Below you will find the first of several articles on the importance of the local church. The Lord has impressed upon my heart to share what the Bible has to say about the church. During our Wordfest, I will be writing many articles on the subject of the church. Get ready to learn, grow and be inspired!
Text: 1Timothy 3:14-15
“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly;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.”
The apostle Paul asked Timothy to abide in Ephesus, to remain at the local church, to address those that were teaching false doctrine and to set the church government in place. When one considers that God’s church (the local church, the building where believers gather and meet) is the ground and pillar of truth in the earth, we are able to understand how daunting this assignment was for Timothy. God intended for the local church to be the stay and pillar of truth in Ephesus as well as the rest of the world. If the church is removed, then the pillar and ground of truth is removed. It is no wonder that the centuries have faithfully provided a constant flow of resistance, persecution, and destruction to the local church. If the local church can be removed; then the pillar and ground of truth will be eliminated from any community.
We are living in a generation where the church is under fire from a myriad of directions. The local church is being attacked from without and from within. Probably the strongest attack exact among fellow Christians who believe they can flourish in a relationship with Jesus Christ apart from the local church. The local church has become a convenience, if needed. Yet the scriptures are clear, the church remains the pillar and ground of truth for any community or family in the earth.
That’s correct, your church, the local church, how you treat this institution and the people in it will bear directly upon your relationship with God. The church is the body of Christ. In a very real sense you cannot separate the two. You cannot really have a relationship with the Head (Jesus) and not His body. The two are one, an individual is not the body of Christ; we are members of His body and interconnected to each other.
I have had the joy and privilege to pastor for twenty four years. My observations are very simple and very clear. Those who place a value and premium on the local church are far more likely to enjoy the blessed life than those who claim a relationship with Jesus Christ but have no connection to the local church.
Do you place a value on the local church? Do you operate independently of other Christians or are you connected as a member of the local church? Do you still go from church to church never connecting or have you jumped all the way in? Think about it!
Pastor Scott C. Stanek