July 16, 2022
“But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and foundation...”
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“But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: God was MANIFESTED in the flesh, JUSTIFIED in the Spirit, SEEN by angels, PREACHED among the Gentiles, BELIEVED ON in the World, TAKEN UP in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:15-16
One lazy afternoon, I watched a History Channel special: “In Search of Jesus.” For two hours, a myriad of so-called “Christian” experts gave their accounts of the Messiah’s birth, life, and resurrection. Some scholars said He was born in Bethlehem, others say Nazareth, and still, others suggest a desert cave. One guy suggested Jesus wasn’t born at all. Rather, He was only a “spirit.”
None of them believed Joseph took Mary & Jesus to Egypt. Nor could they agree on Herod’s execution of babies in Bethlehem. The show ended with speculation over Messiah’s resurrection.
Given the varied testimonies of so many disagreeing “scholars,” I doubt anyone would be compelled to accept Jesus as Lord, much less devote their lives to taking up a “cross” and following Him. Honestly, the show would have been better if the directors had swapped the “expert” Christians with some REAL ones!
Just as Paul was given the “administration” to dispense the mystery of the gospel (Gentiles get in) and the mystery of lawlessness (those who abandon God’s Word will be harshly judged), he also revealed the mystery of Godliness. We are called to imitate Jesus, refuting heresy by our transformed lives, surrendered to God’s Word. Following Jesus means more than walking an aisle, praying a prayer, raising a hand, or signing a card. It’s about a life devoted to Messiah-likeness. The Bible says God was pleased with Jesus’ suffering on the Roman cross because He lived up to the character of the NAME He inherited. If you are indeed a co-inheritor with Jesus, how are you doing in living up to the character of the Name you have inherited?
Let’s review what Paul calls the “foundation of our faith,” asking ourselves how our lives resonate with these fundamental truths of the gospel.
Have you placed your trust in Jesus? Upon doing so, Jesus is made MANIFEST (i.e., “takes up residence”) in us. If so, the presence of His Spirit should be working in your life, testifying that you have been JUSTIFIED by Messiah’s atoning work on the cross. The angels in Heaven have SEEN every believer because they rejoice when even one sinner repents. (John 15:10) Through the believer, the gospel is PREACHED throughout the world, and by our testimonies, men BELIEVE in Jesus. How’s it going, sharing your faith? Finally, do you live with the knowledge and hope that you, too, will be TAKEN-UP in glory to be with Jesus at the time God appoints?