There is much to say in future months about “the pattern” and the call of our church to be a “pattern house.” First, what is the Pattern? Paul spoke about it:
2 Timothy 1:13 ESV Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (emphasis mine)
In the same Epistle, Paul mentions it again, but in different way:
· 2 Timothy 3:12-17 ESV Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (13) while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (14) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it (15) and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (Emphasis mine)
The Pattern can be described as:
The fundamental doctrines, expressions, and traditions given to the Church by Christ through the New Testament writers.
The Pattern is simply:
Who Christ intended His church to be, what He intended it to teach, and the way He designed it to operate. All of this is clearly illustrated in the New Testament.
The Apostle often encouraged the church build according to the Scriptures, which is another way of saying “follow the pattern.” He also called it “holding to the traditions” they were taught. (1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thes 2:15) This is no small matter. He wrote to the church at Thessalonica:
· 2 Th 3:6 ESV (6) Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
· 2 Th 3:14 ESV (14) If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
Another way he preached this pattern principle was his call to imitate him. He said to the church at Corinth:
· 1 Cor 4:16-17 ESV (16) I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (17) That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Obviously, there is a lot about following the biblical church pattern that challenges us. However, our church preaches through large portions of Scripture, not to try to impress the "expository" lovers :), but rather to position ourselves to align with the Lord of Church’s desires that He spoke through the New Testament writers, not our own.
And make no mistake: the Lord of the Church is in charge! Don’t think so? Remember, in Revelation when Jesus spoke authoritatively to His Church?
1. Rev 2:1 ESV "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
2. Rev 2:8 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
3. Rev 2:12 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: 'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
4. Rev 2:18 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
5. Rev 3:1 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: 'The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
6. Rev 3:7 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
7. Rev 3:14 ESV "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.
Jesus is LORD! And He is Lord over all, including His Church. He still leads it, loves and nurtures it, and commands it.
The above means an awful lot to me. Be King of us Lord Christ. Rule over us and teach us.