The Repository of Truth (1 Timothy 3:14-16): The church is not to let the threats of the culture keep our mouths closed to the truth. The church is to be the repository, or container, of God’s truth. In this message, Dr. Evans explains the church’s responsibility to represent that truth.
today. We’re living in a world of confusion, Chaos and lives. We don’t know what the truth is. What’s up is down. What’s down is up what’s right has become wrong. What’s wrong is deemed it right. And people need a sure place to go to learn the truth. God has given us a location for the truth and that is his inherent perfect word. That’s why we need to return the truth. Which means we need to return to the bible. The death of truth has led to a breakdown in the cultural immune system. They hated jesus because he was of the truth. If they are not taking me seriously, that’s because they don’t take truth seriously. We must adjust and be people of the truth. The whole truth. Nothing but the truth. So help you God, a repository as a container. It’s a storehouse. The repository for our our medicine is the pharmacy. It is the place we go that houses that which we need for health and healing. You go to the records building downtown, which is a repository of information about people and locations and history. You you have a repository. God has a repository, a storehouse. If you will, a community location for your spiritual well being a place where you’re supposed to be able to go to get good food place where you’re supposed to go, be able to go and eat well. He has a place scattered throughout every community for health healing and well being. Not only of the people who attend, but because of its location for the people who live in surrounding vicinity. It is the repository of truth and God’s repository of truth. It’s called the church. The church is that place he has singled out. That does not find its first obligation in the culture, that does not find its first obligation to a person’s racial identity, cultural identity, gender identity. Where the commitment is not first to who you are, how you were raised or how you live, where you live. It is a repository that is supposed to give you good food, not rotten fruit because it is committed to one overarching issue and that is the declaration of the truth. The church is God’s spiritual grocery store. Amen. Amen. This is what Paul says to timothy, his son and ministry. And first timothy, chapter three verse 14, I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you soon, but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God. The pillar and support of the truth timothy is located in a very secular city. The creme dela creme site of Asia minor called Ephesus. A church has been established, there will give it a name. Ephesus bible fellowship and timothy is the pastor there and paul is spiritual head, writes him and he says, young man, I want to make sure that when people come to your grocery store, they’re coming to the truth emphasis is of secular culture. It is full of idolatry. You can read it all and acts Chapter 19 It is full of materialism. It is full of witchcraft. It is full of errant theology, errant teaching and social decay, even though it is an influential marketplace of ideas. And he says, and all the stuff that the folks are hearing, timothy and all the the ideas, ideologies, idiosyncratic perspectives that they are imbuing into their minds in spite of what the kids are being taught in school, or the young adults are being taught in college in spite of what they’re hearing in corporate America, in spite of what they’re hearing in the governmental regimes, in spite all of that. You make sure when they shop at this store they’re getting the truth. Now, we’ve defined the word truth each week. And let’s define it again, Truth is God’s absolute absolute standard by which reality is measured. Truth sits outside of you. It is not dependent on you. You don’t have to feel it like it or agree with it for it to be true. It just has to be what God says. Then it’s true and you and I we have to adjust, we live in a world that doesn’t want God’s viewpoint. Therefore it doesn’t want the truth because it doesn’t want the truth. What we wind up with is cultural consequences in our personal lives, family, lives church lives and in our civic engagement. And yet God wants to speak truth into all of those issues personally, economically, socially, racially morally. He wants to speak the truth. And so he tells timothy in a number of places you make sure this grocery store is well stocked with. Truth tells him in Chapter 1: verse three, I heard you because some folks are gonna come with strange doctrines, he tells them in chapter three votes 9 verse nine, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Why? Because chapter four verse 1, they are deceitful spirits and demons verse three, who don’t know the truth? We’re living in a duped society. We have been duped and because we’re living, Duke lives in a duped world with Duke thought we’re living in a chaotic environment. He says at this grocery store timothy, you make sure that when they go shopping, when they show up, we can’t change everything in society, but you make sure they are hearing the truth, meaning God’s view on whatever the subject matter happens to be. The first thing we need to remind you of since the church is the grocery store of the truth, we need to remind us all what the church is. It’s not a fraternity or sorority. Yes, it has those relational components. In fact, it’s called the family. And first timothy. Chapter five, verses one and two, he says, treat the older men like fathers. The older women like mothers, the younger women like sisters. The younger men like brothers. He said, yes, it is a familial environment but it is a familiar environment to equip people with God’s point of view. The bible knows nothing of an unchurched christian. There’s no such thing. Person says, well I don’t have to go to church to be a christian. You’re absolutely right. You become a christian by faith alone in christ alone to be part of the church is a commitment to be identified and dynamically involved with a local body of believers who are learning to live kingdom lives under the lordship of jesus christ its