“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:14–16, ESV)
1 Timothy is an appeal for Timothy and the Christians in Ephesus to address an urgent situation facing this church. Paul plans to come and visit soon, but the matter is so urgent that he thinks it best to address it as quickly as possible. The church must know how they are to behave in the household of God. He wants them to have a practical knowledge that will enable the church to take pragmatic steps to get things in order. Paul calls the church a household reminding the believers that they are a family. It is the church of the living God reminding us that the church is not a building, it is a people called out and brought together by God himself. The church protects and holds the truth up for the world to see.
The mystery Paul announces here would have remained unknown had it not been revealed by God. The Son of God became a real human being that was like us in every way, except for our sin. Jesus was vindicated by the Spirit in his ministry and his resurrection. The angels were at the empty tomb, telling the disciples that Jesus was no longer there because he had been raised from the dead. The good news was proclaimed, believed, and Jesus returned to his glory.