MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” I Tim. 3:16.
BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD.” This expresses the only way humanity could become partakers in this “mystery of godliness.” As we now come to the fifth feature or factor in the unfolding of this mystery, we do well to be aware of its connection with the preceding clause.
Paul seems to summarize the Gospel that he preached in I Cor. 15:1-4. He declared clearly the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. Those wonderful promises of redemption were beginning to be fulfilled in the coming of our dear Lord.
It is encouraging to know that the object of the preaching was, and is, being realized. There is not only a bringing men to faith in Christ, but also bringing the Christ life to maturity in believing humanity.
It was evident in the life of believers that the mystery preached to the Gentiles had it’s intended results. Read I Thess. 1:6-10; 2:13-14; & II Thess. 1:10. Thank God, the same Word is still working effectually today, without necessity to add human wisdom (?) I Cor. 2:4-5. To God be the glory, that without man-made formulas, lives are still being transformed.
RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY.” Oh, praise
God! What a marvelous event! “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11.
That must have been an exciting and yet somewhat disconcerting experience. They needed these words of comfort concerning His return as they watched him ascend.
While his resurrection proved that this same Jesus was indeed Lord and Christ; the advent of the Holy Spirit was proof positive that Jesus had returned to heaven; for he had promised to send the Comforter. Acts 2:2-4, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind…”. Jesus was indeed the one that heaven must receive, Acts 3:21.
The Head of the mystical body, the author of the mystery of godliness, had then gone to heaven, and yet He still lives and moves in His spiritual body on earth. What a wonderful mystery! As we live and move and have our being in him by the power of the Spirit, we manifest the light of His life from earthen vessels.
What a blessing to realize that the Heavenly Father, and all in heaven, received Him there with exceeding joy! Unspeakable! But, beloved He has also entered there as our “forerunner” Heb. 6:18-20, and the “first fruit” of resurrection and translation. I Cor. 15:23, I Thess. 4:17 and 5:10.
He who has gone to prepare a place for us, has promised to come again and receive us unto himself. Therefore because the agreement between the Father and the Son (Heb. 13:20-21 has been fulfilled for the most part by the Son, soon His quest and request to have his people with Him will be fulfilled. John 14:1-3; 17:24.
We are therefore now to have our affections set above, where we are to appear with him in glory. Col. 3:1-4. Those whom have drawn the nearest to him in the trials and conflicts of this age, will be his innermost circle for the ages of the ages. Then the greatness of the mystery of Godliness, will have been completed and universally manifest. GLORY! GLORY! GLORY TO God!