Monday, January 7, 2013

The Community of Truth (1 Timothy 3:14-16)

In the middle of his letter to Timothy, Paul throws in a line about why he is writing. In doing so, he also presents three good pictures of what the community of believers is:

Household. This is more than mere family. In the context of the culture Paul is writing in, this includes everyone—family, friends, and in some cases the “help”—that shared life together. This is a good picture for believers today. Real “church” is not something you just schedule and attend; it happens wherever life occurs.

Assembly. This is the word that gets translated as church, but it really means a gathering or assembly. Even in the Bible this word is not always used to describe gatherings of believers. What it never is is a particular building. It is always a group of people.

A Pillar that holds up “The Truth.” This is where the crux of Paul’s purpose in writing lies. We have already observed this before being told. In fact, it is a large part of Paul’s motivation in writing all of the content he authored in the New Testament. The church is not simply about community. It is a community built around a truth. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus:

“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.” 

Everything else—even other Biblical teaching—is secondary.

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