Just one day after we showed our young son how to operate a microwave, I caught him putting a bowl of macaroni and cheese into the oven with a metal spoon still in the bowl. I reacted strongly, “NO! You can’t put a spoon in the microwave!” He was taken aback and asked, “Why not?” He didn’t understand the reason behind my strong reaction.
The church in Ephesus had a number of problems. Leaders in the church were engaged in false teaching (1:3). During times of prayer people were expressing anger and hostility (2:8). Some women were dressing in ways to show off their wealth and status (2:9). In the first half of this letter, Paul gave clear instructions for these people in the church to change their behavior. But, just like my son, the church needed to understand the reasons behind these changes.
Paul explains why godly behavior is required in the church. First, the church is “God’s household” (v. 15). The conduct of members of the household will reflect on the master of the house. How we behave demonstrates to those outside the church what God is like. Second, the church is the “church of the living God” (v. 15). In contrast to the pagan temples and idols around them in Ephesus, the church worshiped the one, true, and living God. Finally, the church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (v. 15). The church is to proclaim the truth of the gospel to the world. When its members are immoral or unethical, the evangelistic message of the church is compromised.
>> Being a member of God’s household is a great responsibility and a great comfort. We come under His authority and protection. We have a shared identity with other believers, brothers and sisters in Christ. And, when we love, respect, and support each other, we bring credibility to the gospel we proclaim.
Today’s reading reminds us that the church is “God’s household” (1 Tim. 3:15), and the way we behave either supports or compromises the gospel. Our prayer is that our godly behavior will bring credibility to the truths we proclaim.