The Mystery of Godliness 1 Tim 3:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The mystery of godliness is the deity of Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, ministers of Christ are to be stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1). There are seven mysteries of God. The one we’re talking about today is the mystery of godliness, which is found in 1 Tim. 3:16.
The mystery of godliness says that, “God was manifest in the flesh.” This is a mystery. How does God, who inhabits all of the universe, manifest himself in a man’s body, and still retain his deity? Paul says about this, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” [1 Cor 2:25]. How does he miraculously heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, make the lame walk, make the maimed whole, make the blind to see and the deaf to hear, and raise the dead and yet suffer hunger, thirst and exhaustion? This is a mystery.
Mysteries are mysteries because they challenge our understanding. It’s hard or even impossible to figure them out. We only know what God has revealed to us about them. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,” [Prov 25:2]. Paul said in 1 Cor 2:10, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit…” Deut 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God…” This verse goes on to say, “… but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Mysteries are not always for us to figure out. But they are for us to believe. And I believe that God was manifest in the flesh, because the Bible says so. That is, if you have the preserved words of God, your Bible says so. Many modern Bibles have removed the word “God” from 1 Tim 3:16 and replaced it with “he” or “who.”
When Jesus said, “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me,” (John 12:45) he was not lying because he was God in the flesh. In John 14:9, Jesus said the same thing to Philip when he said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”
Now, if Jesus Christ was really God while he was here in the earth, there should be other scriptural evidence to this fact. Indeed, there is. In John 1:1, we read, “… And the Word was God.” Well, who is the Word? According to John 1:14, the Word had to be Jesus Christ. He was made flesh. John said that he dwelt among us and that he was the only begotten of the Father. Furthermore, John says of the Word in his first epistle that he had heard him, had seen him, and had handled him with his hands (1 John 1:1-2). Eternal life was manifest.
John leaves no doubt that the Word is in fact the true God and not some lesser god or some man upon whom the spirit of God came after his birth. Just look at 1 John 5:7. It says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” What could be more clearly stated than that? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one. They are God manifest in three persons.
Well, if you have one of the modern Bibles, you do not have 1 Jn 5:7. You have either the last part of verse six or the first part of verse eight inserted in place of verse seven. But you don’t have what the KJV says, because you don’t have God’s preserved words. Furthermore, if you have a NASV, your Bible says that Jesus was a begotten God in John 1:18. That’s a blatant attack on the deity of Jesus Christ. He’s God not a begotten god. A begotten god is one that is not eternal and Jesus is eternal [1 Jn 5:10-11]. A begotten god has a beginning and Jesus had no beginning.
Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he appeared to his disciples several times. Some teachers would have you believe that his resurrection was merely spiritual and not physical. However, this cannot be true. For when Christ arose, he arose bodily. In Luke 24:39 he said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
When Jesus appeared to Thomas in John 20:24-29, he appeared in a physical body with the scars in his hands, feet and side. When Thomas saw him, he believed and said to the Lord, “My Lord and my God.” Notice that Thomas, who had been a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, did not hesitate to call him, “God,” when he saw him. That would have been blasphemy if it had not been true (John 10:33).
The bottom line on this doctrine, then, is that Jesus Christ is God, has always been God and will always be God. To believe that he is anything else other than the true God is to believe a lie. Look how John concludes his first epistle. In the 1 John 5:20, he says, “…we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. This is the mystery of godliness. I couldn’t believe it more if I could see him with my own eyes.