“. . . the church of the living God, the pillar and buttress of the truth.”  1 Timothy 3:15

. . . the church of the living God.  A church is where the idols of our culture can be cogently discredited and the living God rallied around, rejoiced in, worshiped, studied, loved and obeyed.  If the church is dead or dormant, God’s own appointed testimony to his living reality powers down.  The felt reality of God in the world today is at stake in our churches.

. . . the pillar and buttress of the truth.  A “pillar” holds something up high for all to see.  In this world, the one truth that will outlast the universe needs to be put on clear display rather than submerged under all the stuff that’s demanding our attention week in and week out.  A church can make the gospel obvious and accessible through preaching, teaching, memorizing, catechizing, blogging, etc.

A “buttress” firms something up, makes it strong.  For many, the gospel does not feel strong.  Other things hold them together.  But a church buttresses the gospel by showing that it really works.  Not only does the gospel create the church, but a church also buttresses the gospel.  The gospel starts feeling solid and believable and urgently needed as our greatest resource in all of life.

By divine appointment, the church makes the real Jesus seem real, it makes the truth visible to busy people, and it embodies living proof that the gospel enriches real people living real lives today.

The church matters.  Your church matters.  In these powerful ways.

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4 thoughts on “Why your church matters”

  1. George Allen says:

    Ray,

    It’s George Allen. I was a member at First Pres in Augusta when you were the pastor there (understandably, you may not remember me). I am now in Savannah and a member of a PCA church here. I understand you are regional overseer for the Acts 29 churches and I am thinking about joining it. If you’ve got a moment to answer a couple of emails and this gets to you, let me know. My email address is gallen_66@yahoo.com.

    Blessings,

    George

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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