The Mystery of Godliness

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness, He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.  ~1 Timothy 3:16

 

            God’s work is incredible.  This passage reminds us of what it is we believe.  Jesus came in the flesh, the Son of God adding humanity to himself.  He died and then was raised from the dead.  The Spirit raised Jesus and so vindicated his ministry and sacrifice.  He was seen and proclaimed.  Most incredible of all, he was believed on in the world!

            When we think about God’s work of saving people we see his power.  When Jesus ascended into heaven he left a small group of followers in an oppressed nation.  The larger society saw a crucified man who had failed in whatever he was trying to do and a group of heretical Jews.  The beginnings of Christianity were not promising from a human perspective.

            However, the Spirit was given and Peter preached and some 3000 believed!  The gospel was taken from person to person and spread across the Roman Empire.  Within 300 years the Emperor himself was a professing Christian and the faith had passed outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire.  For a time, the whole of Europe claimed Christianity in an official sense! 

            To this day Christ is believed on in the world as God continues to work and call people to himself.  To this day we are privileged to have a part in proclaiming Christ among the nations.  Though our proclamation may seem a small thing in our own eyes, God continues to use it to save people. 

            The task today is no more difficult than in the first century when a handful of Jews bore witness to the resurrection.  God still works and people still believe.  May we never cease proclaiming the good news of salvation through faith in the resurrected Jesus. 


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