THE CHURCH OF GOD
Friday, 16 November 2018
1 Timothy 3 : 1-16
“…I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 3:15
God’s plan for the Church is revealed in the Bible. In Matt. 16:18 Jesus said that the Church is His: “I will build My Church.” Acts 20:28: “… to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” The Church is a place where Jesus will be present: “…For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matt.18:20) In 2Cor6:16 God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them…”. The Church is where the Holy Spirit will manifest in glory.
In our reading, Church is portrayed as the “household of God”, “church of the living God”, “pillar and support of truth.” Understanding the nature of church will enable us to align (conduct) our lives accordingly and be effective.
Household: A family – a relationship not religion
A house has a code of conduct, it has certain laid down boundaries, otherwise it is not a family, but a club! What makes the family different from other social gatherings is that it is founded on relationships and values. A church is a place where spiritual babies are born and nurtured. Even the office bearers are called “elders” – it is a family where spiritual “fathers” and “elders” take care of the younger ones and brothers and sisters involve in the family’s affairs; where corrections are given; help is extended; discipline is demanded and love and respect flow!
There is a belonging developed in the heart of the believer to his church - because it has become his second family. Dear brother/sister are you a happy member of this family? When your church becomes your family, corrections are given and received in love and that’s how growth happens!
Church of the living God: Divine ownership, not human; Organism not organisation He is alive, so His church is alive
Another area of significance is that the church belongs to God Almighty. In 1Corinthinas 11:22 Apostle Paul asks the question to believers of the church at Corinth “do you despise the church of God?” The ownership of the church (local as well as universal) rests with God – therefore it should not be despised. The way we behave in the church will demonstrate how we regard it – the believers in Corinth were eating and drinking in church as if they would do in their own homes – as though nobody else were present. They ignored others and the less privileged, which is contrary to the principles of the Kingdom of God, where everyone is equal. When we show partiality in the church, we are despising the church and thereby despising God who owns it. Church does not belong to a Pastor or a congregation, Jesus Christ established it on earth and it belongs to Him!
Further, the church belongs to “the living God.” He is alive and hence His church is also alive. That makes the church an organism – it is no more an organisation. Denominations and statutory registrations are human-made, which may be required for proper functioning of the church in a democratic setup – but that does not define the ultimate status of the church. As a living organism, a church as to show the signs of life – it has to grow, it has to react to its environment, it has to have its functions defined!
Dear reader, know that you are part of a church that is owned by God and that your church is a living organism where life manifests – be a part of that life and conduct in reverence to its owner!
Pillar and Support of truth: Place to learn truth and practice truth, where divine values are upheld
A pillar serves the crucial function of holding the structure and maintaining its integrity. Church should become a platform to declare the truth of the Word and it should become the place where believers will be taught and trained in the Word. Therefore, the church should become the place where the Word is practised.
Pastors/Leaders - how do you perceive and run the affairs of your church? Brethren, is your church the basic place of learning the Word, for you?
Food for Thought:
“A HEALTHY CONGREGATION MAKES A HEALTHY CHURCH.”
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