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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Who's in Charge? (Part 4)

This is the most important "Who's in Charge?" post of all.  (Note: I'm going to make this into two posts.  It got too long for one!  Final - Part 5 - will be next.) The others are important, but without this one, nothing in your life and my life will run smoothly.  There will be chaos....lots of chaos.  This post has to do with our spiritual lives and the church.

Who is in charge of your life?  You or God?  Do you follow where you want to or do you follow Jesus? My prayer is that you follow Jesus.  Live according to the Word - God's Word - the Bible.  If you follow Jesus and use the Bible for your only standard of what is right and wrong, your life will be blessed.  Your life won't be problem-free always, but you will be better equipped to face those problems because you'll know that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are right there with you every step of the way.  That is the most important thing - to have God in charge of your life.

Secondly is that you know who is in charge of the church. There's not some man-made organization giving rules and creeds.  That wasn't God's plan. Search out the truth in God's Word. God's plan was for the church to be "built" - not with bricks and lumber, but by souls...followers of Jesus. Jesus said early in His ministry that He would build His church - and He did. He knew nothing could destroy the church - not even Satan with his evil ways.  The church will be here until Jesus comes back.  The church is never given a name in the Bible, but is described in many different ways. Some of them are priesthood, body of Christ, flock, kingdom, church of God, church of the firstborn, church of the saints, churches of Christ, God's household, the church at ______ (town), etc. (For scripture references, message me and I'll send them to you!)

So, who is the head of the church?  Who's in charge? God made Jesus the head of the church:

 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. 
Ephesians 1:22-23

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstbornfrom among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 
Colossians 1:15-20

Spiritually speaking, and given as one of the descriptions above, the church is the body of Christ. This symbolism is by no accident. In a body we see unity and harmony. If not, we see disease and death. In our bodies, it is our heads that govern and rule the rest of the body. Without our heads, the body could not function. Also, it is by our head on our body that others recognize us. The rest of my body might and often does change, but my head never changes. It identifies me as who I am. I can lose an arm or leg and still exist, but I cannot lose my head and live. This symbolism is very strong and we must recognize the power that God has given to the head of the church - Jesus Christ.  This relationship is described in the scriptures below.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 
Ephesians 5:22-32

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:4-5

 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 
1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Part 5 of "Who's in Charge?" will talk about leadership within the local church.

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