A STUDY IN COLOSSIANS – (Colossians 1:10-20)
In preparing for this week’s blog, I came upon this story that illustrated my blog-title.
In August 1994, a Korean Air Jet skidded across a rain-soaked runway, running into a safety barricade while landing in Cheju, Korea. All 160 passengers escaped safely moments before the plane exploded into flames. What could cause such an accident? According to news reports, the PILOT and the CO-PILOT had got into a fist fight…over who was in charge of the landing controls. I don’t know about you, but I would have thought it would have been covered in the Flight Manual!!!
The main thing I wanted to point out in this story is that NOBODY knew who was in charge…and the CONFUSION that arose, resulted in absolute CHAOS & DESTRUCTION.
So, Who IS In Charge Here?
This question is important to answer in almost every situation. When we don’t know who has the final say…who’s is ultimately IN CHARGE, we become left with confusion and frustration.
For example…who should be in charge in the CHURCH?
The Bible is very clear with the answer:
Colossians 1:16-18 (Amplified Bible – AMP):
For is was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen; whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; ALL THINGS were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.  And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).  He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent].
Now that could sum up the answer to “Who Is In Charge Here?” in just THREE VERSES! But I want to expound my thought process even further.
Every Church Has Structure –
No matter what the church denomination might be, a CHURCH has structure to it. And every local assembly has people who are so designated to run the day to day affairs.
In Scripture, we can find that the FIRST CHURCH had…
- Elders–also called Shepherds of Pastors.
- Preachers or evangelists.
- Teachers (like me).
- And all kinds of ministries within the church setting.
QUESTIONS: “That’s all very informative…but who’s IN CHARGE?”
That would be JESUS.
“No…I mean, who has the AUTHORITY in the church?”
That would be JESUS.
“No, no no…who has the FINAL SAY in the church?”
That again, would be JESUS!!!
Now if you are asking, Who makes the day to day decisions in the local congregation…that would be the ELDERS/DEACONS and…they are to get input from the Lead Pastor, his associates and everyone else within the body of Christ–the Church.
God has given the Elders a very important responsibility –
Their job is to take care of the Bride of Christ (the church)…to protect her from heresy and false doctrine and immorality.
These are the PROTECTORS of God’s family here on earth. This is why God wanted His Elders to be good fathers and husbands (1 Timothy 3:1-5). In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he refers to the term “elder,” “bishop,” “superintendent overseer.” Paul also refers to the Elders at Ephesus as “overseer”, likewise in Titus 1:7.
So, it seems to be a synonym for the term “ELDER”: A GOOD FATHER and HUSBAND; one who will have experience protecting their own family. They should know how to LOVE God’s children.
Since the Church Belongs to Jesus…
The Elders must ALWAYS make their decision based upon what they think JESUS would want–because the church doesn’t belong to the ELDERS.
And the Elders (along with preachers and teachers and other leaders in the church) will be accountable at the day of judgment on how they treated the Bride of Christ.
I am at fault here, by not continually lifting up our Elders in prayer and to encourage them wherever and whenever possible. I am going to start doing this today!
JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH!!!
I have given you the importance of how the Elders and our church leaders’ needs of keeping JESUS as the head.
BUT, How About the Rest of Us?
How can we know, whether WE have allowed JESUS to be the Head of His Church ?
One ANSWER…JESUS earned the Right!
As Colossians 1:16-18 tells us, “…in Him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; ALL THINGS were created and exist through Him…and in and for Him.”
JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, because that’s His RIGHT!
But there’s another answer to the question of “Who Shall Have the Final Say” in the Church? Who’s in charge?
The ANSWER is, that Jesus being the head of the Church, should always have the final say because that’s the way God DESIGNED the Church to function.
I was reading an article in The New York Times – Altering Your Engine With New Chips, by Jim Motavalli. It was about a man who owned a Porsche 944 Turbo and wanted to increase the horsepower. He decided to install himself, a business-card size electronic part–a so-called “performance chip” designed to reprogram the car’s engine control module and giving the Porsche a “power boost”. And it appeared to do the job–he gained 40 HP at first, but by taking charge of and installing the power boost himself…it all blew up in his face; $7000.00 damage and voided the auto’s warranty.
I saw a poignant parallel between this story and what occurs when we try to alter the performance of the local church, forgetting Who IS really in charge!
It is only when JESUS is the “HEAD OF THE CHURCH” that the church will ever run right.
Just before the apostle Paul introduces the idea of Jesus as the HEAD of the Church, he says this:
“That you may walk, (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God…that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory… (Colossians 1:10-11; AMP bible).
When Jesus is the One Who Is In Charge of The Church…this is what you get:
#1. You are EMPOWERED to live a life worthy of your LORD.
#2. You can PLEASE HIM in every way.
#3. You can BEAR FRUIT in every good work.
#4. You can GROW IN KNOWLEDGE of God.
#5. And be STRENGTHENED with ALL POWER of God.
How often have I tried to FIX things over my life–in the workplace, in the family, and yes, the church as well. And when I can’t…like the owner of the Porsche, it eventually ‘BLEW UP” in my face; effecting not only my own spiritual life, but those close around me; from my frustration and anger, I was disrupting their spiritual lives.
When we don’t allow JESUS to be the Head of our lives, the Head of the Church, that is UNHEALTHY!
In Galatians 5, we’re told what constitutes SPIRITUAL HEALTH –
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious…hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy… (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Notice the difference between the “acts of the sinful nature” and the Fruit of the Spirit.” SINFUL NATURE is filled with ANGER and FRUSTRATION. But the Fruit of the Spirit has no anger and no strife…there is no contention.
Because when we [“I”] bear the Fruit of the Spirit, JESUS is in charge. He’s our head!
When He is in charge we trust Him to control the situation we are personally dealing with.
Refreshment Is Always A Good Thing!
This week in my study and mediation of Colossians 1, I had to relearn some things about myself– I needed some refreshing. Okay, not “some”, but a lot of refreshment.
When JESUS is IN a Church–people change. When He is in charge of my life, your life, we become different…we are transformed by His presence and His power
Who has the final say in your church and in your life today? I HOPE it is JESUS!
Photos: Google Image Search.
Bible Concordance: The NIV Complete Concordance by Edward W. Goodrick & John R. Kohlenberger 111.
Bible Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.