In his letter to the “saints and faithful brethren in Christ in Colossae ,” the apostle Paul expressed many thought-provoking comments about Christ’s role as the head of the Church. For Paul, the Church and Christ were one and the same. “He is the head of the body, the Church … Colossians 1:18. It is through Christ that a person can be brought into a relationship with the Father – a state of being reconciled. This reconciliation of humans to the spiritual Father produces what we know as the Church.
The Church is not a building, nor is it an organization – although it is organized. The Church is a spiritual body made up of people who have God’s Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:9 ) . For what purpose would God raise up a spiritual body with Christ at the head? If no man can come to Christ except the Father draw him (John 6:44), doesn’t this appear to be a form of elitism – the inclusion of a few and rejection of the many?
In actual fact, God’s selection of people to form His Spiritual Body is part of a much larger plan or purpose which involves all mankind. Paul further explains that the body of Christ (the Church) is for the purpose of fulfilling the restoration of a relationship with the Father. Through Christ, the Father is reconciling all things to Himself (Colossians 1:20). A key to this understanding is the idea of fullness – that which fills up or makes complete. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (verse 19). The same word is used in Mark 6:43 in regard to the filling of twelve baskets of fragments of fish after the feeding of about five thousand people. The baskets were completely filled up.
The Church is the fullness of the Father. As the body of Christ it represents the fullness of the Godhead – made complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). The Church is to represent completeness, the epitome of God’s purpose of restoring a relationship with mankind. Man is brought into a reconciled relationship with the Father by being called and receiving the Holy Spirit. This relationship is to witness to the world the harmony, peace and unity that exist between the Father and His Son.
The body of Christ is to, “… endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all and in you all” Ephesians 4:3-6.
By Brian Orchard