My thoughts tonight are on ADVENT! I read a passage of scripture from 1 Timothy 3 which I have been familiar with for many years.
1 Timothy 3:14-16 NLT
14 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, 15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith[a]:
Christ[b] was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.[c]
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory.
Paul has been writing to Timothy, a young pastor and providing encouragement and instruction about conduct in the church. Paul explains to Timothy that our conduct should be such (previous verses) because the church is that of the living God - the pillar and foundation of the truth. What is the truth? The truth is a mystery… in fact it’s a great mystery of those in the faith.
He then shares what some think might have become a hymn in the church. It may have been, but it’s also the answer or follow up on what he’s been talking about. The truth - a mystery - is Jesus! Jesus is often referred in scripture to as the cornerstone of the foundation of the temple of faith that God is building within the lives of people.
But this is the key to our faith - Jesus is the cornerstone of the foundation of what God is doing in the world today. Jesus came - Advent - Incarnation.. He came from heaven and became flesh. He was vindicated.. that is, by the power of the Holy Spirit He is evidenced to be free from sin. Angels saw Him- and this was announced to the nations. People everywhere (where the gospel went) was believed upon.. and He ascended into heaven.
So why is this ADVENT thought important? Because of what Jesus did, the example He set and the encouragement He gives to reach out, we should so conduct ourselves in a same manner.
The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth - who Jesus is - the two are interwoven together.
Today some people think that Jesus is cool but have no time for the church. However I’d suggest that God’s word says otherwise. God’s word says that the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth - that is Jesus.
In other words, you cannot be accurately related to Jesus if you’re not a part of the church and even serving in the church.
And that’s what Timothy has been writing about. Instruction in conducting ourselves within God’s church… which is the foundation of what God is doing in the world today - through Jesus. So .. ADVENT .. Christ coming in the flesh.. but more than that.. resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaimed to all. This is what the church is all about.. and why our conduct in the church is so vital because our conduct will communicate who Jesus is.