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The Persecuted Church


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Paul wrote to Timothy that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, what does this mean?

1 Timothy 3:15: “but if I am delayed, 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.”

The Greek word for pillar is stulos, from stuo, which means a post, something that supports. The word for ground in this passage in Greek is hedraioma- which means a support (not the regular word for ground). In other words, Paul is conveying the purpose of the Church is to uphold the truth that was given to her.

From the Scripture we understand that THE CHURCH IS BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION – one that cannot be moved - which is Christ. Naturally speaking, pillars are put in a building to support the roof which is above to complete the structure.

It is Christ who is the head of the church and the body, He controls us.  He is the foundation that is laid. The church is to uphold the truth for everyone to see. This is the main purpose of the church – to continue to teach the doctrine the apostles were given by Christ. The pillar is not the foundation, nor is it the truth but upholds the truth. This Scripture is not saying it is the church that is the truth, as often used by Roman Catholics. Jesus Christ is the truth (Jn.14, the word is the truth). The Church is not the building or an institution but the people. It is the Ecclesia- the called out ones (from the world) that is to promote and preserve the truth in the world.  We are to walk in the truth and share the truth to others. The apostles, the people preached Christ as the way the truth and the life.

Notice what Paul says 1 Cor. 3:9-11 “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

The Bible says the church; which are people, is the pillar and ground of truth. The people are supposed to declare the word of God, that is our authority, without upholding the Bible a church is no longer the pillar of truth.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good  work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The apostles wrote down the words inspired by the Holy Spirit through the entire New Testament. The word for Scripture in Greek is "graphe" it means "a writing," or "anything written." In this case it is what was written was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is All Scripture (writing- the Bible) – so we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  Paul wrote to Timothy "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4:16).)  

1 Cor. 15:1-2: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain.”

Paul is saying that He preached Christ for people to be saved, if they believed anything else saved them they believed in vain, it was useless. In like manner if we believe the church is the truth and not what upholds the truth that was delivered to her you are believing in vain.

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