Thursday, January 08, 2009

Returning to 1 Timothy 3:15 we move from the requirements in John 4:24 for true worship to a statement of purpose. The church is to be the pillar and support of the truth. It seems clear from the passage that Paul is speaking of the local church since that is where Timothy must "conduct" himself in his ministry. The imagery suggests the purpose. The local church is to elevate or hold up the truth. No surprise there, as we find through out the scriptures repeated instructions to proclaim, demonstrate and declare the truth about God and His Son Jesus.

What strikes me here is the singular purpose Paul places on the local church. Paul's use of the difinite article with truth tells us he is not speaking of truth in general, but in the particular. That being the content of v. 16:

He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

As individuals our lives are cluttered with other demands. The need to make a living and provide for our daily needs consumes much of our energy. Family responsibilities take up even more of that precious resource we call time. That is the way it is for the individual believer, but when we join together as the local church we are tasked with the one clear purpose of upholding the truth.

When the local church expends its resources in activities that do not contribute to that purpose is the structure weaken?

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