The Mystery of Godliness: God Manifest in the Flesh

  And ever since, as He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, the holy angels see Him, as they surround His throne, sing His praises, and do His bidding.

  Thus the point of this statement in 1 Tim.3:16, that God, who was manifest in the flesh, was “seen of angels”, is to teach us that the holy angels gave testimony to the truth of God incarnate: they added their own voices as witnesses to this great truth.  God manifest in the flesh was seen of angels!  And not only seen, but praised and magnified by them.

  And if the holy angels did this for Him, it shows who He was, and is.  For the holy angels worship God alone.

“Preached unto the Gentiles”

  The Gospel of Christ was taken to the nations of the world.  It was preached to them, and has continued to be preached to them down to this very day.  And a vital aspect of the blessed Gospel which is preached throughout the world, is that “God was manifest in the flesh”!  This is essential to the message of the Gospel – for if Christ had not come, if the Son of God had not taken human nature and become a man, there would be no Gospel to preach!  The good news, the glad tidings, is “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim.1:15).  And why, precisely, is this good news?  It is good news because He is God as well as man!

  What would be good news about a mere man dying on the cross?  There would be no good news in that!  The death of a mere man on a cross could not save a single soul from eternal damnation for sin.  But the good news is that Christ Jesus, who is God manifest in the flesh, came into the world to save sinners by dying for them on the cross!  The thing which makes the Gospel the Gospel, is the incarnation of the Son of God.  “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16)!  “Unto us a Son is given” (Isa. 9:6)! 

  Man could do absolutely nothing to save himself.  The good news is that God came to save sinners.  God took the initiative, and God did it all!  God accomplished for man what he could not accomplish for himself! 

  Those wolves in sheep’s clothing, today, who deny the deity of Christ, and say that He was merely a very good man, have ripped the very heart out of the blessed Gospel.  They are preaching a Christ who is nothing more than a great example, a martyr, a good man.  But if we want salvation, oh then we need so much more!  We need a Saviour who can truly save us from our sins (Matt. 1:21) – and no mere mortal man can do that!

  We need a mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5), a “daysman”, which is to say an umpire or mediator, “that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33) – upon the offended God, and upon offending man!  We need One who is both God and man!  We need a sinless, perfect Saviour – and only One who is God as well as man can be such a Saviour!

  Thus, this aspect of the Gospel, as well – that Christ was preached unto the Gentiles – declares Him to be “God manifest in the flesh”.

  And furthermore, the very preaching of Christ to the Gentiles is, in itself, a vital part of the “mystery of godliness”.  Consider this carefully:

 In Eph.3:3 Paul says, “he made known unto me the mystery” – which is nothing else but “the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4), “the mystery of the Gospel” (Eph. 6:19),“the mystery of the faith” (1 Tim. 3:9), “the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mk. 4:11), “the mystery of his will” (Eph. 1:9), and “the mystery of godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16).  All these are scriptural phrases for the Gospel of Christ.

  And Eph.3:5 says that this mystery of the Gospel “in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit”, that is, to the extent that it was now revealed, and with the clarity with which it was now revealed, by the Holy Spirit, to the apostles of Christ, who then made it known to others.

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