|by Brian A. Yeager
Often times we think of the Church and we fail to remember some important things about it. Sometimes folks forget the purchase price of the Church (Acts 20:28 and Ephesians 5:25), which was the blood of Christ. Sometimes people forget the “oneness” of the Church (Matthew 16:18, I Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 4:4, and Colossians 1:18). Yet, I believe that some Christians fail to remember that the Church is the source of truth. We must recognize that our Savior is truth, the same Savior that gave his life for the Church. A definition of the Head should reveal how the body should follow. (John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The title of this article can be found in the book of First Timothy chapter three and verse fifteen. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” This article is designed to allow us to realize the importance of truth in the Church and the teaching of the Church. Truth should be the identifying mark of the true Lord’s Church.
Warnings of false teachers appear throughout the scriptures. John tells us to try these false teachers. (I John 4:1) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Christ warned us of false teachers. (Matthew 7:15-16) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” There are many that are on television, on radio, in print, and many in pulpits that are wearing sheep’s clothing. Paul mentioned this truth to the Ephesian elders. (Acts 20:28-31) “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember…” We need to heed to those same warnings and watch for those wolves among us.
The Church must be the pillar and ground of truth on the teaching of the Church. Christ in his “Parable of the Sower” taught that one who does not understand the Kingdom (Church) would be lost. (Matthew 13:19) “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” The Church must realize the same truths that the Apostles realized; we simply cannot teach Christ without teaching his body. We have a great example of this in Philip’s teaching. (Acts 8:12) “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
The Church must be the pillar and ground of truth when teaching on Salvation. Christ said that no man could come to the father but by him (John 14:6). As we sought the truth in the necessity of teaching the truth on the Church, we must realize that salvation is in the Church. Paul said by inspiration that Christ is the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). The question must be asked by an honest person, how does one become part of that body? The Bible gives us a definitive answer to that question. To be baptized (John 3:3-5, I Corinthians 12:12-13, and Galatians 3:27). What must one heed to prior to the step of baptism? One must acquire faith (John 8:24), through the hearing of the word of God (Romans 10:14-17). We must be willing to admit and realize that only the truth will set us free (John 8:32). The world must know that only truth will convert, because God’s word is truth. (Ephesians 1:13) “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Colossians 1:5) “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” (I Thessalonians 2:13) “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” Once true faith is acquired repentance (Luke 13:3 and Acts 2:38), and confession must occur (Romans 10:10). At this point one is ready for baptism, and to be a new creature (Romans 6:3-5). Salvation is then left to those who remain faithful (Revelation 2:10). Those who fight the fight, finish the course, and keep the faith (II Timothy 4:7). This is teaching the truth on salvation.
The Church must be the pillar and ground of truth on teaching about issues. Such as marriage, divorce, and re-marriage (Matthew 5:32-33, Matthew 19:9, and I Corinthians 7:10-11). Such as attendance (Hebrews 10:22-25). Such as the woman’s role in the Church (I Timothy 2:11-12 and I Corinthians 14:34-35). Such as the qualifications of elders (Titus 1:5-9 and I Timothy 3:1-13). Such as preaching only God’s word and not opinions (II Timothy 4:2 and Galatians 1:6-12). Such as teaching on the importance of evangelism (Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16). Such as what moves one to be a Christian (Romans 1:16). Such as defending the Church and the truth (Jude 3). Such as practicing and teaching Church discipline (Romans 16:17-18 and II Thessalonians 3:6). Such as instruments of music (Ephesians 5:19). Such as Bible authority being the only authority (II Peter 1:3, Revelation 22:18-19, and Deuteronomy 4:2). Such as fellowship (Ephesians 5:11 and II John 9-11). I could go on and on about the issues the Church needs to stand and deliver the truth on. The Church simply needs to be a “store-house of truth”.
The Church should be the escape from the world, a place where Christians know that only God’s word will be taught. We must be armed with God’s word to keep the Church in the state that it should and shall be. It is time for those who do not proclaim nothing other than the faith once delivered unto the saints to join the ranks of denominationalism outright and to stop pretending to be in that which can only be truth, the Church! Onward Christian soldiers, be prepared to restore to our Savior his bride pure and white.
Copyright 2001 by Brian Yeager
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