“Well I used to go to church, but then one of the deacons offended me 4 years ago and I haven’t been back since. I mean, I read my Bible a couple times a week and watch my favorite preacher online every Sunday so I’m doing fine. As a matter of fact, I really don’t miss church too much at all.” How many times have you heard someone say something along those lines? Someone who used to go to church but now feels that church attendance is not that big of a deal. After all, we can read our Bible ourselves and now pull up thousands of good preachers online so is being a part of a local church that big of a deal?
In our reading today, we get a good glimpse of how important the church really is. 1 Timothy 3:15 says, “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 God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Did you catch that? Paul calls the church the “pillar and ground of the church”. You could rephrase that to say that the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. God has chosen the New Testament church as the entity to hold up and carry on the truth expressed in His Word. As important as our personal walk with the Lord is, God did not design us to be “Lone Rangers” out and about of our own volition doing the Lord’s work. But instead He has chosen for us to be a part of and operate through a solid, Bible-believing church. All through the NT we see God operating through various churches as His Word was spread by the apostles and early church leaders. Evangelism, mission work and even the meeting of physical needs were all done through the church. So may we not yield to the temptation of thinking that attending church is not that big of a deal and that our involvement in one is optional. But may we instead take our rightful role in the “pillar and ground of the truth.”