By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
The mystery of godliness?
I didn't get it ... had Paul left something out here? I would read this verse and wonder what it had to do with godly living? Did he just assume that Timothy would know what this mystery was? Well, it seemed to give me no clue whatsoever as how I was supposed to live as a Christian!!
But there it was staring at me the whole time. And it was so simple that I tripped over it time and time again. How about you?
- HE who was revealed in the flesh
- HE who was vindicated in the Spirit
- HE who was seen by angels
- HE who was proclaimed among the nations
- HE who was believed on in the world
- HE who was taken up in glory
The mystery of godliness = Christ Jesus
No, no, not a formula ... please do NOT settle for that!! The mystery IS Christ, which means that it is only unknown OUTSIDE of Christ. HE is the secret of life and NO ONE has ever found it outside of HIM.
But don't stop there! For GREAT is the mystery of godliness.
- REVEALED IN THE FLESH: The Creator was joined together with the creation. The life of this MAN was none other than the life of GOD!
- VINDICATED IN THE SPIRIT: His Father made it known that He was well-pleased with His Son. When Jesus hung on that cross God condemned sin in the flesh through this TRULY RIGHTEOUS MAN. It was the Spirit of LIFE in HIM that prevailed as WE became the righteousness of God through HIM!
- SEEN BY ANGELS: How could they SEE Him? Because His true life was found in the realm outside of the seen realm of man.
- PROCLAIMED AMONG THE NATIONS: His true life is found outside of the designation of His human birth ... it is outside the realm of human circumstance, culture, nationality, race, gender, status, etc. The only way He could be proclaimed across the board is to have His true life not found in who He was or what He did in this world.
- BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD: He was believed on beyond what could be seen with the eyes and/or heard with the ears. "More blessed are they who believe WITHOUT SEEING!" The substance of things believed is beyond the senses, and is actually hindered by such. Always has been, always will. Faith in HIM attests to faith in the invisible God who was IN Him. It is His Father who reveals the reality of Christ to man.
- TAKEN UP IN GLORY: They saw His body taken up, but they didn't understanding this glory until Christ sent His Spirit to them. The Spirit reminded them of all Jesus had spoken to them, not in the sense of repeated words, but in the true substance BEHIND the words ... for He was the WORD OF GOD. They had been given insight into the fact that GOD had lived among them through the MAN they had known as JESUS. It changed everything as they looked back upon their experiences with Him.
The mystery of godliness is the simple reality of the life of GOD being the life of the man through Christ. No one had to tell HIM how to live and what to do for He lived from the very life of the SPIRIT in Him.
* Are you STILL looking for some OTHER KIND of godliness?
* Are you STILL hoping to find some principles to follow that might finally set you free?
* Are you STILL looking for the right formula to give you power?
Do you not understand that the power of those who are born of God through Christ is the very same power of the life that is in CHRIST ... the same power of God that raised Him from the dead?
God IN man = the mystery of godliness.
Is He in you? Then what else are you looking for? LIVE!!