Tonight at bible study we spend some time studying part of Colossians 1:18. We spent most of our time tonight studying the text, “And he is the head of the body, the church.” It was great stuff. I’m going to share some of the questions posed tonight when I get my notebook that I forgot. Nevertheless, time spent studying who Christ is and his relationship to the church is always time well spent. We concluded, a reading of the Scriptures will lead to this conclusion, that the church belongs to Christ and her end along with all of creation is to bring glory to Christ. Joey shared a quote from Dr. Danny Akin tonight, “Christ is sovereign over creation because he created it. Christ is Lord over the church because he saved it.” Its the message of the Bible, Jesus is Lord. Colossians is just this beautiful epistle of Paul’s that is saturated with Christology.
Part of Bible study is being able to include other trees in the forest when you’ve got one before you. The tree tonight was, “And he is the head of the body, the church.” But, there is the forest of scripture to examine. We spent some time reading from Revelation 3:14-22. Its a great Epistle from Christ to the church at Laodicea that is applicable to the church today. The church in Laodicea was convinced they were sustaining themselves. They were found wealthy in the world’s eyes, and indeed their own. But the truth is, apart from Christ we stand poor in much need of grace. But the Lord is steadfast in love and slow to anger. He offers the church at Laodicea repentance, to turn to him for sustenance. The same is true for us today. We need not rest in our own strength, or boast in our own wisdom, rather let us be humble before God and give him thanks and trust in his works.
One of the most beautiful things in Scripture is the relationship between Christ and his church. In Laodicea we hear the words of the Savior that if we turn from our own self-dependence and look to him for our every thing. He’ll have fellowship with us of the closest kind. This is more than a gracious gift in and of itself, to be able to have fellowship with Christ. But he not only offers that, he has his church reigning with him sitting in a seat of favor and authority. “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21) All of this because of the work of Christ. Paul speaks of the same thing and gives thanks to God for it in his Epistle to the Ephesians:
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:16-23
When Christ calls his church, he calls them to himself and gives them the greatest gift he could ever give: the gift of himself. He gives us life through his work of redemption and regeneration. Christ reigns over law, sin, and death. He sits enthroned with God, and bestows countless blessings upon his church. In his conquering of sin, he sets us free from its bonds. In his seating with the Father, he calls his church to reign with him. We created to bring him glory through the demonstration of his grace, which is all together overwhelming.
We need not the things of this world or to rely on ourselves when we trust in Christ, his promises, and his blessings. For all we need we find in him. What can be offered that is better than Christ? What position or authority could the world offer better than to be seated with Christ?
What joy should fill our souls when we come across such sweet words, “But God,” in Paul’s letter. No longer left dead in our trespasses and sins in which we once walked following the course of this world subject to the prince of the power of the air. No, Christ doesn’t leave his bride there. He intervenes as only he can. But God, being rich in mercy…because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
What immeasurable riches he has bestowed. Church, might we be about Christ, our living head, our cornerstone, our foundation, our fullness, our sustainer, our Savior, our Lord, and our treasure.
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. – Revelation 1:4-7