“And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
This single sentence declares two remarkable and timeless truths about Christ and His church.
First, Christ is the head of the church in all things. When it comes to religious authority, Christ has the final say in everything. This is one simple, yet comprehensive, reason why a baptized disciple of Christ (a member of His church) is to be taught to observe all things Jesus commanded the apostles (Matthew 28:19-20). The church Jesus bought and built is not a democracy where everyone gets his say, nor is it a social club where its bylaws, rules of order, or code of conduct is determined by its members.
Second, the church is Christ’s body. In a healthy person, one’s head always governs the actions of his body. The body’s function is to fulfill every desired action the brain seeks to accomplish. Just as Jesus’ physical body was used to do and teach certain things, His spiritual body—the church—is to continue “all that Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1).
Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). His body is to do good to all, especially to those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). This does not imply a social gospel, because Jesus’ primary focus was upon the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:38). He declared that all men needed to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15). The message of universal repentance and the remission of sins remains the primary proclamation of His body (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38, 17:30-31).