SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Tuesday October 22, 1996

He is The Head; We are the Body
(Col. 1:18, 24)

The imagery of Scripture regarding the church that we studied in lesson I indicates that it is more a living organism than an organization. This is not to suggest that the church lacks organization. What combination of substances and functions could be more subtle, complex, or sensitive than that of something alive? Truly the church is the people whose hearts are filled with Christ.

" 'The head of every man is Christ.' God, who put all things under the Saviour's feet, 'gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all.' 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22, 23. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man or be controlled by man."-The Desire of Ages, p. 414.

Why is Christ called the head of the church? Through what agency does Christ, the head, carry out His will? 1 Cor. 12:12, 27, 28.

Christ's body, the church, is the living instrument through which He ministers to the world. Paul emphasized the need for cooperation among the diverse members of the body (1 Cor. 12:14-25). This diversity, instead of being a cause for alarm or frustration, enables the church to serve a world in need of physical, spiritual, and social help. Sanctified unity in diversity results from the presence of the Holy Spirit among us as a body of believers.

What power or influence gives strength and allows the body to grow? Eph. 4:11-16; John 13:34, 35.

"The more closely we resemble our Saviour in character, the greater will be our love toward those for whom He died. Christians who manifest a spirit of unselfish love for one another are bearing a testimony for Christ which unbelievers can neither gainsay nor resist. It is impossible to estimate the power of such an example. Nothing will so successfully defeat the devices of Satan and his emissaries, nothing will so build up the Redeemer's kingdom, as will the love of Christ manifested by the members of the church."--Testimonies, vol. 5,pp.167,168.

How did Christ show love? How can you show love to those around you?