"The house" in 1 Tim. 3:15

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr. Walter, May 10, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    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.[/I] - 1 Tim. 3:15


    Many Universal Church advocates claim that 1 Tim. 3:15 refers to
    the Universal Invisible church idea. However, there are many
    contextual and historical factors they are ignoring.


    1. Paul is a Jew writing to a man who was raised by a Jewish mother
    and grandmother in the Old Testament Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14-15).


    2. The Jewish mind trained in the Old Testament Scriptures would
    immediately associate the phrase "the house of God" with Deuteronomy 12 and the prolific Old Testament references to the PUBLIC Jewish
    INSTITUTIONAL house of God with a qualified ordained ministry and
    place where public worship, public sacrfices and tithe and offerings
    were to be brought (Mal. 3:6-10).


    3. They ignore that such a qualified ordained ministry is the very
    topic that precedes this text (1 Tim. 3:1-13).


    4. They ignore that the public New Testament assembly was the assigned
    place for church members to bring their tithes and offerings (1 Cor.
    16:1-2).


    5. They ignore that the public New Testament assembly was the assigned
    place to offer up acceptable offerings in public worship (1 Pet. 2:5;
    Eph. 3:21-4:3; etc.)


    6. The public Jewish institutional house of God required careful and
    specific reverence in how a person conducted themselves and this is
    precisely what Paul relates in this very text when he says, "that thou
    mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God
    "


    7. The fact that he continues to define "the house of God" as the
    "pillar and ground of the truth" completely invalidates the so-called
    "universal invisible church" as a possible consideration for this
    text. There never has been, there is and never will be in this life
    any doctrinal unity existent between all believers in all
    denominations in all the world. It is anything but "the pillar and
    ground of the truth
    ." It is the citidal of confusion, division and
    hersies galore.


    Last of all, it is a failure to understand the overall context of
    both first and second Timothy as practical guidelines for Timothy as
    the Pastor of the church at Ephesus. Paul is providing Pastoral
    instruction in regard to the only institution for public worship
    existent in the apostolic era which was the New Testament assembly.
    Remove this contextual factor and we have no practical instruction for
    men and women in the services as found in chapter two just preceding
    this chapter. We have no practical instruction for dealing with the
    elderly in the assembly as in chapter five and so forth.


    The universal church errors applied to such texts as 1 Cor. 12 rob
    the New Testament of practical instruction for dealing with division
    and the use of gifts in the assembly by ripping chapter 12 out of the
    local church context of chapters 11, 13-14 and applied to some entity
    other than what is introduced repeatedly in chapter eleven ("when ye
    come together in one place
    " "in the church" "gather together") and the unmistakable focus in chapters 13-14 ("in the church" - 14:19; etc.).

    Even so, ripping 1 Tim. 3:15 out of this context robs the New
    Testament church of the significance and gravity of public worship
    that Paul is intentionally directing the Jewish mind of Timothy to in
    the use of the Old Testament phrase "the house of God." The gravity in applying and heeding to the qualificatons of the ordained ministry
    who serve in God's public house of worship (1 Tim. 3:1-13). The
    seriousness of making sure that such men are qualified in "the
    faith
    " (1 Tim. 4:1) and do not lead the church away from essential
    truths. The seriousness of how church members conduct themselves in
    public worship (1 Tim.2:1-13). By attaching this Old Testament
    designation "the house of God" to the "church of the living God" all of the seriousness and gravity that is clearly seen in the Old
    Testament temple worship is conveyed directly to the New Testament
    assembly. As such, the public services, officers, ordinances and
    conduct of the members takes on a very serious and significant factor
    that is fitting with the words that introduce this verse "But if I
    tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself
    in the house of God
    "


    "the house" in 1 Timothy 3:15 is the New Testament assembly in general and in particular is the church at Ephesus where Timothy resided as Pastor when recieving this epistle.
     

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