Temple Baptist Church - 10-21-2018
1 Timothy 3:15
A. There are several things in this verse, which is the key verse of the Book of 1 Timothy, that I want to look at this morning.
B. By church, I mean the local church. The Book of 1 Timothy is one of the Pastoral Epistles and was written to set the guidelines for the operation of the local church.
1. Churches are not “free” to operate or do just anything that they feel like the “spirit” leads them to do.
2. If you are reading this message, you will notice that the word “spirit” begins with the lower case “s.” The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit will not violate the Scriptures!
C. The local church is called “the house of God.” We need to be reminded that what we are doing this morning at Temple Baptist Church is being done in God’s house! It should be respected as such.
D. The local church is called “the church of the living God.”
1. We all understand that God always lives but we often forget that as God does not change, therefore, the church should not change.
2. Old Paths are to be expected and New Paths are to be rejected. Today, New Paths are accepted, and Old Paths are rejected.
E. The local church is a place of “truth.”
1. By truth, I mean complete, unaltered truth, and unchangeable truth. The Bible is our immutable and final authority for both faith and practice.
2. I have often said and will continue to say that we are Biblicists! Biblicist or Biblicism means to adhere to the letter of the Bible.
F. Our verse also explains two important aspects of the local church’s relationship to God’s’ Truth. I will deal with them in reverse order as the Bible sometimes looks at the end from the beginning and then looks at the beginning from the end.
1. The Local Church is the Ground of the Truth.
If you can crack the foundation of a building, the building will eventually fall. Houses in Kentucky have a problem with the brick walls cracking because of the explosions being set off in the coal mines, both above and underground. It is not one “shot” in the mines that make them crack and fall, it is a constant shooting of the coal over years that causes a constant vibration in the ground.
A local church cannot be God’s church unless its ground is found in the Bible ALONE. The word “ground” means settled, steadfast, immovable. Churches have moved. They have moved from ONE Bible to MANY “bibles” to ANY “Bible!”
I have said often that either one bible is right, and the rest are wrong because they disagree with it or all of the bibles are wrong because they all disagree with each other.
We must stand firmly upon the foundation of truth. Three things make up the foundation of the local church:
a. A Firm belief in the Inspiration of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (Inspiration is an act of God.)
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (Inspiration is not an act of man.)
b. A Firm belief in the Preservation of the Scriptures. Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Preservation is an act of God.)
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Our Lord said that we MUST have every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. All scripture proceeded out of the mouth of God. Let God be true but every man a liar.)
c. A Firm belief that the Bible that we hold in our hand is the Word of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE LOCAL CHURCH MUST NOT BE CRACKED!
2. The Local Church is the Pillar of the Truth.
Though many churches were started on the right foundation, they have failed to uphold the foundational truth because of the infiltration of liberalism.
Eventually, the Old Path of Scripture is forsaken for the Modern Path of Scriptural Deviation.
As we stand firm upon the Word of God, we must stand firm in holding up the Word of God.
We must firmly hold up the pillar of the truth! Here are three reasons for holding up the pillar of truth.
a. Because the salvation of mankind depends upon it. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (If saving faith is based upon the Word of God, then we MUST have the Word of God!)
1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (To be saved by the Word of God, we MUST have the Word of God.)
b. Because the Sound Doctrine of the local church depends upon it. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (To rightly divide the Word of God, we MUST have the Word of God.)
2 Timothy 4:2-3 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
c. Because the Spiritual Growth of the believer requires it. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (To grow by the Word of God, we MUST have the Word of God.)
Psalms 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
THE PILLAR OF THE LOCAL CHURCH MUST NOT FALL!
Conclusion: The “falling away” has been in full swing for many years now as people, preachers, and local churches have left the Old Path of the Scripture found in our King James Bible for the New Path of Doctrinal Deviation from the Scriptures.
Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.