Behave Thyself


Elder Mark D. Rowell

1 Tim 3:14-15 “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 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.” In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he sets forth the foundational premise of the church in relation to truth. The church is the place of truth, as it should be. He describes the church in a most unique way.

These very detailed descriptions each contain a powerful lesson: First, he declares it to be the House of God. (Psa. 132.14) It is the House of God because He declared it to be the place of His dwelling with those who seek Him.

Second, he declares it to be the Church of the Living God. (2 Cor 3:3, Heb 10:21, Heb 12:22) It is the Church of the Living God because it is the “called out” of those who have separated themselves from this world to seek Him. And He is not the God of the dead, but of the Living! He is from everlasting to everlasting!

Third, he declares it to be the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. (Mat 16:18-19, Rom 9:1) A pillar holds something up, while the ground (foundation) is that on which a pillar stands. According to Paul’s teaching, the church (pillar and ground) is that which upholds the truth! So the truth is central to every aspect of the church. In the church, truth must reign; and in order for truth to reign, then Christ MUST be preached! When Christ is preached, we “…therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice!”

Why does Paul go into such a detailed description, in this manner, to describe what the church is? It is because he is telling us that it is most definitely THE place to behave! This use of “behave” isn’t necessarily being used in a way that is most familiar to us. I remember my parents telling me to behave! They told me that because I was misbehaving. (Yes, I was even called out by my father from the pulpit once (that’s all it took) to behave because I wasn’t doing what I should have been doing.) Now, should we behave ourselves in the House of God, using the “normal” terminology of the word behave? Absolutely! But this behave means so much more than just that! It means to stop living the wrong way and start living the right way! It means to abide in the House of God and commit our very lives to the worship of Him who saved us by His Grace and Mercy!

You see, the very Gospel of God has been committed to our trust. It is something so precious, yet the Lord has seen fit to bestow it upon us! He has entrusted us with the Truth of His Word! If this be the case, then we should turn from every wicked way to serve the Living God! This means we should abide in His House and be busy about doing that which is in accordance with thus sayeth the Lord. The Church is a most solemn, serious, and important place! There is no room for anything else, but to realize that this is the place where the Saviour appears! It is a most solemn, serious, and important place!

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Phl 1:27)

Paul tells us that our lives should be worthy of the Gospel. We must seek Him in our lives and we must stand fast against the devil. Satan would like nothing more than to see the destruction of the church. James says to “resist the devil…draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (Jam 4:7-8) As the church, we must stand together in one spirit, one mind, and “struggle on, together!” Brothers and sisters, we are in this together! Let us struggle on together and not strive against one another. Remember the Church, the Pillar and Ground of the truth, is the most important thing in our lives!

Do we love the church more than anything in this world? Are we ready to defend her with all our strength? I’m telling you the realization of what Paul is teaching should strike peace in our tempestuous lives. Just like The Lord told Israel to rejoice in Jerusalem, let us rejoice!

“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.”
(Isa 66:12)

May God give us Grace to conduct ourselves as citizens of Heaven while we live in this world! May He ever bless us as we spend our days in service to Him, looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.