Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
Blog Archive   Home
Christian Pioneer Blog 




The Mystery of Godliness


But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. - 1 Timothy 15-16

Paul in writing to Timothy mentions a “mystery of Godliness”. It is inserted between describing how Timothy should act and a summation of God sending Jesus into the world. One might extrapolate that what was “hidden” (a mystery) was that the opportunity to obtain godliness was a result of what Jesus did.

We might see in what those saved by the gospel of grace (1Cor 15:1-4) have that was not available to Israel previously (Phil 2:13, 1Th 2:13, Eph 3:20). However, this is not so much bestowed on us as it requires our participation. Paul wrote in Romans chapter seven a painful recounting of the frustration he felt trying to keep the laws given to Israel. It was only after he received the Spirit of God that he was able to have success in “godliness”. This is recounted in Romans chapter eight as the work of the Holy Spirit that is now available.

One characteristic of God is light (1 John 1:5). We are called “children of light” (1Th 5:5). This is accurate in that as children, we are supposed to grow into the image of our parents (Eph 4:13). Since light proceeds outward from a source it can be seen as giving and selfless. As we grow in godliness we also shed selfishness to become more giving than taking (2Cor 5:15). This is accomplished over time as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us (Gal 5:22-24).

One reason many Christians present no discernable godliness is that they are unaware of this mystery or that it is available to all who are Christians by faith. They have not taken steps to walk by the Spirit as opposed to the selfishness of the flesh (carnality). They remain Christian “infants” (1Cor 3:1-3).

For a Christian to make effective use of the mystery of godliness, he needs two skills. The first is the ability to discern events and people around him in truth so that wise choices can be made regarding paths to take, people with whom to associate, and how to conduct himself. The second set of skills are those that make accurate and deep assessments of ourselves. Honest self-assessment can only bring humility which is a sort of gate through which more grace can be received (Jam 4:6).

There is a level of activity over time required to make use of the mystery of godliness. This level is seldom reached with complacent Christianity. If one can resist the comforts of the world and see them as unappealing, one may be able to immerse himself in the bible, learn and grow in wisdom and understanding, and begin to apply this to his life. Otherwise, throughout eternity he may regret a significant missed opportunity.





Information about Christianity and the Christian life.

Pictures and views of our farm Some of our animals See some of the old-fashioned crafts we are trying to relearn