When Paul wrote he was hoping to meet up with Timothy again soon. In the meantime he encouraged him to be a good example to others in his personal and assembly life. This is the key verse of the letter. Timothy’s teaching would have had little effect if he had not been living out what he taught. His character and conduct were to commend his message. The matter of good behaviour is relevant and important in the life of every believer.
Three phrases are used to describe a local assembly of Christians. ‘House of God’ brings to our attention the divine presence and the holy character associated with that presence. We have a constant need to remind ourselves that when we gather with other believers in the Lord’s Name, God is there. The building is not the important thing. A local assembly can function just as effectively under a tree or grass shelter. The vital thing is to know and enjoy His presence.
‘The church of the living God’ would indicate divine power. This reality would have contrasted markedly with the deadness of the idol worship carried on in the temple to Diana. God is described as ‘the living God’ three times in the letter (3:15; 4:10; 6:17). A living God speaks to His children. He also hears and answers their prayers. A living God loves them and delights to bless them individually and collectively.
‘The pillar and ground of the truth’ reminds us too of divine principles. The local assembly is to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word, and then must uphold that truth in testimony before others. The conduct of each believer should complement the teaching in the assembly.
An appreciation of these truths will have a practical effect on our attendance, punctuality, dress and deportment, conversation, participation and service. The next time we leave home to gather with other believers in the local assembly, may we seek to meet with the living God and honour Him in all we say and do.