As Paul was in prison, news came to him about the churches that were planted and how they were growing in the Lord. Persecution had driven many disciples out of Jerusalem and the church there no longer symbolized earthly authority in Jerusalem. It was important for Paul to emphasize a principle that must govern every church. While every believer is a member of the Church, the body of Christ, we must remember that the Church has one supreme authority, Christ the Head.
God has placed Christ in that place of authority; “And He (God) put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). There is no exception. “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 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” (Colossians 1:17–18).
As we restore in our minds and practice the place God has given to the Lord Jesus, it changes the way we look at human authority that has been established by men and organizations. Submitting to the authority of Christ in the Church and in our churches is essential if the Word of God is going to be properly taught and followed. If we place more authority in institutions than in Christ and His Word, then our obedience to the Word will be hindered because we seek to please men.
Notice how strong are Paul’s words: “He (God) put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” We are at no disadvantage because Christ is at the right hand of God and the Spirit is here. The Spirit of Jesus is here in the Church constantly communicating the mind of Christ the Head. We are challenged with whether we are hearing His voice. In the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, most were not hearing the voice of the Spirit. Jesus issues the invitation to all, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (2:7, 11,17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). Are your ears tuned to the right authority?
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