When God’s people in a particular location gather in the name of Christ in submission to Him through the true preaching of the gospel, accountable to one another and to godly Spirit appointed leadership, and are practicing the ordinances as Christ commanded them, they are “the household of God, which is the church of the living God.” That is a remarkable statement about the importance of our local church.
1 Timothy 3:14-16 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
In order for us to grasp the importance of our local church (and all true local churches) in God’s plan last week we started to consider the various places throughout Scripture that we learn about God as “the living God.”
Last week we considered these 8 truths about this living God:
He is the living God who spoke out of the fire at Mount Sinai
He is the living God who brought Israel into the Promised Land and simultaneously judged the wicked of that land after centuries of merciful patience
He is the living God who was taunted by Goliath before the boy David trusting in the promise of the LORD slayed him
He is the living God who was taunted by the Assyrians before they were defeated by the Angel of the LORD
He is the living God who is the desire of His children
He, the Living God, has wrath that the nations will not be able to stand up against
He is the living God whose word must not be disregarded
He is the living God who delivers His obedient faith filled servants
This week we will consider 11 more truths about our “living God” so that we might rightly appreciate the fact that as the church gathers we are the household of that living God.
He, the living God, is Father of His children:
Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” It will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.”
Romans 9:25-26 25 As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.'” 26 “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.”
He is the living God whose Son is Jesus:
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
He is the only living God, which shows the foolishness of all idolatry:
Acts 14:13-15 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM.
He is the living God who brings about new hearts in the new covenant by His Spirit:
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
He is the living God who dwells among His people:
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
He is the living God who is His people’s hope and as the Savior has offered salvation to all:
1 Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
He is the living God who if turned away from reveals an evil and unbelieving heart:
Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
He is the living God that can be served by His people because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross:
Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
He is the living God who is terrifying to fall into the hands of:
Hebrews 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
He is the living God of heaven who is worshiped by His people and angels:
Hebrews 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
He is the living God who will carry out His purpose of judgment and mercy in the tribulation:
Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
The church is this living God’s household. Our confession is centered in Christ:
1 Timothy 3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
We are told in Revelation 2:1 that the risen ascended Christ walks among the churches. The church is the household of the living God and our confession is about the Son of God who walks among us and is with us as we gather in His name.
May we gather with the church this coming week with this knowledge, that we (those who trust in Christ alone and are accountable to this church) are the “household of God, which is the church of the living God.”