One Body of Christ Part 8
“For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office, so we who are many are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5 “For as the body in one and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12
Here the church is represented as a body, and is compared to a human body. In thinking of a body, the following divisions and relations suggest themselves; the head, the body; the members of the body, the relation of members to each other, and to the head. These divisions and relationships are found in the church. Jesus is head of the one body. God made Him head, “when He raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power, and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:20-23 “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” Colossians 1:18 The head is the guide to the body and the source of wisdom. It is the law making power. It controls the movements and actions of the body. Hence the authority of Jesus Christ in the church is absolute! His authority is above all other authority, and from it there sin NO APPEAL!! He alone has the right to make laws for the church. We HAVE NO RIGHT, therefore, singularly or collectively, to legislate for the church, or to try to regulate by our own authority man’s duties in religion!! To so do is to presume prerogatives that belong to Christ AND HIM ALONE!! It is approaching dangerously near the presumptuous sin to presume the right or qualification to govern, guide, or set principles for that which is not yours. Yet men aspire to rule where they have not been invited to counsel!! Jesus met with this spirit in His own followers. :”And there was also strife among them, over which of them should be accounted the greatest, And He said unto them, ‘the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But you shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief as he that doth serve.” Luke 22:24-26 No member of the body is to exercise authority over another; but all alike are to submit to the Head, even Christ!! What about man who neither created nor designed man trying to take over what HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MAKING?? What about man who would try to correct the Son of Man??
Why should I assume authority over my brother? Am I wiser than he? Has God delegated ME the right to rule my brother, to say what he shall believe or not believe, do or not do?? Have I been wiser than he and have NEVER sinned?? Have I lived in a fuller relationship with God than he, and so counsel him? Therefore, I cannot be a part of a body of men no matter what it is called, whose object is to make laws for the body of Christ!! Neither are we under obligations to submit to those who do!! We are under obligations not to submit to them if the truth is known. All man-made creeds, disciplines, prayer-books, and religious experiences are relegated to nothingness compared to the Word of God. In taking Jesus as our Lord, we pledge ourselves not to submit to any of them!! Peter and John in Acts 4 and 5 were commanded not to preach any more in the name of Christ. What did they say? What would you have said? Should there be any difference?? Found in written Word, no man can change it!!