Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Mystery of Godliness

Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2012
1 Timothy 3:16

A. Tonight, we will look at one of the mysteries of the Bible. The word “mystery” means “to shut the mouth.” A mystery is a secret that is kept. If a mystery is revealed, then it is no longer a mystery to those hear it. There are several mysteries mentioned in the New Testament:

1. Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thessalonians. 2:2-8)

2. Mystery of the indwelling of Christ in the believer (Colossians 1:25-28)

3. Mystery of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32)

4. Mystery of Israel’s blindness (Romans 11:25)

5. Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).

6. Mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16)

B. This final mystery is different from all of the others because it is described as “great.” Though the preceding mysteries are beyond our finite capacity to understand, the greatest of all is the Mystery of Godliness. The incarnation of Christ is involved where God became man.

1. It encompasses the incarnation of Chris through the virgin birth; the dual nature of Christ: both 100% God and 100% man; both divine and human at the same time

2. It encompasses the love of God for sinful man: the absolute holiness of God loving and providing redemption for the absolute sinfulness of man; the salvation of sinful man from the holiness of God through the justification of faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

3. It is to be believed and yet is beyond human comprehension.

C. This final mystery is not only described as great but the Holy Ghost said, “Without controversy.” As the statement “In the beginning God,” this mystery is a statement of fact, not a point to be argued. Believe it and be saved or believe it not and go to hell. God is not in the arguing business. Man’s disbelief does not change God’s truth!

1. God was manifest in the flesh. God became man. The seed of the woman robed in pure flesh without the Adamic sin nature that is derived from the seed of Adam. Almighty Jehovah God took upon Himself the form of a servant and became obedient to death. The great I AM THAT I AM walked on this earth with all of the frailty of humanity while maintaining all of the infinite power of His eternal being.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

1 John 1:1-2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

2. Justified in the Spirit. “To pronounce righteous.”

a. In His Birth - Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

b. In His Life - 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

c. In His Resurrection - Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

3. Seen of angels.

a. Attended at His birth - Luke 2:9-14 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

b. Ministered in His life - Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Luke 22:41-43 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

c. Witnessed His resurrection - Matthew 28:5-6 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

4. Preached unto the Gentiles.

a. Salvation is to the Jew First - Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (God loves the nation of Israel. He blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curst Israel.)

b. Salvation is to the Gentiles Also - Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (I thank God that He loves me also! He is a respecter of nations but is no respecter of persons.)

5. Believed on in the World.

a. The Preaching of the Gospel brings opportunity - Romans 10:15-17 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b. The Believing of the Gospel brings salvation - 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

6. Received up into Glory.

a. He ascended to Heaven - Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

b. He will descend in the Rapture - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

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