1 Timothy 3:14-16 ~ Christianity isn't a Cult
Verse 15 tells us how one ought to behave in the household of God. This bears the connotation that we are not merely guests in God's household but members. This sense of belonging to such a household is further affirmed by the address of God being God the Father in 1 Timothy 1:2. We also need to remember that it is not only when we gather as Christians that we are members of God's household but all the time regardless of the place. That said, it is when we are gathered together as His people that His household is better "visualized".
In this letter, Paul instructed Timothy to charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3) and that prayers be made (1 Timothy 2:1). Men are also told not to quarrel while women are to adorn themselves respectably (1 Timothy 2:8-9). An overseer is also to manage his own household well (1 Timothy 3:2-5) for if he cannot do this, how then can he tend to God's household?
God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). God is a real God who does not take delight in the false. Similarly, He desires a real response from us. As members of God's household, the real response involves being a pillar and buttress of truth (verse 15). The gospel is to be defended and the church's faith will not be shaken but be strengthened instead. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that the truth is upheld. And this truth is not secret but visible. Truth needs not fear to be compared for only the truth will remain standing in the end.
If Christianity is just a cult or another religion that teaches people to do good, the mystery of godliness mentioned in verse 16 will then be one of strict rules and regulations. This mystery, however, has got nothing to do with such rules and regulations but rather reveals the identity of Christ. He is the Word that was God (John 1:1), who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Romans 1:1-3 tells us that Christ was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God. At the crucifixion, the different parties of crowd present refused to believe that God's King should be crucified, but this is precisely how the Messiah operates: by dying on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice, as proof that He is the Son of God and the promised Messiah.
As such, it is only right that this mystery of godliness be proclaimed among the nations from Israel to the rest of the world, so as to be believed on in the world, taken up in glory since Christ's identity is now revealed (verse 16). A real response is demanded of us who have been saved. And what may this response be? To believe and to live a life reflecting this faith.
Do you have this real response?