TRUTH VERSUS FALSEHOOD
Blessed Lord, I look to you for guidance as I go through this day. Show me what you would have me do and where you would have me serve.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 3:14 – 4:5
Reasons for Paul’s Instructions
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,[a]
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
- 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWrite a list of about ten words that describe what you think about the church. Are most of the words positive or negative, or are they a mix of both?
Paul sets high value on the church (see Ephesians 3:10 and 5:25) and here lists three descriptions of it.
First, it is the household or family of God that puts us in relationship with all other Christians, with a concern to love them and a desire to see them reach their God-given potential. Second, it is the church of the living God. The Ephesians were surrounded by temples and religious communities, but Christianity was unique in its worship of the living God, who promises that he is with us. And third, it is the pillar and foundation of truth.
A building needs a firm foundation so that it doesn’t sink. It has pillars to raise the roof high to be noticed by all around. Paul recites a creed to remind the Ephesian church of the truth that is the basis of Christian belief—Jesus is both man and God; he is revealed to heavenly beings and humans, and is exalted on earth and in heaven (16b). Anything that leads people away from this truth is false. In Ephesus (as in our world), there were many confusing voices (4:1-5). Perhaps remembering the shouts of the rioting Ephesians— ‘Great is Artemis’ (Acts 19:34)—Paul encourages God’s people to guard the truth with focus on the Word and prayer (4:5).
Reflect on each phrase of verse 16. How would you describe God’s greatness?
Thank you for making me a part of your church, Lord Jesus. Help me to be faithful in all that you have called me to be and do within the household of faith, and to reach out to the world around me.
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