…the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
“Church” is a mind-blowing idea! First, God calls us his “household.” He’s calling us his family!!! Then he promises that he will live among us. The church is where God’s presence dwells. And finally, the church’s role is to support and hold up the gospel to the world…to be the “pillar and buttress of truth.”
What an amazing calling!!! He doesn’t call us as individuals to reach the world with the gospel…No!! He calls us as members of his church! We are not supposed to do it alone.
This idea of living covenantally is not unique to the New Testament but originates in God’s Covenant Promises given in the Old Testament. God’s promise to establish a people for himself, “that He shall be their God, and they shall be His people” is a promise that weaves its way throughout all of Scripture. This promise manifests itself in God’s holy nation of Israel and then expands to the nations in the New Testament and includes all the members of His Kingdom, namely, His church.
In Psalm 14, David prays – not for individuals to be saved – but for community salvation!!
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad (Psalm 14:7).
Our culture is so individualistic that it’s hard to comprehend the importance of our role in the church body – but the church is extremely important to God…so important that Paul takes great care to instruct Timothy how to both lead and organize it…how to choose men for elders and deacons, how to fight false teaching, and finally, Paul affirms Timothy’s calling to lead God’s church – despite his youth.
God’s church is the vehicle through which he spreads his gospel to the world! It’s a mind-bending strategy…completely foreign to this world, yet you are called to be a part of it…
God is calling you to forsake your individual rights and throw your lot in with other redeemed sinners. He promises to dwell among you and change the world through you collectively. It’s not a popular way-of-life and will certainly be difficult. But it’s God’s idea and God’s calling… Are you in?