The church of the living God: Its identity – Part 1
Paul wrote to his son Timothy, a young and vibrant pastor in the church at Ephesus. The purpose of his first epistle was captured and spelt out in 1Timothy 3:15; he wants brethren to know how people should conduct themselves in the church of the living God. The local assemblies across the globe represents the church universal – the church of the living God and men should know the rules that governs it.
It is obvious that the church is not an assembly where you can do just everything, anyhow; there are approved ways we should conduct ourselves in the church. While attempting to establish approved conduct in the church, there are issues of identity we must understand to aid correct behaviour in the church.
A. Identity of the Church
The scriptural reference highlighted three identity of the church of the living God, namely:
• The House of God: The church of the living God is the house of God. When one knows the house of whom he is visiting, he will behave himself. No one can visit the Presidential Villa and behave anyhow. As the house of God, the church is the house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13). The question is: are we still maintaining the sacredness of His house as prayer house or we have turned it into a den (hiding place) for robbers (God-robbers, pen-robbers, armed robbers, etc)? Again, the church as house of God is a place of refuge. (Judges 21:2) In a time like this, when coronavirus is devastating our world, the church ought to be the last point of call for help, shield and protection. It’s my prayer that the church will be what the Lord has designed it to be.
• The Pillar of Truth: The church is the pillar of truth. Pillar is an upright standing structure used to support a structure. The church as a pillar is an upright structure. There is no falsehood about the church and its operations; it is, therefore, used to support the truth. The church exists for no other things except the truth; it is to affirm, establish and stand for the truth. Friends, let us make the church what it is; shun all falsehood (1John1:5-8).
• The Ground of Truth: The church is the ground or foundation of truth. More than just pillar, the church is the foundation of truth.
The church is a place to say and live the truth. It is a ground for truth; to settle all issues in truth; to teach and cement the truth. Ananias and Sapphira introduced falsehood in the church and were consumed. Do not walk their path; be warned!
Rev’d. Abimbola A. Ogundare, Pastor, Peaceway Baptist Church, Ikotun 12/14 Audu Street, Governor Road, Ikotun, Lagos State