How serious do you take church? How serious do you take the gathering of God’s people in a gospel believing and proclaiming church? How serious should you take it? How serious do you take this local assembly?
Paul wrote to Timothy in Ephesus and explained to him how he ought to conduct himself in the church. Paul was obviously speaking of a particular church in which Timothy was to conduct himself. It is highly significant to hear how Paul describes this 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.
The church, specifically here in this passage, a local church is “the household of God, which is the church of the living God.”
In order for us to rightly appreciate this statement we can consider the various times in the Scriptures that we hear of “the living God.” Every time we read of “the living God” we should take note that the church, our local church, and any true gospel believing and proclaiming church today is the “household of God, which is the church of the living God.”
May the Lord this week and next enable us to have a greater appreciating for the church based on what we learn about the God of the church, our living God.
He is the living God who spoke out of the fire at Mount Sinai:
Deuteronomy 5:26 ‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
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:
Joshua 3:10 Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite.
He is the living God who was taunted by Goliath before the boy David trusting in the promise of the LORD slayed him:
1 Samuel 17:26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
1 Samuel 17:36 “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
1 Samuel 17:49-51 And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. 50 Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
He is the living God who was taunted by the Assyrians before they were defeated by the Angel of the LORD:
2 Kings 19:4 ‘Perhaps the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left.'”
2 Kings 19:16 “Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.
2 Kings 19:35 Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.
He is the living God who is the desire of His children:
Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 84:2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
He, the Living God, has wrath that the nations will not be able to stand up against:
Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
He is the living God whose word must not be disregarded:
Jeremiah 23:36-40 “For you will no longer remember the oracle of the LORD, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37 “Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the LORD answered you?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 38 “For if you say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!’ surely thus says the LORD, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the LORD!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the LORD!'”‘ 39 “Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 “I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”
He is the living God who delivers His obedient faith filled servants:
Daniel 6:20-22 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”
Daniel 6:26 “I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever.
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.”