If I am delayed (1 Tim. 3:15)

“If I am delayed,

You may know

How one ought to behave

In the household

Of God,

Which is the church

Of the living God,

The pillar

And foundation

Of the truth.”

ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω, ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ Θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία Θεοῦ ζῶντος, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας.

Paul said, “If I am delayed (ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω), you may know (ἵνα εἰδῇς) how one ought (πῶς δεῖ) to behave (ἀναστρέφεσθαι) in the household of God (ἐν οἴκῳ Θεοῦ), which is the church (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία) of the living God (Θεοῦ ζῶντος), the pillar (στῦλος) and foundation (καὶ ἑδραίωμα) of the truth (τῆς ἀληθείας).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word βραδύνω, that means to be slow, delay, or tarry, and the word ἑδραίωμα, that means a support, a basis, a foundation, or support.  Only the Pauline letters used this word στῦλος, that means a pillar, support, or column.  Paul then explained that if he was delayed in going to Ephesus to see Timothy, he would still know how they ought to behave in the household of God.  He maintained that they were part of the church of the living God.  This Church that was filled with the Holy Spirit had strong pillars and a foundation based on truth.  The leaders of the early Christian developing communities were the pillars keeping the communities going with the help of the Holy Spirit.  They were the true Church of God.  Is your Christian community a church of God?

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