10/23 1 Timothy 3:16

16 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.

It is thought that this was a song of the early church that confessed the faith that they believed. These fundamental truths about the faith helped them avoid error, and at the same time it declared the already established victory we have in Christ. This is the mystery of the godliness of Christ that results in us living the godliness of the faith.

"He was manifested in the flesh" tells us that Jesus was all God and all man (John 1:14). All the fullness of God was pleased to be in His sinless, physical body (Colossians 1:19). "Vindicated by the Spirit" tells us that the Holy Spirit affirmed His life was sinless and perfect by raising Him from the dead (Romans 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18). His sacrifice for our sins was accepted by God. "Seen by angels" tells us of His ascension, where demonic angels were defeated and holy angels worshiped Him (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 1:6). These three lines address His earthly mission.

The next stanza of three lines speaks of the results of Jesus' victory. "Proclaimed among the nations" tells of the evangelization of the nations by the apostles and their converts. It continues to this day. "Believed on in the world" is the result of the message of Jesus' victory bringing people to know Him as the Lord of their lives. Never before have more people turned to Jesus each and every day. "Taken up in glory" speaks of the place He now holds at the right hand of God as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus has prevailed. He reigns! This is our faith. This is the truth we proclaim.

Consider: Remind yourself of these truths. They will encourage you to live a godly life and keep you from doctrinal error.