Bible Basics: Who Is The Head Of The Church?

By Earl Robertson

Newspaper stories and TV news reports recently have emphasized the changing of heads of the Catholic Church. Pope Paul VI died and Pope John Paul I took his place as the head of the Roman church. Now if the Roman Catholic church is truly the church of Christ, as she claims, it poses a great difficulty. The apostle Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit of God, wrote the Ephesians concerning action of God at the resurrection of Christ and His coronation “which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and bath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23).

How is it possible that a mere human being could arrogate to oneself the power, might, and dominion essential for the headship of the church of Christ? My blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is seated at the right hand of God, regally crowned and enthroned as the “one Potentate, the King of kings, the Lord of lords” is the one and only head of the church of Christ! The Roman Catholic church is not the church of Christ. If it were of Christ, Christ would be its head; but since it is not of Christ, the Pope is its universal head. The church of Christ is of Christ and Christ is its head.

When Jesus was raised from the dead, He declared, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18b). This power was given to Christ; He did not presumptuously assume such. Peter says that Jesus “Is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Pet. 3:22). God alone was excluded when He put all things under the feet of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

What the whole world needs to do is give up denominationalism and religious practices not found and authorized by the word of God and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, which Paul says is God’s power to save the believer (Rom. 1:16). When so saved, the Lord will add you to His church (Acts 2:47). Let Christ by the head!

Truth Magazine XXIV: 8, p. 137
February 21, 1980