Texas pastor explains the ‘mystery of godliness’ and the ‘great love of God for man’
“And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifested in the flesh Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
This verse comes from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. The epistle is believed to have been written later in Paul’s life, says the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Timothy, whom Paul converted, was a leader of the Ephesian congregation.
The “mystery of godliness” noted in the verse “unfolds the great love of God for man,” Pastor Jon Bell told Fox News Digital.
Bell is senior pastor at Calvary Chapel in Flower Mound, Texas.
“From the days of old there was a mystery unfolding, glimpses of grace that pointed to the wonders of God,” Bell told Fox News Digital.
These glimpses “gave puzzle pieces of something to come,” he said.
That something was Jesus Christ — “the fulfillment of the mystery, the essence of the shadow, and the missing piece of the puzzle.”
In 1 Timothy, it is explained how the various characteristics of Christ make His divine nature clear, and explain what and why Jesus was sent to Earth to do.
Jesus is “the mystery of godliness,” said Bell.
As fully man, Jesus “puts [God] on display in a way that man could relate to and understand. It was the communication of God in man’s language.”
Bell added, “All man could know about God would be revealed in His Son and His work.”
It is clear within scripture that Jesus is God, said Bell, and “manifest in the flesh.”
“He, Jesus, is God in the flesh.”
Perfectly sinless, Jesus was similarly “justified in the spirit” and was “untainted by the fallen condition that affects all creation … When Jesus was baptized, that sinless condition was declared to the world as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him,” he said.
“Angels themselves, those heavenly beings, hovered around Jesus,” said Bell. “They had never seen love like they had in the person and work of Jesus.”
And despite being a Jewish man, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” Jesus Christ is the Savior of all, said Bell — not just a certain segment of the population.
“Jesus is not regionally exclusive and isolated,” said Bell. “He came for all the world.”
Said the pastor, “His work was made available to all. Jesus was received, and still is, all around the world.”
At the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected into heaven — and was “received up in glory,” just as the verse claims.
“Jesus finished His work and went back to take His seat on the right hand of God the Father, where He lives to make intercession for us,” said Bell.
“He is our advocate in heaven, who paved the way to heaven for us through His life, death and resurrection.”