Basic Ecclesiology


Sound Bible doctrine has fallen on hard times, and as a result so has the church. In fact, doctrine and the health of the church are intimately connected. For example, in 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul explains that his motive in writing to Timothy was to show how a person in the church “ought to conduct himself in the household ofGod, the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

Notice the imagery in this verse; the ‘pillar’ connects ‘conduct’ (i.e.behavior) and ‘truth’. A pillar (or column) is always built upon a foundation and is designed to hold something else up, like a ceiling. In Paul’s imagery the church is the pillar that supports the truth of the glorious Christ described in verse 16. But what gives the pillar its strength? What is the foundation upon which the pillar (i.e. church) stands? What Paul has been writing –

Paul says in verse 14, “I am writing these things to you…”, and then in 1 Timothy 4:6 says, “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished in the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.”

So you see, the church as a pillar, in order to exalt her glorious Savior, must stand on the foundation of His word – the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Scriptures.

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