identity and involvement. It’s not just sitting soaking and sorrowing, it’s it’s serving a king in his kingdom. Like our servicemen and service women serve the kingdom of the United States of an army, whatever branch they’re in, we serve the king of kings and the Lord of Lords as his church. Yeah, Jesus said in Matthew chapter 16 verses 18 and 19 I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and I will give the church the keys to the kingdom. God doesn’t skip the church house to fix the white house. He doesn’t skip his grocery store if the culture wants to eat right. So he says, I will give thee, I will give the church in Matthew rating the keys to the kingdom. He says I’m going to give the church the keys that’s access to me have keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And if they use my keys, I will give them my authority. Whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. He says, I I am going to give you my authority on earth because you’re using the keys that belong to me in heaven. So how can we have all these churches on all these corners with all these programs? All these members, all these leaders, all these preachers and still have all this mess. There’s a dead monkey on the line somewhere. How can you have 11 o’clock on sunday morning being the most segregated hour in America and people still using jesus name and calling themselves the church. Why? Because we’re using the wrong keys. We got cultural keys, racial keys, gender keys. What? We don’t use our kingdom keys, he says. And the way you know you’re being the church is the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. Hell can’t stop you. So, you know how can stop you? Humans can’t stop you because you’re using keys that belong to a whole another order. And those keys have to do with God’s view on whatever the subject happens to be. So he says that we are to represent him as his kingdom. People Over and over again in the New Testament Ephesians. Chapter one verse 22 and 23, Jesus is head of the church and we are his body to carry his viewpoint, he says, to fill everything, That’s why we want each of you to become a kingdom disciple who is a kingdom servant, that makes a kingdom impact, he says in Ephesians chapter three verse 10, he says God checks with the church before he deals with the Principalities and the powers. So if you’re trying to deal with the Principalities and powers and God said, I’m not gonna skip you to help them, I’m gonna start with you because if I can’t get you straight, they sure, not gonna listen to me. And so he says to timothy timothy, you make sure the people who come to this grocery store this food place spiritually, people who understand the church, that you’re not just showing up for a service once a week or twice a week, you’re learning how to live out a divine frame of reference in all of life and how do you do it? Well, he says, the church, How one Ought to conduct himself, because that has to do with how you’re living in the household of God, he calls the church family a household and then he says, which is the living the Church of the living God, I hope everybody understands God is alive, Okay, the Church of the living God, So we’re not just out here talking smack and talking up in never, never land and fairy dust, he is the living god and then he says, the Church of the living God which is the pillar and support of the truth okay now you have to understand what’s going on here. Remember I told you timothy is pastoring Ephesus bible fellowship. If you were living in biblical days and you went to Ephesus, Everybody would be talking about one thing Because located in in Ephesus was one of the seven wonders of the world. It was called the Temple of Artemis or the Temple of Diana. It was one of the seven wonders of the then known world. People came from all around the world to see this massive tribute and statue to the goddess of all gods. Diana or Artemus. When you read acts chapter 19 you will see they built the whole economy around Artemus because that was that was like you know going on vacation to some some awesome like people going to Italy to the leaning tower of Pisa and they got all the artifacts surrounding it and people would buy and sell it became a place of economic development and economic impact. So it was it was, it was a beast that’s why you went there well in the Temple of Diana they had 100 pillars, you know the pillar in the building, you know it’s holding up the roof, it comes from the, from the floor and holds up the roof. This thing was so massive it had 100 pillars sitting on the foundation to carry it up to the rooftop so paul didn’t just choose that word, he’s talking to timothy and emphasis and he says they got pillars to a lie, Relax 19 they got they believe in the wrong thing and are giving it worship, they worshiping the wrong thing. And this hot mess we got ourselves into as a nation is because we got folks in the wrong thing and building pillars to it. It’s 100 pillars and everybody’s coming to Artemus and he says, no, no, no, no. You build a pillar in the church to the truth, he says, the pillar and foundation, you lay the groundwork for the truth and you build up people’s lives, the pillar of their life, the pillar of their family, the pillar of their culture, the pillar of their society. You build up things based on the truth, not based on the pursuit of a lie. It is the ground, he says. And pillar of the truth, he says, because we want men to operate differently. The conduct he says that men know how to conduct themselves, guess what God calls all of creation God’s house. Cause all of creation the earth is the Lord’s the fullness of the world and all they that dwell in it. See this whole thing is God’s house now, if you go out and create your own world, you can do your own thing, but the moment you insist that your rules operate in my house, we’re gonna be in conflict, you’re gonna be in conflict because your rules and my rules don’t they’re not they’re not agreeing we are going to be in conflict. We are living in a world in conflict with God. And so people are in conflict with one another because folks are in conflict with God because we do not want to accept his truth. And and while the world can do that out there, he