christ as the second person of the triune God has reconciled us to Himself with His own blood.
C. Since it was Christ who made our peace with God, and only He could do it, then He must be the head of those who have peace with God because without Him we could not have it.
D. We did not make our own peace with God Christ made it for us!
III CHRIST PRESENTS THE CHURCH PERFECT IN HEAVEN (21-22)
A. Our perfect savior presents us as perfect in heaven.
B. Having been made perfect only through His shed blood.
C. We were enemies of God and Christ has made us perfect in the sight of God.
D. Who can imagine such grace and such love?
Conclusion: Christ must have first place in our church for us to be a real church. He must be first in our worship, first in our music, first in our business, first in all things.
If Christ is first we’ll follow His Word, we’ll follow those he has placed in authority over us. We’ll move ever forward because Christ never moves backward.
But then there is another question. Not only do we need to ask if He is head of our church, but we need to ask if He is head of our personal lives.
Lets make Christ Head of our Church and Head of our lives.