When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he described the church as, “The household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
From this verse we discern three pictures of a New Testament church:
1. The Church is a
Family The household of God
The church is a family because its people are all related to the same family member, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through personal faith in the death of Jesus Christ for their sins and His glorious resurrection, the church is a community of those who have been “born again” into the family of God. After their new birth, they are baptized into the church, declaring their identification with Christ, purposing to love and serve the Lord as well as their brothers and sisters in Him.
Bethany Bible Church is a family of believers who love the Lord and each other. As a family, we seek to encourage each other, pray for each other, and share each other’s burdens. We also try to function as a family, keeping the family together for worship and emphasizing the biblical roles of men, women, and children within the church.
2. The Church is an
Assembly The church of the living God
The word “church” translates ekklésia, which means “assembly” or “public gathering.” A church may assemble for many reasons, but the most significant reason we gather is to worship. For we do not worship a dead deity, but “the living God” who created us, saved us, and sustains us through life in Him.
We purpose to ascribe to God, through our public worship, the “glory due to His name” (Psalm 29:2). We assemble to bow down before Him through the public reading and exposition of the Scriptures, the singing of hymns, the fellowship of the Table, and the offering of prayer. With true reverence, yet with vitality, we determine to praise Him in a way that would be most worthy of His holiness and majesty.
3. The Church is a
Truth-Base The pillar and support of the truth
The “support” of a building is its foundation, that which keeps it firm. A “pillar” not only supports, but also lifts up for all to see. A church must be the “support” of the truth in that it holds the Word of God firm. A church must be the “pillar” of the truth in that it holds the Word forth.
At Bethany, we find our unity around the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures, for we must affirm, protect, and defend biblical truth. We are also called to proclaim and share biblical truth—the Gospel of Christ—with a lost and dying world in need of hope.