guest post by Adlai A. Esteb
“But if I tarry long, that thou may know how you ought to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. I Timothy 3:15, 16
It is not enough to know how we ought to behave in the house of God. It is important that our conduct and our behavior rightly represent Jesus at all times – inside or outside the house of God. Actually there are other translations that indicate that Paul’s counsel had a far wider application than merely how we ought to behave while in church. Listen to one: “What I have written will show you the sort of character men of God’s household ought to have. It is, remember, the Church of the living God, the pillar and the foundation of the truth. No one can deny that this religion of ours is a tremendous mystery, resting as it does on the one who showed himself as a human being, and met, as such, every demand of the Spirit.” (Phillips Translation).
The character of A Christian is something he carries with him everywhere he goes – inside or outside the church building. And the reason a Christian’s conduct and behavior should be correct and proper all the time is that he is a representative of Christ and Christ’s church. A Christian is the church’s living advertisement of Christianity. Furthermore, Paul is asking a vital question: “Who does not admit how profound is the divine truth of our religion?” (Moffatt)
Many modernists would like to keep what they call the moral maxims, or ethics, of Jesus but discard His religious teaching. They want to pass it up as a profound religion that keep it merely as a guide in the field of conduct. But the ethics of Jesus can no more be separated from His religious teachings than a tree can live with its roots lifted out of the earth. His ethics and his profound religion go together.
“The blossom cannot tell what becomes of its odor, and no man can tell what becomes of his influence.” – H. W. Beecher.