The Mystery of Godliness

1Ti  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
In 1 Timothy the Apostle would teach Timothy how he ought to behave himself "in the house of God"; and he then presents the formative power of all true godliness in the words, "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." 1 Tim. 3:1616And 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. (1 Timothy 3:16).
This is often quoted and interpreted as if it spoke of the mystery of the Godhead, or the mystery of Christ's Person. But it is the mystery of godliness, or the secret by which all real godliness is produced—the divine spring of all that can be called piety in man. "God... manifest in the flesh" is the example and power of godliness, its measure and its spring. Godliness is not now produced, as under the law, by divine
enactments; nor is it the result in the spirit of bondage in those (however godly) who only know God as worshiped behind a veil. Godliness now springs from the knowledge of the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. It takes its spring and character from the knowledge of His Person as "God... manifest in the flesh"; the perfection of His obedience, as "justified in the Spirit"; the object of angelic contemplation, and the subject of testimony and faith in the world; and His present position as "received up into glory." This is how God is known, and from abiding in this flows godliness.