My former missionary colleague told a story reminding me about Paul’s first letter to Timothy. My teammate recounted that before he came to Christ, a friend had guided him into delving into scripture.
After a period of time God’s word penetrated his heart. His desires and how he viewed the world changed.
The day arrived when he announced he wanted to rely upon Christ as his Savior and serve him as his Lord. Following his confession of faith and baptism, he continued studying God’s Word and grew in understanding.
One day he approached his mentor. “I realize that sometimes a difference exists between how God’s people are described in scripture and what I see around me.”
His mentor responded, “This is where you come in. You are to be the type of person scripture describes. You are to live as an example of what it means to serve Christ.”
My friend’s story reminds me what Paul wrote to Timothy.
“Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 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” (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
When Paul referred to the household of God, he was not writing about brick and mortar nor about a small group of elite Christian leaders. Rather, Paul was describing all of us who are a part of God’s family.
As amazing as it may seem, we are to be the support and foundation of the truth! The truth is to be seen in us. As members of God’s household we are to carry it, speak it and promote it.
However, just because this is the way it is supposed to be does not mean that God’s people are in fact living up to this ideal. Even within 1 Timothy we learn about some who had shipwrecked their faith or were promoting things which they should not. In contrast to such misdirection, God’s people are supposed to be promoting God’s truth, his revealed will.
When we consider 1 Timothy 3:15 and who we are supposed to be, how will we be part of truth’s foundation?
- Will we memorize scripture and share it with others?
- Will we stand up for biblical thinking both within our Bible classrooms as well as within our various social contexts?
- Will we speak the truth in love to those we encounter?
- Will we live out truth and let it shine through our example?
When my former missionary colleague identified a difference between scripture and what he saw in the lives of Christians, he was largely pointing to their lack of evangelistic activity. He took his mentor’s counsel to heart. He would be the type of disciple scripture promotes. For him, it led to becoming a missionary.
What about us? How will we promote and stand up for God’s revealed will?