Christ and His Church - Lesson 5

By Stafford North

Christ: The Head of His Body

The Oneness of His Church

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student will appreciate Christ as the originator of the body..
  2. The student will submit to Christ as the authority of the body.
  3. The student will honor Christ as the leader of the body.
  4. The student will serve Christ as the director of the body.
  5. The student will fellowship through Christ as the unifier of the body.


  1. Each student will need a Bible.
  2. The teacher should have access to a chalk board or marker board. NoPowerPoint is given for this lesson. The use of the board is integral to the development of the lesson.
  3. Each student should have access by songbook or printed sheet to sing the song "The Church's One Foundation."


To recognize Christ as the head of the church means many different things. We must appreciate Him, submit to Him, honor Him, serve Him, and fellowship with Him and the other members of the body. The emphasis of this lesson is on our response to Christ as head of the body.

Lesson Plan for the Teacher

(Note: I wish to credit Everett Ferguson's book on The Church of Christ for many of the basic ideas in this lesson.)

Introduction: (10 minutes)

  1. Call the roll, note visitors, and have an opening prayer.
  2. Ask the class what are the three stages of the Kingdom of God.
  3. As time allows, sing The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ Her Lord." Tell the class that as you begin the next lesson, you will ask them to recall today's lesson and to connect it with the song.

Learning Experience: (35 minutes)

  1. The Bible uses many different figures to teach us lessons about the church. Q: What are some of these figures? A: Body, kingdom, family, bride. Today, we will focus on what we can learn from the church as the body of Christ with Him as the head.
  2. Read Colossians 1:16-20. (Write answers on the board.) Q: What words can be used to summarize what this passage teaches about Christ? Think of words that could finish this sentence-Christ is. __. A: Creator. Pre-existing. Sustainer.Head. Beginning. Firstborn. Supreme. God-like. Reconciler. Q: So what does this teach us about the relationship between Christ and the church? A: He is the head of the church. But the emphasis in this passage is on his being "head"because His death and the reconciliation that provided brought the church into existence. He is the creator of the church as He is the creator of everything else. Christ's death and resurrection, then, made the church possible. Q: If Christ is the one who made it possible for us to be in the church by being reconciled toGod through Him, what should our response be to this? A: Appreciation to Him for what He made possible. Q: How can we show this appreciation? A: By our worship-prayers and songs of appreciation to Him. By sharing this good news with others. By our service to Him. (Teacher: Write on the board "Christ is theHead of the Church." Underneath this, start a list-"We appreciate Christ as the originator of the church."
  3. Read Ephesians 1:20-23. Q: What does this passage emphasize about Christ? A: He is head of the church in the sense that God has placed Him in the position of highest authority. No authority can be compared to His. Q: How do we show our submission to Christ as head of the church? A: We accept His teaching, His commands as the final authority. On matters where He has spoken we do not vary. Q: What is an example of this? A: (Maybe such as the following: "No one comes to the Father but by me," or "I will build my church," or "believe and be baptized to be saved," etc. Q: Should the words of the apostles be as authoritative to us as the words of Christ? A: Yes. John 16:13-15, Matthew 28:18-
  4. (Teacher: Write on the board-We submit to Christ as the authority in the church.)
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 6:15-16. Q: What is the basis of Paul's argument here againstChristians being involved in immorality? A: That since I am a member of Christ (His body), I must live in a way that honors Him. Q: What is an example of the action of a subordinate that has dishonored the leader? A: The Israelites' worshipping idols dishonored God. Misconduct on the part of an athlete dishonors her coach. Misconduct on the part of a soldier, dishonors his superior. Misconduct on the part of an employee dishonors her boss and her company. Read Philippians 1:20. Q: How does Paul state his goal in this passage? A: That Christ will be exalted in my body whether by life or death. Q: So how does this principle translate into our daily living? A: That as members of Christ's body we want to honor Him in all we do-at home, at work, in the neighborhood, at school, in athletics. Q: What are specific ways we can honor Him in these places? We are members of the body of Christ and want to honor our head. (Teacher:Write on the board-We honor Christ as our leader.)
  6. Read Romans 12:4-8. Q: What principle does Paul illustrate here by using the"body" concept? A: Each member of the body of Christ has a different function to fill and we should all work together to serve Christ. Read 1 Corinthians 12:24-
  7. Q: What different points does this passage teach about the body? A: All members have an important role to fill in the body. There should be no division in the body. All the members of the body should have concern for one another and help one another. Q: Use a work of this congregation to illustrate this body principle in action. A: (Maybe your benevolent work, or your mission work, or your education program.) Q: So what do we learn about our own roles in the body from this passage? A: We are all to find our way to serve; we are to do it well; we are to work together; we are to appreciate the work of everyone else. (Teacher: Write on the board-We serve Christ as the director of the body.)


Applications have been suggested along with each point. Review these as time allows.


Study the song "The Church's One Foundation" as you begin the next class period.

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