One of the purposes of the church is to be a repository of truth. It is a place that the truth is guarded, protected, defended, explained, taught and cherished.
Turn with me to 1 Timothy 3:15. This is a well-known verse. It is the purpose verse for Paul’s letter. He wrote to Pastor Timothy because he wasn’t sure how long it would be before his expected arrival.
And he says,
1 Timothy 3:15—but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God,
Main point of the letter—what life should look like in the household of God (i.e. the church). He goes on and identifies what he is speaking of… “the household of God…” which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
The second title he gives, the pillar and support of the truth, refers to the ministry of the local church.
A pillar and support are architectural terms. A pillar is column that supports the structure above it. A support here is the mainstay or the base foundation. The Ephesians would have gotten this immediately.
Ephesus was home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the temple of Diana (Artemis). The temple was monstrous.
It boasted over 100 enormous pillars that were each over 50’ tall. The pillars were arranged upon a foundation that supported it.
The imagery is obvious. Just as this incredible edifice was established, so the truth of God is stabilized and upheld by the church. The church provides the foundation and the supporting pillar—which always elevates.
If it was just on a foundation Paul could say that, but he said it’s also a pillar.
So what does that mean?
The church is God’s designed safety deposit box by which he decided to store his truth. And yet it isn’t locked in a vault somewhere—the truth is put up on a pillar where everyone can see it.