THE HOUSE OF GOD. Excerpt from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems:
“1 Timothy 3:14-15, Paul wrote, “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house (Gk oikos) of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
In verse 15, Paul was addressing wider issues that affected the whole house of God. But there is a principle in this verse I wish to discuss: We “ought” to know how to behave in the house of God! The word “ought” in verse 15 is the Greek word dei, which describes a necessity or something that isn’t optional. In other words, this is mandatory behavior. The word for “behaveth” is from the Greek word anastrepho, which means to conduct oneself appropriately. It is simply inappropriate to be disrespectful in the house of God or to act unbecomingly in the presence of other believers who are trying to seek God or to prepare for His work.
Paul said it is obligatory that we behave appropriately when we are in the house of God. This is something that must be taught and imparted. As more mature believers, it is our God-given responsibility to gently teach others (especially our children) to respect the house of God and how to behave while they’re in church.
In early New Testament times, people were attending church for the very first time since they were newly converted. Neither men nor women knew how to behave in church and had to be taught. But they were taught, as we can see in First Timothy 3:15. Paul knew that people had to learn how to behave in the house of God; thus, he addressed the issue in this verse.
I ask you today to look at your own children or grandchildren and determine if they behave respectfully when the Word of God is being preached or taught.
The house of God is a cherished place where we assemble corporately to worship Him, grow in Him, and serve Him together to further His purposes. That’s why it’s so important to allow Him to teach us — so we can then teach others that it is a place where respect and honor are mandatory. I encourage you to make a decision today that you and your house will always fit that description when in church, behaving in a way that helps others hear the Word of God and that does not disrupt the moving of His precious Holy Spirit!”
What I want to address is our culture that denies the need for a corporate place of worship. “Oikos” refers to a literal house/ household. A whole group of people under one roof. I have heard people even say that the NT doesn’t refer to church as “the house of God”, yet the above Scripture rejects that sentiment. Here’s things that fly out the mouth of Neo-gnostic Christians, (a trait of Neo-Gnosticism is non-attachment):
“I am the church.” You are not the pillar and ground of truth. You are non-attached.
“Where 2-3 are gathered.” This is in reference to Scriptural judgment, not a corporate gathering.
“The church has left the building”. The church is the body of believers but also has a building/house that Paul referred to as “the House of God”, it was a local meeting place.
“My church is in the woods”. No. Just no.
“I have church by myself”. You cannot have church by yourself. You can pray and worship by yourself, but have church? No.
“I was at the store and I ran into a friend and we had church!” And just no, again. You fellowshipped with a believer.
The church is a gathering of the whole body together in one literal place, inhabiting the same place at the same time. It refers to the whole local body of Christ coming together to worship a holy and righteous God. It’s a place that is holy, because we are a holy people. It’s a sacred place that we have to be trained to respect and honor, not just God; but the brethren. It is holy ground. Not because the place is holy; but when we gather to praise the living God, it becomes a holy sanctuary. And this holy place has pastors, deacons, overseers, prophets, evangelists, teachers and apostles. It worships as one body the loving God. The Holy Spirit is evidence in our worship and manifests His beautiful gifts.
We take communion as a local and corporate Body. We baptize new converts and rejoice over a repentant sinner as a corporate Body. The church has organized structure. It is not chaos and confusion because God is not the author of confusion neither is He the God of the confused. If you want to bury your head in the sand and pretend like the NT Scripture references to these things do not matter; then you will find yourself in rebellion and disobedience. At least be honest with yourself and say “I don’t want to be a part of a local church”. I would have way more respect for you.
For the rest of us, let’s take the above seriously and know how to conduct ourselves honorably and respectfully in the house of God. We don’t get to rewrite scripture for a new generation. Train your children to do the same. It matters to the next generation. The church is losing her identity in this rebellious culture. Let’s return to the old paths, the right paths where we find refreshing and be different in a lost and ever losing its mind culture.
“To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it. Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Jeremiah 6:10, 16 NKJV
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