1 Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God…
Laying aside the notion of infallibility, let us proceed to consider how properly, without any such futile and arrogant claim, the Church is called the pillar and ground of the truth.
1. In the first place, and chiefly, the Church is so called, because, to use the language of our Twentieth Article, she is a "witness and keeper of Holy Writ." Christianity is found in the Bible, and originally and purely nowhere else. Who should keep the book but those that use it? Who be anxious for its preservation but those who value it, make it the rule of their life? This is at once natural and necessary. Who keep the records of literature and science but men of learning; and who the divine record of religious knowledge but men of religion? They ever have kept it and ever will keep it, as long as religion exists in the world.
2. But further, the Church does not barely keep the volume, attesting its authenticity and watching over its integrity, and so acting as a pillar and ground of the truth; but she seeks to promote the truth by a system of instruction, the basis of which is the contents of that volume. She does not act simply as a publisher of the book, but as a lecturer upon it. Her thoughts axe not her own. She makes no such arrogant pretension. She has light, but it is borrowed light. She shines, but it is by reflection from the Holy Book. It is further worthy of remark, that the Church in the discharge of this function, is not doing a merely optional thing; she is necessitated to do it. The office is inseparable from her being.
3. It would be a further illustration and enforcement of this point to show in what manner the Church is required to discharge this duty. She is required to circulate the Scriptures.
Parallel VersesKJV: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.