Today’s Scripture Selection: First Timothy 3:15

“…if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

When the apostle Paul wrote to a young minister named Timothy he sent some very important instructions.  He wanted Timothy to have these words of help so that he would be well-equipped to lead the church.

In this first part of the letter I find it particularly interesting that Paul refers to the church as both God’s household and the pillar and foundation of the truth.


The church is called many things in our world today, by friends and foes alike, but it is rarely referred to as the “pillar and foundation of the truth.”

Too often it is seen as a mere human institution, alongside other human institutions like schools or the halls of government.

But Paul sees the Church (note the capital C) as something more than that.

It is something that goes beyond the very human, very fallible human institution we often see.

The true Church, worldwide, is the source – the pillar and foundation – of God’s truth.

Where do we find it?

I for one don’t think we find it in only one form or “denomination.”  I think it is a shame that the body of Christ is so often divided on so many things.

Still, I believe there is a body of Christ, alive and well, in the world that holds the truth, and the hope, for the world.

How you discern whether a particular aspect of this Church is guiding you on any one particular issue can be a lengthy topic to discuss.

But let me suggest this.

Is what you are hearing or seeing grounded in Christ’s love; guided by Scriptural truth; an instrument of Christ’s grace – at least as you understand it?

If so, I would say it is probably part of that great pillar of truth.  If not, you might want to look elsewhere.

Again, I am not suggesting I always know the “true” from a “false” church and people who claim to easily know this worry me.

I think it takes careful, prayerful, spiritual discernment to find and be part of the great “household of God” at work in our world. But I think, here and there, it can be found and I also believe nothing this world offers compares to what it has to offer.

So – happy hunting – as you search for and find the household of God, the pillar, wherever and however you find it at work in your world.

Prayer: Lord, help me to find your Church – and be an active part of it – to the glory of your kingdom.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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