Jesus, the Head of the Church
Jesus, the Head of the Church
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23), that is His Body. The Church should live, that is, practice this doctrine, seeking the counsel of the Lord, asking for His directions, consulting the Lord in everything that is important for the fulfillment of God’s Work and renouncing human plans. It is the will of the Lord that His servants and His Church seek to know His plan for the edification of the Church. The mission of the Holy Spirit is to reveal this plan.
There are beautiful examples in the Scriptures of servants who depended upon the Lord, who did nothing without a clear direction from the Lord. The Lord took extreme pleasure in these servants, and testified of His pleasure. In relation to David, who consulted the Lord in everything, God said: “I have found David, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will!”
Moses was another example of a servant who did not make any relevant decision without consulting the Lord before. Regarding him, the Lord testified: With Moses, my servant, I will speak face to face.” No other prophet had such level of fellowship with the Lord.
In order to allow the Lord Jesus to rule over the Church, in the New Testament God decided to baptize His servants with the Holy Spirit – youth, adults, elders – in the latter days. As a consequence of this baptism, His servants would have visions, dreams and prophecies (Joel 2:28). Curiously, there is no mention of tongues or healing in this fundamental prophecy that was mentioned by Peter in his first message (Acts 2). However, there are indications of the gifts that allow the Lord to communicate with His Church, and reveal His will.
The gifts Joel mentions, however, were left to the second plan in the 20th Century, and the Christian churches started to value the gifts of tongues and healing, more. Moreover, it can be noticed that prophecies, visions and dreams started to refer to particular needs of the believers, and not to transmit directions from the Lord regarding the functions and needs of the Church.
The gifts were also used to reveal the will of the Lord regarding His Work In the apostolic era. There are examples of this in the spiritual gifts through which the Lord revealed to Cornelius that he should call Peter at his house (Acts 10:3-6), directed Philip to preach to the Ethiopian eunuch (8:26, 28), revealed the hidden sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-4), ordained Ananias to visit Paul and pray for him (Acts 9:10-16), revealed to Peter not to hesitate, but to preach the gospel to the gentiles in the house of this centurion (Acts 10:9-16 and 19-20), revealed to Paul that he should not preach the gospel in Asia nor in Bithynia, but in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10), revealed to the Church that the statutes of the Old Testaments should be observed by the gentiles who converted (Acts 15:28, 29), Paul was directed to go up to Jerusalem to submit his teachings to the apostles (Galatians 2:1-2), the Lord revealed that He had chosen Timothy for the Ministry of the Word (II Ti 4:14), etc.
If the Church nowadays wants to have similar experiences to the ones at the times of the apostles, it needs to understand that the Lord Jesus should become in practice – and not only in theory – the Head of the Church. In the written Word of God, we have the doctrine and the general orientations for the edification of the Church. But through the spiritual gifts, the Lord teaches His Church the specific applications of the doctrine and the orientations that are applicable to a church in particular with practical advice for the pastors and for the daily life of the Church. It is, therefore, through the spiritual gifts that the Lord Jesus reveals the details of His project of edification of the Church. Under the supervision of the pastors, the specific instructions transmitted through the spiritual gifts are tested (I Tes. 5:10-21) and the gifts are applied with wisdom (I Cor 14:20, 40).