November 20, 2023
“And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
This is the second of a three-part series based on the message given at the opening of the PCA’s first General Assembly in 1973. The message was delivered by Ruling Elder Jack Williamson and can be found in its entirety here.
We represent the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the King and Head of the Church. As his ambassadors to the watching world, we must let this mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus. Let men everywhere notice in us the three effects of nearness to Jesus – humility, happiness and holiness. History teaches us that in prior church divisions, those who come out tend to become hard. They tend to become absolutists even in the lesser points of doctrine. Francis Schaeffer points out that “One must realize that there is a great difference between believing in absolutes and having an absolutist mentality about everything.”
True humility is the answer to this problem – for it is caused by thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. Our Lord demonstrated the proper approach when he washed the disciples’ feet on the night he was betrayed. Now I’m not advocating “footwashing.” But I am suggesting that we need the Holy Spirit to help us discern the difference between those things that are revealed in Scripture and those things that are the product of our human pride and opinion.
In the former, we must not compromise; but in the latter, we must learn true humility to be in subjection to our brethren in the Lord. We must put away our former mentality of being suspicious of our fellow churchmen; and we must trust and believe our brothers until and unless they prove otherwise. Our Lord came to minister; and so must we. The grace of humility should abound in us.
Also happiness should pervade our existence. We should rejoice and be exceeding glad. God has given to this select group an opportunity to witness to His glory the likeness of which men have not had in many generations. What a privilege it is to have been born for such a time as this.
We have the answer to life and death. Christ is the answer. He came to give us the truly abundant life. Yes. there shall be trials and tribulations. But we should be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. We serve a risen Saviour. He is in this world today. He walks with us and talks with us along life’s weary way. We must be happy and glad. And we should seek to be holy even as God is holy. We have set ourselves as spectacles before this watching world. We bear the name of “Christian.”