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Author: Ron Graham

Hard to Hear God

Pillar and Ground
—of the Truth

The church is not a place to be entertained. The church is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1Timothy 3:15). We should look to God’s church to hear and receive God’s truth taught and defended from the Scriptures —not psychological "hype" or human idealism.


1Timothy 3:15

15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”(1Timothy 3:15 NKJV).

In this lesson we will consider four things that Paul mentions, namely the church, the pillar, the ground, and the truth.

1 The Church is the Pillar.

In Paul’s understanding, the church is not a building made of wood or brick, but "the house of God" consisting of God’s people, called out of sin. (1Timothy 3:15).

As Peter says, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1Peter 2:9 NKJV).

In our text (1Timothy 3:15). Paul likens the church to a pillar and the ground it stands upon. So now we must think about what this pillar is supporting.

2 The Pillar Supports the Truth

The church’s duty is to teach everyone all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).

That task is a serious challenge, nevertheless the church must teach the truth, from the scriptures, to anyone who will listen. "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2Timothy 4:1-5, NKJV).

In his letters to Timothy, Paul repeatedly exhorts Timothy to uphold the true doctrine in his ministry. For instance, "Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus" (2Timothy 1:13 NKJV).

This is how we should be a pillar supporting the truth. Our conduct, as members of the church, should not be like that of worldly fans at a celebrity concert. It is time, as God says, to "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10), and consider his truth.

So Timothy knew that, by keeping to sound doctrine, he would conduct himself acceptably in the church and help to make it a pillar of integrity, able to uphold truth. Now we must think about what supports the pillar that supports the truth.

3 The Ground Supports the Pillar

The pillar, which is the church, must stand on solid ground which is the truth. The pillar not only supports, but also must be supported. It must be "grounded and steadfast... not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven..." (Colossians 1:23 NKJV).

Now what is the ground or foundation on which the pillar stands? The church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20 NKJV).

The analogy there is of a temple, not a pillar, but since they both represent the church of our Lord, their foundation is the same.

It's hard to hear, but men such as Wesley, Calvin, and Luther, are not the pillar’s foundation. Neither are the popes of Rome. The likes of Joseph Smith (founding prophet of the Mormons) are not the pillar’s foundation either.

Who then provided the ground or foundation for the Pillar? As quoted above, "The apostles and prophets ... Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20 NKJV).

"For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 3:10-11 NKJV).

The Mutual Support of Ground and Pillar.

The truth and the pillar support each other. The foundation or ground of the pillar is Jesus Christ. He is the truth (John 14:6). He is the Word (John 1:1). He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13). What he and his apostles say is the truth which his church should support, and that same truth should support his church.

Just as there is one pillar (one church) so there is one truth. There are many doctrines, but only the doctrine of Christ is the truth that supports his church. John puts it bluntly: "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son." (2John 1:9 NKJV).


Webservant Ron Graham

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