The Mystery Of Godliness

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
      I Tim. 3:16 = "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."
    2. WITHOUT CONTROVERSY GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
      1. This is a very comprehensive verse that gives a summary of the gospel of Christ.
      2. Mystery defined:
        1. A religious truth known only by revelation.
        2. Something not understood, or beyond understanding, until the door of revealing of it has been opened.
      3. This mystery has been brought to light by the Holy Ghost through the teaching of the apostles of Christ.
    3. WE WILL LOOK AT THIS MYSTERY AS THE APOSTLE PAUL REVEALS IT IN THIS VERSE.
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH:
      1. This refers to the incarnation of Christ -- The embodiment of a deity or spirit in an earthly form.
        Isa 7:14 = "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
        Matt 1:23 = "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
        John 1:1 & 14 = "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
      2. The Son of God (Jesus Christ) came into the world to give mankind a clearer understanding of the Father.
        John 14:7-9 = "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"
    2. JUSTIFIED IN THE SPIRIT:
      1. The flesh was the physical part of His manifestation, the Spirit was the Divine part of his justification.
      2. Christ proved Himself to be God's Son --
        1. By His words which He spoke.
          John 7:46 = "The officers answered, Never man spake like this man."
          Matt 7:28-29 = "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."
        2. By the works that He did.
          John 2:11 = "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."
          John 5:36 = "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."
        3. By the testimony of God, His Father.
          Matt 3:17 = "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
          Matt 17:5 = "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."
        4. By His resurrection from the dead.
          Rom 1:3-4 = "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:"
    3. SEEN OF ANGELS:
      1. These were those that were in the presence of God.
        1 Peter 1:12 = "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."
      2. Gabriel announced His coming.
        Luke 1:26-27 = "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
      3. Angels sang the first cradle song.
        Luke 2:14 = "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
      4. Angels ministered unto Christ following His being tempted by Satan.
        Matt 4:1-11 = "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
      5. Angels announced Christ resurrection.
        Luke 22:39-43 = "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him."
      6. Angels were present at Christ's ascension into heaven.
        Acts 1:10-11 = "And while they looked stedfastly 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."
    4. PREACHED UNTO THE GENTILES:
      1. What the angels learned by seeing -- mankind all over the world learns through preaching.
      2. What has preaching proclaimed to mankind :
        1. That Christ is man's Savior.
          Acts 5:29-31 = "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
        2. That Christ is man's intercessor.
          Heb 7:25 = "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
        3. That Christ is man's judge.
          2 Cor 5:10 = "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
    5. BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD:
      1. People believed because they heard the preaching.
        Rom 10:17 = "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
      2. It is truly a mystery that the doctrine of Christ – opposed to falsehood, lust and greed – would be believed!
        1. Jews – whose heart had been filled with prejudice – embraced Him.
          Acts 2:41 = "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
          Acts 5:14 = "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women."
          Acts 6:7 = "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."
        2. Gentiles – who had been proud and lustful – accepted Him.
          1 Cor 6:9-11 = "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
          Phil 4:22 = "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household."
    6. RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY:
      1. Christ having finished His work upon earth was returned to heaven from whence He came.
      2. His Heavenly Father received Him.
        Ps 24:7 = "Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in."
        1. To make atonement for sin.
          Heb 9:24-26 = "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
        2. To plead for His people.
          Rom 8:34 = "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
        3. To rule as King.
          1 Cor 15:24-25 = "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."
          d. To welcome the redeemed.
          Isa 35:10 = "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
          Rev 7:13-17 = "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. THE MYSTERY HAS BEEN REVEALED CONCERNING THE SALVATION OF MAN.
      1. God was manifest in the flesh in the incarnation of His Son in the flesh.
      2. This incarnation of God's Son made possible man be justified spiritually.
      3. The witness of this being God's Son was attested to by God's heavenly angels.
      4. The fact that Christ was man's savior, intercessor and judge was proclaimed though out the world.
      5. These facts about Christ have been believed by Jew and Gentile alike.
      6. Christ now is in heaven setting on His heavenly throne having paid for our redemption, ready to intercede for us, and ready to welcome us into His heavenly home.
    2. THE QUESTION IS ARE YOU READY TO ACCEPT THIS REVEALED MYSTERY AND BE FOUND ACCEPTABLE TO ENTER INTO GOD'S HEAVENLY HOME? -- YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO IS NOW.

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