In Titus 2:1, Paul instructs, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Theology is the foundation of our faith. Throughout this year, we will be sharing some articles with you that have been penned by our board members. A few of them have taken much time to research and write about an area of systematic theology. We hope this will be an encouragement to your faith. This month, Bro. Tim Daniel has written an article on Ecclesiology–The Doctrine of the Church.
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. 1 Timothy 3:15-16
The church is a group of believers called out of the world to go back into the world to sound forth the gospel message of the living God. Everyone in the local church must be functioning and behaving according to God’s truth for world evangelism to successfully take place. The pastor and deacons must be serving God according to His Word. The pastor also must be administering the ordinances of the church for the church to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Baptism is the announcement of a new believer and disciple in the church, and the Lord’s Supper is an opportunity to remind believers of the atoning work of Jesus Christ. These two ordinances bring new life and revived life to the church. The church must be faithful to tithe and give sacrificially for the work at home and abroad to succeed. As the Word of God is entrusted to others in the local church, it will grow and equip the pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and church members needed to carry on the work of world evangelism.
The Church witnesses the truth of the living God in the world.
The church of the living God is the God-ordained organization to witness the Gospel message around the world (Matthew 28:18-20). The church is the “pillar and ground” of the truth of the living God in the world. Jesus promised, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:17) and He is still doing so! The stewardship of the Word of God by the church will directly influence the building and witness of the church! Whether it is around the corner or around the world, the church is the God-ordained organization to build evangelistic outreach. Other organizations are involved in missions, but the God-ordained institution is the local church. In Acts 13:2-3, the local church at Antioch under the leadership of the Holy Spirit commissioned and sent Barnabas and Paul out as missionaries. They were then accountable to that church for their missionary work. This same process of the church witnessing in the world must be distinctly maintained today! Unless the local church wisely operates according to the truth of the Word of God world evangelism will die!
The Church worships the truth of the living God in the world.
It is through the biblical worship of the living God in the church that world evangelism will be reinforced and expanded. The Word must be preached and practiced to regenerate new life and new service for God. The church is the “pillar” of truth, a place of heralding forth the Word of truth! It is not an entertainment center, social club, theater, or recreational facility. Its main business is the preaching, preservation, and practice of the truth. Worshiping God according to truth produces a continuous cycle of more evangelism, more sanctification, more edification and more equipping (Acts 15:33, 2 Timothy 2:2). Worship builds the church and its missions outreach! Proper worship in the church of the living God produces more and more world evangelism! In order to maintain and move forward in world evangelism, there must be a strong determination to plant more local churches! The more people who properly worship God in spirit and truth, the more warriors will be produced and prepared for spreading the Gospel around the world. Worship in the local church and world evangelism work hand in hand.
The Church wars for the truth of the living God in the world.
The church of the living God is a group of believers who earnestly contend for the truth of God (Jude 3). They will advance against the enemy and false doctrine to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ all around the world (2 Timothy 2:3-4). The world is a war zone for believers! The church of the living God is the “ground” or “foundation” of truth that propels missionaries into the regions beyond. Everything done in the name of the living God must be built on the foundation of truth, which is the Word of God. The church is the source of the called-out warriors to advance with the truth around the world. Therefore, the local church evangelizes, educates, edifies, and equips people to advance the cause of Christ throughout the earth! Without the power of the Holy Spirit in the local church, true world evangelism will be defeated by false religions and God’s enemies!
Without an institution that is functioning well and is identified as the ground and pillar of truth, biblical missions will cease to exist. Thank God, that institution God established for the work of world evangelism is the church. Missions cannot operate biblically or successfully apart from the pillar and ground of truth, which is the church of the living God. May God raise up more pastors who will preach with the power of Holy Spirit! May God enable us to preserve the truth in our generation and behave biblically as we practice this truth in the local church! Truth will triumph in the church, and truth will triumph in world evangelism. The church must continue to function as the pillar and ground of truth! World evangelism will progress proportionately as the truth of the living God is preached and preserved in the local church.
Pastor Tim Daniel
New Testament Baptist Church
If this has been a blessing to you or you would like to share your thoughts with Bro. Tim Daniel, you can contact him via email here.