Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 3:14-16, 6-10
“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 3:16)
The word mystery in the Greek is μυστήριον (mustērion) which means something that one can only understand through divine revelation from God. Likewise, the root word for godliness is piety — εὐσεβείας (eusebeias) in Greek and pietas in Latin. For John Calvin, piety involves a wholehearted love for God, which leads to obedience and an entirely devoted life to worship God in all aspects of life. The end goal of piety is the glory of God.
In simpler words, the mystery of godliness is talking about the special grace of God given to His chosen people to understand the reality of life from God’s perspective and to be able to live life according to God’s will. Thus, if we have come to devote our lives to Christ, it is only by God’s grace alone.
Moreover, it is truly the most extraordinary grace we could ever receive. Many scholars have investigated the truth of Christ. Many people seek hope in false religions. Yet, their eyes are blinded to the reality before them in sin. If the Spirit Himself has come and opened our hearts to understand Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sins, we must know that we have received the greatest miracle of all times.
The only reason we can know the true reality of the world is if the Spirit reveals this reality to us.
“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.”
Christ incarnated from heaven to become a man. He then lived a perfect life of obedience to the Father so that He could be the righteous sacrifice for our sins on the cross. On the cross, our sins were put on Him. Christ faced God’s wrath for us. But, Christ defeated death and was vindicated in His resurrection. His victory was displayed among all the angels as He sat at the right hand of God, to be King of kings. Then, Christ’s message was proclaimed to the nations so that His church would believe. And God’s church continues to grow as we await the ultimate exaltation of Christ in the last day, foreshadowed in His ascension to heaven from earth.
This is God’s perspective on the world. God’s perspective is reality. Those who have heard the news of Jesus are called to repent and believe in Him, and no one will be turned away. We are called to become His church, His loved people, to be renewed from sin, into a life that glorifies God and is pleasing to Him.
Who can understand such a mystery? However, if the Spirit has made it known in our hearts, we are the most blessed people, and we must do none other than bow down and surrender our lives in worship of the King. To God be the glory!
Lord, who can understand who You are? Yet, to us, the filthy and lowly, You have revealed Yourself through Your Word. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness displayed on the cross. Thank You for Your faithful love from eternity to us. Please teach us Your ways. Teach us to obey You and follow You as You change our hearts and make us more like You each day. Help us learn to enjoy You and walk with You as we get to know You more and more. Praise be to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.