At one point in his first letter to Timothy (i.e., 1 Timothy 3:15), the apostle Paul stated that he wrote in order to make sure that Timothy “knew how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (NASB)
In Paul’s day, the church was waiting upon the promised returned of Jesus (“the chief Shepherd” as Peter called Him in 1 Peter 5:4). Therefore, there were apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers set apart to oversee the church until the fulfillment of that promise. That promise, like all God’s promises, was fulfilled in the time promised which means that Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again. The need for human overseers of Christ’s church ceased at that point.
Therefore, we may contrast the churches we see today with “the church of the living God.” The churches we see today are not “of the living God.” They are of the flesh (see Jeremiah 17:5-8). The church of the living God has an invisible pastor: the Lord Jesus Christ. All other churches have a visible (or “of the flesh”) pastor (or pope, or overseer, or bishop, or whatever title you want to insert).
Do you want to be a part of the church of the living God? Look to Jesus! (Hebrews 11:27; 12:1-2). He will give you direction, comfort, and counsel. He will also give you rebuke, admonition, and chastisement as is appropriate for a loving parent to give his or her child.
How do you conduct yourself in this church of the living God? You do everything to please Jesus. You remember the life He lived and you try to follow that example as closely as you can. You serve those who are weaker than you are. When you are slapped on the cheek, you turn the other. When you are cursed, you bless in return.
This church does not take up an offering, for you are constantly offering yourself and the life you live as your sacrifice to Him.
This church exists in the midst of the world so that you are like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego – flourishing in the midst of a fire, not even getting the smell of smoke on your clothes (Daniel 3).
Be a true servant of God in the true church of God. Be done with lesser things.
For more, see: How to Be in the One True Church.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.