Summary: This message is intended to teach us about the concept of "The House Of God" and sho us the importance of attending corporate worship.
The House Of God - 1 Timothy 3:14-16
A. Timothy Dwight was president of Yale University from 1795-1817
1. He is known for many things, such as having received a doctorate from both Princeton and Harvard, but R. Kent Hughes and Brayn Chapell bring out two other interesting tidbits in their commentary of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. (Preaching The Word: 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus (Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL 2000) p.89)
2. First, in 1802 under his preaching of the word at the university 1/3 of his students were converted: He was a lover of God’s word
3. Secondly, there was his hymn publishing, one of which we sang this morning entitled “I Love thy Kingdom O Lord.
a. The third verse of this hymn stated,
For her my tears shall fall;
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be giv’n;
Till toils and cares shall end.
b. Timothy (how fitting) was a lover of God’s church!
B. These two areas were especially important to and loved by the apostle Paul as well.
1. False teachers were trying to gain influence in the holy ground of God’s entity – the House of God
2. He writes to young Timothy encouraging him to stand for God’s word and the church.
C. The words from our passage this morning should be thoroughly and thoughtfully considered by us because many are saying the church – the House of God – is not important
1. I’ve heard people say to me, “I don’t have to go to church to be right with God”
2. If by that they mean they don’t have to gather with other Christians and worship the Lord together, they are dead wrong!
a. Christ died for the church - Paul wrote in Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
b. And the writer of Hebrews gives us these words to think about found in Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
3. But beyond these and more applicable to our purpose this morning is our scripture passage found in 1 Tim. 3:14-16 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 of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. Please note three things of importance
a. The Concept Of The House Of God
b. The Conduct Of The House Of God
c. The Confession Of The House Of God
4. The church – the House of God - is important to God and it ought to be with us!
5. May God grant us the ability and grace to see the importance of the church and may we fill our lives with her ministry and fellowship.
This morning I want to begin in the middle of our passage and look at
I. THE CONCEPT OF THE HOUSE OF GOD, the scripture is found in the last half of verse 15, …in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
A. Let me begin by expressing to you the idea of a “concept.”
1. One definition, given by Dictonary.com is “an idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars;”
2. Let me show you a couple of examples
a. A concept car – look at pictures of Lamborghini Insecta
b. Or maybe kitchens – look at these
3. A concept is something that helps us get a better view of an idea
4. Now we have spoken about the idea of “the house of God” before – we learned it is not a building but rather the gathering of God’s people
a. As a house has residents, so the house of God – His people – have God in residence
b. We are the house of God!
B. Now to help us get a better idea of this Paul provides some flesh, so to speak, to help us get a clearer picture.
1. The concept of the House of God is provided to us in the form of two phrases.
2. The first is …which is the church of the living God…
a. We are not a mausoleum – housing something that is dead
b. Nor are we a curio cabinet in which sits a dumb idol