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Session 5

Who the church is really all about

Read: Colossians 1:18-23, Ephesians 1:22 , Psalm 118:22, Ephesians 5:22-27

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people cried out for a king, and God gave them one. In the New Testament, God’s people hoped Jesus would save them from oppression by overthrowing the Roman government and becoming their political leader. But it turns out Jesus’ leadership looked a little different than they expected.

God appointed Jesus to be the head of His church (Colossians 1:18-23, Ephesians 1:22). Jesus, who is fully God, is the only one who can adequately lead and love the church. Jesus expressed His love for the church in the way He ultimately laid down His life for her (Ephesians 5:25). 

The church is not a building or organization, but rather a group of people who love and follow Jesus. It’s not one congregation, but many groups meeting all around the world that makes up Jesus’ church. And it’s Jesus, not a pastor or leader, who dictates the church’s teachings and practices. 

God set up and appointed leaders to oversee and care for His people. But if we’re not careful, we can mistakenly heap a burden on human leaders that was only meant for Jesus to carry. Jesus is the one we trust for salvation, and He is the example we follow.  

If we’re not careful, we’ll also forget that our local church is one part of Jesus’ global church. We can get so focused on what’s happening in our own congregations, we begin to see other Christians as our competition rather than our brothers and sisters. Like a team within a bigger team, Jesus’ church is at its best when all of His people are working together under His leadership. 

It’s not wrong to love our church or respect our leaders, but when our zeal for our church is greater than our zeal for the global church, it’s time to reprioritize. Only Jesus deserves the ultimate honor, praise, and glory for what happens among His people (Ephesians 3:21).


  • Why is Jesus a better person to lead the church? 
  • What is one way we can respect and honor human leadership in the church while recognizing Jesus as the ultimate authority? 
  • Have you ever felt like you were in competition with other churches? Is there anyone you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness from?

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