Christ’s Role As The Head Of The Body
In Ephesians and Colossians, Paul presents Christ’s role as head of the body more “completely” than he does with the Corinthian and Romans passages. In the Corinthians and Romans passages Christ is conceived as the whole body of which individual Christians are particular members. In Ephesians and Colossians the church is conceived as the “body” of which Christ is the “head.” Christ as the head lends us to understand that the body’s very existence depends upon Him as its ruler, savior, and sustainer. As such, there are very distinct roles that Christ has as the head.
Just as the head gives guidance to the human body, Christ as the head of the church gives direction to the body. Ephesians 1:22-23 confirms that Christ isn’t just head over the church, but over everything. (Ephesians 1:22-23). Inasmuch as there is only one body, there can, obviously, be but one head. Any other arrangement would be a “monstrosity!” The reason Christ is the head is because, as Colossians 1:18 tells us, “he was the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy!” The human body never directs the head and the church body doesn’t direct Christ. It is inconceivable to think that the human foot would coordinate its movement without getting direction from the brain. In the same manner, it’s impossible for the body of the church to move effectively and with power outside of the direction the head (Christ) gives to the body. Tweet This
Another of Christ’s role as He relates to the body is to love His body. When Paul explains to the Ephesians that “husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies” in essence he is saying that because Christ is the head of the body, He will love the body as Himself. His love for the body is a sacrificial love. He is more interested in the church’s best interest than He was His own. He told his disciples before He was crucified that “greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
According to Ephesians 5:25-29, there is a third role that Christ has to the body. It is the role of one who feeds and nourishes the body to help it to grow. This is accomplished through the Word of God and the Spirit of God. In the natural sense, the head is the physical location that nourishment is taken in so the body can grow and thrive. Through the Word and Spirit the body of Christ grows. The body of Christ grows as each one does their part. A member who is doing their individual part will contribute to the spiritual growth of the whole body as well as a building up of love in the body.