“…the house of God…is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15).
The word “pillar” should remind every Bible student of the pillar that God gave Israel to guide them through the wilderness to the promised land (Nehemiah 9:12). After the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, they needed a guide. They had been slaves for 400 years, and didn’t have a clue as to where they were going! It’s not like Pharaoh let his slaves take exploratory vacations. So God had to lead them every step of the way with the pillar.
Once Moses had written the Book of the Law, however, the pillar disappeared. Of course! Now they had a Book to guide them every step of the way. No matter where they went in life, they had a reliable Guide to teach them how to walk and please God. And now that Book has been completed and resides in the local church! No wonder God calls the church the pillar of the truth! God’s people should follow that Book as closely as the Jews followed their pillar. How closely was that?
“…when the cloud tarried… then the children of Israel…journeyed not… when the cloud… was taken up… then they journeyed…” (Numbers 9:18-22).
When the pillar moved, they moved. When it rested, they rested. In other words, they didn’t make a move without the benefit of its guidance. Does that sound like a good way to follow the Book today? Beloved, God has graciously given us a Guide that can help us navigate the most treacherous paths of life. The One who steers the stars (Job 38:32) has deigned to guide the lives of His people. May we never forsake His direction!
This great Guide has further equipped us with a place to meet to hear His Book taught. If there is no church near you where God’s rightly divided Word is taught in all its clarity, continue to share the gospel with the lost and Pauline truth with the saved. The people with whom you share God’s guidance just might want to start meeting at your house to discuss it. And God has a word for such meetings—He calls it church (Rom. 16:5; I Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philemon 1:2).
These references to churches that met in homes are especially significant when we remember how small the homes were in those days. There’s a reason the Lord had to send the apostles out to find a home large enough for twelve men to eat the Passover (Mark 14:12-16). Such rooms are not that uncommon today, but they were then! Thus Paul’s allusions to churches that met in those humble homes tells us that the smallest of gatherings is a church in God’s eyes, one that He will be pleased to call His house, the pillar and ground of the truth in your community.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.
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