If you google “something is wrong with the church” you’ll get 216 million results in .55 seconds.
Quickly perusing the articles, the answers carry a similar theme.
“5 stupid things the church needs to quit doing.”
“Anatomy of a sick church:10 Symptoms to watch.”
“7 Things We Get Wrong About Worship.”
“12 Reasons Millennials are Over Church.”
“And “What’s Wrong With the Church? It’s You!”
According to the “experts”, there is a lot wrong with the church. And if you’re on facebook you read many pejorative, derogatory, and demeaning comments about the church.
Yet, the Bible speaks of the church that Christ promised to build, as being “bought with His blood.” Metaphorically described as “the bride of Christ” that He loves. And identified in Scripture as the “Body of the saved” (Ax 2:47; 1 Cor 12:13).
In I Timothy 3:15, Paul speaks positively of the church as paramount and important in our lives.
“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
From this text, we learn several important facts.
(1) The Church belongs to God.
He planned it. Purposed it. And predestinated it from the beginning of time (Eph. 3:10-11). He sent Christ to die for it and made Him to be the head of the church (Ax 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23). Let’s be careful about being critical of that which belongs to the Lord.
(2) The Church is a Family.
The church is not a building. A social organization. Or a human institution. The church is about people. Saved people. Like Paul and Timothy. Peter and John. And me and you.
“House of God” speaks to the familial relationship we enjoy in the church. God is our Father. Jesus Christ is our elder brother. And we are all brothers and sisters in the same spiritual Family. We’re a family where close relationships are developed. Where mutual love should abound. Where generosity and sharing are practiced. Where spiritual growth is encouraged. Where individual talents are developed. And where protection is offered and healing can occur.
We are a family that supports one another. Cares for one another. Forgives one another. Helps one another. Accepts one another. And encourages one another.
(3) The Church Supports the Truth
The expression “pillar and ground” conjures up an architectural image with which Timothy could relate. The great temple of Diana at Ephesus had 127 pillars. The word “ground” suggests a bulwark or buttress that supports the building.
In a world that rejects Truth or says that truth is relative, the church should be holding forth the Truth so everyone can see it. We uphold, support and protect the Truth.
While some churches have failed to hold fast to the words of sound doctrine, it the responsibility of the Lord’s church to stand for and defend the Truth of God’s Word.
(4) We Should Behave Ourselves.
I remember as a kid when I was unruly my mom saying “behave yourself.” I knew what that meant. Our Heavenly Father is issuing the same exhortation to those of us in His Family. Behave.
Our conduct should reflect favorably on Him whom we serve, the commands of Scripture, and our fellow brothers and sisters. The Bible teaches our conduct ought to be good, holy, honorable, respectful and pure (Jas.3:13; 1 Pet. 1:15; 2:12; 3:2).
Let’s treat spiritual family members with kindness, consideration, and compassion. Express love. Show respect. And don’t talk disparagingly about your fellow brothers and sisters who also belong to the family of God.
God desires that we belong to the Church. Don’t dismiss what God declares as His holy Family.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman