The Mystery of Godliness

posted by Jeffrey on Friday, May 13, 2005 at 5:28 PM


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"Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:

He appeared in a body
was vindicated by the Spirit
was seen by angels
was preached among the nations
was believed on in the world
was taken up in glory."
~
1 Timothy 3:14-16

Wow...as the apostle Paul writes to Timothy in the first of "the Pastoral Epistles" (letters from Paul that provide instruction concerning the care of the churches), he acknowledges that "the mystery of godliness is great." It is no accident that God inspired Paul to write this to Timothy in a letter about how to "guard the flock." I think it is the pastor's privelage and responsibility to empower the church (again, the people of God) to wallow in the vastness and mystery of who Jesus is, not to pre-package theology and cram it down their throats. Paul is quite obviously referring to Jesus as (and the representation of) "godliness" (v.16), and hence Jesus is mysterious. This is the God I want to serve. A loving God who not only "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (6:17) and invites us to "reason together" (Isaiah 1:18), but also one who cloaks Himself in mystery, making the journey toward intimacy with Him all the more exciting.

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