What Does It Mean for Jesus Christ to Be the Head of the Church?

God’s Authority

When we think of the word head, we often, of course, think of a CEO or the head of some institution or organization. But the phrase “head of the church” is not employed to identify Christ as the head of a company or the head of some earthly organization.

Of course, my mind goes to Ephesians 5:23 when the apostle Paul distinguishes Christ as the head of the church. But what's so interesting in that verse is the phrase, “the head of the church.” His body—the church—isn't the result of human ingenuity. The church isn't the result of some entrepreneur's vision. The living Christ is the head of a living organism, and identifying Christ as the church's head denotes that he has sovereign lordship and supreme authority over her.

The Loveliest Place

Dustin Benge

The church—which was created by God, bought by Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit—exists to be a reflection of God’s indescribable love. Learn to see beyond methodology and structure into the church’s eternal beauty with this theologically robust book.

Perhaps your mind would go immediately to Jesus's commissioning of his disciples in Matthew: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” he says.

And so the supremacy of Christ, which was firmly established before creation and exhibited in his incarnation, reigns now—right now—over his church, and, of course, will be eternally established at his return. So the church receives all of its life from Christ and has no life apart from him. They are one. He is the head and we, as the church, are the body.

Dustin Benge is the author of The Loveliest Place: The Beauty and Glory of the Church.

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