“you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15 NIV
As followers of Christ we are to hold fast to the truth of the gospel. Jesus Christ “appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16). The church itself is not the truth, but it supports the truth. It is like a pillar of a building. Have you ever seen pillars on really nice houses? I have, and they can be pretty magnificent! This imagery would not be lost on the Ephesians who Timothy was pastoring. In Ephesus was one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The temple of Artemis, the greek goddess of fertility and the hunt. This amazing feat of architecture was held up by 127 pillars, each given by a king in an act of worship. These pillars all supported the roof over the temple. You can see artist renditions of the temple by doing a rudimentary google image search. I find it quite interesting that Paul used this imagery for the church, especially the church in Ephesus who was having such issues with false teaching. This was partially due to the influence of Greek culture and mythology. Paul’s argument is that the people who have been given the truth of Christ, the truth of the Gospel are the pillars who are to support that truth. We, the church, are the pillars of this truth. The foundation for how this truth is to be held up in the world. Those whom the Lord has revealed Himself to as “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) are commissioned then to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19) Jesus is the truth. Together, the church supports and upholds the truth. In the gospel of John, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32). When we hold on to his teachings, then we are his disciples. Only after we hold fast to his teachings will we know the truth, and then the truth will set us free!
Putting it into Practice
In what ways is our culture today making it extremely difficult to witness to the truth? How are you doing in holding fast to the truth?
Father God, today we ask for more of your wisdom and truth. May you give us the strength to continue in that truth, to uphold and support the truth of the good news you have entrusted to us. May you give us boldness to proclaim this truth of salvation through Christ alone to a lost and dying world who is in desperate need of healing. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.