Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the mystery of godliness

Guest Blogger: Seth Hein, Worship Pastor at Jubilee Church St. Louis

I was reading in first Timothy this morning, and a verse jumped out at me in an interesting way. It was in verse 16 in chapter 3. Paul writes:

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.

I realized that the second bit is about Jesus, He’s the one who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated, seen, proclaimed, believed and taken up into glory. But the part that struck me was how Paul sets it up. He says that this is the mystery of godliness! I was surprised. When I originally read that first sentence, I was expecting Paul to explain godliness in a different way. I expected a standard of living, similar to what is laid out for elders and deacons shortly before this passage. I expected a picture of what it means to live a good life. But instead I got a picture of Jesus. After thinking a bit more about all this, things started to make sense. Godliness isn’t really about being a good person, following lots of rules, or religious codes. If that was all godliness is, you wouldn’t even need to follow Jesus. There are loads of decent people who follow all the rules but still seem empty on the Inside. Real godliness is about knowing Jesus. It’s about finding our fulfillment in His saving grace, and finding ourselves adopted as sons and daughters of the King, God almighty who made all things. Godliness isn’t about me, it’s about Him.