Thursday, January 17, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #8

After giving some instructions to deacons, which, by the way, includes instructions that are not included for the preacher for some reason, Paul continues to talk to young Timothy and says in 1 Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is far more important than many people realize. The social concept today is that a Christian can worship just as well at home as he can at church, but that just is not the case. Not only does every Christian need a church, but the church needs every Christian. When you attend church, you are going there, not only for yourself, but also for others. You may never know what a blessing your presence will be to someone. Space will not allow expansion on this point. Please read 1 Cor. 12:21.

The point to Timothy here is not necessarily attendance at church (which was pretty well taken for granted in New Testament times), but the point is to "know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God." Literally, the word "oughtest" means to do the proper thing. Paul is telling Timothy that he must know how to do the right thing in his behavior in the house of God.

We all know that the house of God is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the local assembly of which a person is a member; and there are some ways in which we must behave ourselves in that body. Many could be mentioned, but let us consider just a few.

  • We attend for fellowship, so let us be considerate to others while we are in church.
  • We attend for worship, so let us be in the attitude of worship from the time we enter the church building until we leave the building.
  • We attend for praise, so let us sing every song with energy and intent so that God will be pleased with our genuine praise to him.
  • We attend for giving, so let us plan ahead to bring our tithe and offering to the house of God so that the work of the Lord may proceed and so that missionaries may have their needs met.
  • We attend for personal benefit, so let us go to church with the expectation that we will receive something spiritual and personal from the fellowship and the preaching. Without that expectation, we may go home disappointed. We should NEVER go home from church disappointed.
  • We attend to meet God, so let us present ourselves in a way that will reflect our respect to God as our Creator and Jesus Christ as our Savior. This will be reflected in the way we dress, our timeliness in arriving, our attention to singing and God's word, and our attitude while we worship God.
Young Timothy had some hold-backs to worship. He was half Jewish and half Greek. He had to be obedient to Paul's advice not to be circumcised, and this brought him, I am sure, some doubting looks from the Jewish believers. But Timothy must remain faithful to his behavior as a child of God.

We must always be faithful to our good behavior no matter what goes on in the church, because the church is at stake here. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth, so we are not playing with toys here; we are benefiting from the most powerful organization in the world, because the Gospel is being handled here. The Gospel, as we know, is the power of God unto salvation.

May God teach us how to behave in his house. If we will learn our behavior, we will benefit much from God's house, which is the church. God loved his church, and we are to love his church, also. Behave well in it.

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