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
Jesus Christ: fully God, fully man – this is the great mystery that was laid hidden until the New Testament. Jesus incarnate. God became flesh; He became like you and me. The Creator of all things walked this earth – God wrote himself into His own great story so that there would be no question of the nature and character of the author.
How does this relate to godliness? Godliness is not mentioned many times in the New Testament, but when Paul or Peter use this word it is pregnant with meaning for our lives. You see, many Christians could be called talented preachers or gifted worship leaders or great pastors, but the ultimate desire – according to the New Testament writers – is to be people of godliness. We are to be people who have tapped into a spring which overflows into lives that look like the one the creator God lived when He walked the earth. What they are saying is that godliness means we look like Jesus, and the love, the joy, the compassion, the mercy, the grace, the righteousness that was seen in the God man, Jesus Christ, can be seen in us.
When we are challenged to pursue godliness, or encouraged through Scriptures that we possess everything we need to live a godly life, the Word of God is pointing us to the great mystery that has been uncovered, Jesus Christ. It is encouraging us simply to pursue the One who has already pursued us. Godliness is not something we can obtain by our own strength, smarts or religious intention. Jesus the great well-digger came to unblock the spring of godliness that is within all of us, a river of life that flows into every area of our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. The greatest compliment we could receive as a church is not that we are talented, clever or relevant – but that we are godly.
Everything we need has been given to us through the God-Man, Jesus. There is no more mystery. Let’s pursue godliness today, because in doing that we are proclaiming that we seek to reflect who He is – and that is what this city needs. If we forget what godliness looks like, let’s look to the One who appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels in the spirit, preached to every nation, came to save the whole world, and ascended into glory to sit at the right hand of the Father. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus today and a spring of godliness will flow out of us, by the power of His Spirit.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey