Who we are, what we believe and how we behave

A civilian defense official, drawing up plans for billeting space in his city in case of a bomb attack, asked the pastor of a large church how many people could sleep in the church building. “I don’t know,” replied the pastor, “but we sleep 1400 every Sunday … More


Our text is a key passage in this book. Three terms surface in these verses that help us understand the message of I Timothy. These can be summed up in the words church, godliness and conduct. These three words in these three verses explain who we arewhat we believe and how we behave. All of these ideas are interrelated.

First, who we are. Paul gives three pictures of the church:

1. The House of God (v. 15). That is a term of intimacy. It means family. It is not an accident that in scripture believers refer to one another as brothers and sisters. The attitude of family affects how we view one another, and how dependent we are on one another. You are just as much a part of the family whether you are together or scattered.

2. The Church of the Living God (v. 15). This is a term of majesty. The word “church“ in Greek means “assembly” or those “called out.” There are different kinds of “assemblies,” but the church is the assembly of the living God. It is not just any family. It is God’s family.

3. The Pillar and Ground of the Truth (v. 15). This is a term of Normalcy Both pillars and foundations hold things up. Pillars however are visible. Foundations are not.

(a) Pillars hold up part of the roof structure but mostly provide a stately appearance for the building. We who are the family of God are what the world sees first and either decorate the truth of God or detract from it.

(b) The foundation is probably more important than the pillars but less visible. If it gives way the whole structure may tumble. 


It is my desire to be both a pillar and a foundation in the church. As a pillar I want to provide a stately appearance for Christ and at the same time help provide a strong foundation for His Word.    

I Timothy 3:14-16 (English Standard Version)

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

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