The Church – Bearer of the Truth

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… the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground [foundation] of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Christ established the Church in this corrupted world to be the pillar and ground of the truth. Pillars carry a bridge, and the ground (foundation) carries a building. The Church in this world carries the truth of God in similar manner. It is the place God has assigned to His truth in this world: the Church.

The devil, the father of lies does not want this. That’s why the Church has a hard time. She is attacked by the power of the lie. And still … pillar and ground of the truth … that’s what the Church is, and is allowed to remain, by the grace of God.

But… ‘noblesse oblige’ – nobility obligates! An exalted position demands commitment. Having been made pillar and ground of the truth, the church now has to be that pillar and ground. For if she no longer bears witness to the truth, where is the light of the truth still to be found? The darkness of the lie will prevail, of false prophecy, and of advancing unbelief and superstition.

Pillar and foundation of the truth!

In the struggle between the truth and the lie the Church has been made the bearer of the truth. Christ desires to use her service for resisting and conquering and (finally) judging the lie. That’s why the Church must be reliable in her speaking. For she was called to the glorious position of being pillar and foundation of the truth. And that’s how she presents herself in this world.

It is a claim the Church has to live up to. And if she does not do that? If she breaks her promises? If she does not honour the Subscription Form for her office bearers? If she allows deviation from the adopted and scriptural doctrine? If she does not live in accordance with the established Church Order?

In that situation there is not merely a crisis of confession. But also, and above all, a crisis of ethics, brought about by the gravity of the ninth Commandment of God’s law.

Her yes must be yes, and her no, no. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one (Matthew 5:37).

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H W Ophoff, in De Unieke Troost (The Unique Comfort), Boersma, Enschede, 1971, p. 313.