08/05/Th – The Conduct of the Church

Jeremiah 32:6-44; 1 Timothy 3:6-16; Psalms 88:1-12; Proverbs 20:22-23

NT: “I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭3:14-16‬ ‭CSB)

In the last half of 1 Timothy 2, Paul wrote about conduct and proper order in the church. Then, through most of chapter 3, he described the qualifications for leaders in the church. Paul explained that he wrote that content so that Timothy, the leader of the Ephesian church, would know how the people of God should conduct themselves. In our American culture, where we compartmentalize our lives, when we see the phrase ‘conduct ourselves,’ we think it refers to how we behave during a specific situation or activity. In this instance, most American’s would see this passage as Paul writing about how we are to behave when we are in church. Because of that, many American’s would believe that Paul’s instructions do not apply to behavior outside of a church gathering. However, the Greek word for ‘conduct themselves’ isn’t talking about a compartmentalized application. The word speaks to a wholistic approach to life… how we are to live, behave and conduct ourselves in every aspect of our lives.

First of all, we are God’s household. God’s household isn’t the building that we meet in on Sunday mornings. God’s household are the people that have come to saving faith in Christ. The word for household is the Greek word oikos, which refers to all of the people that make up a family and a home. We aren’t the oikos of God only when we gather on Sunday mornings. If we have been saved, redeemed and reconciled to God through Christ, we are always and forever the oikos of God, and no matter where we go or what we are doing, we need to conduct ourselves as such.

Secondly, we are the church of the living God. Church is the English translation of the Greek word ekklesia. Ekklesia literally means called out or called away from. Ekklesia is a group of people who have been called out and called away from the privacy of their homes into the public arena for a purpose. By nature of being the church of the living God, everything that we do and say is under public scrutiny, and how we conduct the whole of our lives testifies to the goodness of God and the veracity of the gospel of Christ.

Lastly, as members of God’s household and participants in His church, we are the pillar and foundation of the truth in the earth. Basically, what that means is that we are the supportive structure, both seen and unseen, of the truth. What is the truth? That Christ was “manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” We are, through how we conduct our lives in every situation, the supportive structure that holds up the gospel. When we conduct ourselves in an ungodly way, we dismantle the true and effective communication of the gospel and give the gospel a shoddy reputation. We don’t make the gospel any less true – but we hinder other’s acceptance of that truth. When we conduct ourselves one way for an hour and a half within the four walls of a church building, and then conduct our lives in a completely different way the other 166 hours of the week, we portray the gospel as a lie. When we conduct ourselves as redeemed and righteous children of God by grace through faith all 168 hours of each week, we, through our conduct, hold up the gospel as truth.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the honor of being a part of Your household and Your church. My desire is to conduct myself always in a way that honors You and upholds the truth of the gospel. Grace me, equip me, and lead my by Your Holy Spirit as I endeavor to do that by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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