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 (I Timothy 3:15).
Our text is the theme verse of the Book of I Timothy. Pauls primary burden in this epistle is to set in order for Timothy the proper management of the church ministry. The book can be broken into three parts. The churchs message is given in the first chapter which talks of sound doctrine, declaring the gospel message and the defense of the faith. The churchs members are examined in the second and third chapters, including qualifications of the pastors and deacons. Lastly, the church ministry is patterned in the final chapters. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (4:13).
Why is such detail given to laying out the proper structure of the local church? Some in the early church had promoted a disordered and completely unstructured worship methodology. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying (I Corinthians 14:26). In verse 33 Paul declares, For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Still today some proclaim that the church is an organism and therefore should not emphasize organization. But if an organism becomes internally disorganized, it dies. If the train has ultimate freedom to run off the track, it is destroyed. Often what is called freedom of the Spirit becomes license for immaturity and carnality. The command given to the Corinthian church is worthy of our consideration: Let all things be done decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40). DW