pillarsEDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post is from my friend Donnie DeBord, who preaches for the church in Ripley, MS. Donnie is a friend from FHU. He has a terrific family, and I'm grateful for his love for God, God's Word, and God's Church. Donnie is a very dedicated scholar of the Word. At my request, he penend this post on 1 Timothy 3:15. Thanks, Donnie! - mcw "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). "Turn, turn, turn" (The Beetles). The only constant in life often seems to be change itself. Change makes us uneasy, uncomfortable, and unsettled. We all desire what psychologists describe as "homeostasis". Homeostasis could be described as "a state of psychological equilibrium achieved when a tension has been eliminated."

Life is full of things which cause tension: a new baby, a new marriage, the loss of a job, economy, relationships with Christians, etc. Where can we turn to find some help to keep things in balance? God has given us the church. Paul described the stabilizing influence of church in 1 Timothy 3:15 when he wrote:

"If I tarry long, you may know how you ought to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth."

The church is a "pillar." Imagine a magnificent ancient building with huge stone pillars holding up a massive and ornate roof. Then look closer and see Samson chained between two of those pillars (Judges 16:25), and then imagine what it must have been like when Samson prayed and leaned his weight upon those pillars until the entire temple came crashing down (Judges 16:28-30). Without the church in our lives, we are often overcome by the Devil and by stress and other tensions because we don't have that strong, God-given pillar to build our lives upon and to give us stability in trials.

The church is also described as a "buttress" (ESV) or "ground" (KJV). The Greek word is defined as "that which provides a firm base for something." The importance of a firm foundation can not be overlooked. Jesus told us that the wise man built his house upon the rock and stood firm, but the foolish man built his house upon the sand and his house went SPLAT! In order to build a great and Godly life in Christ, we must build upon a great foundation. Remember that God said the church is a foundation of truth that stabilizes our lives.

How is it that the church can stabilize your life? Look back to the context 1 Timothy. In the first chapter, we are encouraged to trust in Jesus who came to save sinners and not be led astray by false doctrine. In the second chapter, we are encouraged to give our lives to prayer. Then in the third chapter, we are given the qualifications for elders and deacons and told that the church is the "pillar and buttress of the truth". How is it that the church can stabilize my life? Being active and blessed in the church of my Lord stabilizes my life by having a constant reminder of the powerful work of Christ, by being blessed by my own prayers and the prayers of others, and by having a Godly eldership which shepherds the flock of God over which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers.

To everything there is a season. Life will continue to "turn, turn, turn." But in all life's changes, struggles, and victories, I have the blessed privileges of stability, comfort, learning, and hope by being a member of the church of Christ which God says is my pillar and ground of truth.

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