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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.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

3:15 church of the living God. Although the context around this verse is stressing the officers and activities of the local church, the greater meaning here concerns the church, consisting of all true Christians of every nation and time as a whole. That church is “the house of God” (compare Ephesians 2:19-22; I Peter 2:1-5), the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23), and “God’s building” (I Corinthians 3:9-11). It is, therefore, here called “the pillar and ground of the truth.” These principles were to be applied by Timothy in the local church at Ephesus where Paul had sent him for the time being, but also everywhere he would go later.

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