The flying buttress pictured here is part of the Notre Dame of Paris. In the 1100’s the architects built these supports for many of the Gothic cathedrals. Normally, a buttress was built as an integral part of the side walls for additional support. The flying buttress not only supported the heavy stone roof but also allowed for more light. With the supports arching away from the building, more of the walls could be made of windows, making the interior lighter and brighter.
Today’s verse describes the Church as a pillar and buttress of truth. Both of these structures serve as an image of support and reinforcement for the truth of God’s Word. Truth has the strength and power to sustain and strengthen. Being bolstered by the truth allows believers to bear up against the lies of the Deceiver.
The support of a pillar can be found on the interior or exterior of a building. But the buttress is clearly on the exterior. It is more vulnerable to the elements and more easily seen. Standing for the truth out in the world can make one a target for persecution. But in the end, the truth does stand. Jesus said that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church that He has built (Matt. 16:18).
The structure is not the Church. The pillars or the buttresses are not the Church. The roof and walls may fall down over time. But still His Church overcomes because He resides in believers (I Cor. 6:19).
Lord, keep me standing for the truth of Your Word.