says, believers, those who named jesus christ, he comes now to his final point. He says, timothy, you make sure when they show up they hear the truth, they hear it with clarity, they hear it with love, but they hear the truth. And then he says in verse 16 by common confession. Great is the mystery of Godliness. Say that again, He says by common confession, something we all agree on common confession. This is something everybody should be saying. Great. Is the mystery of Godliness. Now, that that statement didn’t come out of nowhere. When you read acts 19 verse 28 the people who had come to see Artemis said, great is Artemus. So they say in acts chapter 19 verse 28, paul picks that up and says, oh yeah, that’s something great, but it ain’t her. He says timothy. When the people gather at the grocery store of truth, everybody should be saying, great is the mystery of Godliness. So let me talk about the word mystery in the bible. The word mystery refers to something that was concealed in the old testament that was revealed in the new testament. Okay. And it’s called a mystery. That word is used throughout the new testament to refer to something that was either unknown or unclear in the old testament. That has been now made clear in the new testament. When he says, the word great is the mystery. This is a shout. Great is the mystery of God. And it was a confession. He says it was something they blurted out and they said it at one time. Great is the mystery of Godliness. It was a shout. And then they sang a song Because the rest of verse 16 is a him. It was a him that they would sing after they cheered and shouted. He says, this confession will make you want to shout. Great is the mystery. I haven’t even told it to you yet, and I feel like showering great. Is the mystery what was concealed in the old testament that wasn’t clear or fully revealed in the sacrifice is fully revealed in the worship, fully revealed in the jewish laws fully revealed in the books of the old testament has now bam been made clear. So the question is, what is the mystery? He said, Let’s sing a song. And he recites to him. Let’s look at the verses, the first verse, he was revealed in the flesh. That’s called incarnation. No, he wasn’t beginning in the flesh. He was revealed in the flesh. Because unto us a child was born. But unto us a son is given the son existed before the child was born, it’s called the incarnation God becoming a man in flesh. It’s called the Virgin Birth. See what god did was he was in heaven and went click, click, took a selfie and up pops jesus christ in a manger, impregnated, married by the Holy Spirit so that he is fully god, fully man in one person. And that leads him to want to shout greatest this mystery in the incarnation. He goes to the next verse was vindicated in the spirit. So he goes from incarnation to vindication. What vindicated, jesus, Why do we not make jesus ordinary and we make jesus extraordinary. Well, the virgin birth is not enough, but in case you didn’t get it, he proved to be who he said he was. And the way he proved to be what he said he was, is by a sinless life, by his miracles and by his resurrection. So even if you didn’t believe what he said, you could see what he did. So he moved from incarnation to vindication. Let’s go to the next verse seen by angels. That’s visualization. The angel showed up at his birth. Angels showed up in his temptation. Angel showed up in his death, Angel showed up in his resurrection and whenever he ran into demons, they shook. So the spiritual world couldn’t ignore him and vindicated that he was who he declared himself to be. Let’s go to the next verse proclaimed among the nations, that proclamation that there’s nowhere you can go where his name is not held in high honor, where Jesus, the christ is not given the props that are due him as the king of kings, the Lord of Lords, the eternal son of God. He goes to the next verse, he says, believed on in the world. That’s confession. You’ll hear people confessing the name of jesus on every continent. You’ll find him in every hole, You will find him in the most inconspicuous of places. Why? Because of who he was. God has made sure that people know and give attesting to the uniqueness of jesus christ. Then he gives the final verse of the song song he says, taken up to glory. That’s the ascension after the resurrection, After Jesus rose from the dead. 40 days later he stepped on a cloud in his glorified body and angel showed up again and said, Why do you men stand here gazing up into the heavens? This same Jesus that’s gone is going to return. I don’t know about you, but that makes a man want to shout, what is the mystery of Godliness? It is the uniqueness of jesus christ. It is God become a man in the person of christ. So don’t you apologize for jesus christ. Don’t you be ashamed of, jesus christ, don’t you hide him behind a bush. Just because his person is offensive. Anybody who gave his life for you died for you, Rose for you to send it for you, coming back for you. You don’t apologize for you. Give honor to his name. He’s king of kings and Lord of Lords. And that is a common confession. Everybody who comes to church or to confess, I don’t just believe in God. That’s generic. I recognize his son Because the Bible says in 1st Corinthians one Truth is in Jesus Because Philippians chapter two verses 9 through 11 at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that jesus is Lord to the glory of the father. So, excuse me if I stick with jesus, Excuse me if I stick with the truth, Excuse me if I speak it to the church because he is the mystery of Godliness and he deserves our undivided and undiminished praise. Somebody stand and give him a common confession. God has a central location that he has created and designed to hold the truth and deposited in the lives of people. And that central location is the church. When the church is being what God created, the church to be, it lays a foundation where people can know they can hear the voice of God accurately proclaimed, so that they can inculcated into their lives for good and for the benefit of others. When you go to church, you should be going to a location. That’s not going to give you what men or society has to say, but what God has to say on every subject.