GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

UNDERSTAND the GREAT MYSTERY of GODLINESS

UNDERSTAND the GREAT MYSTERY of GODLINESS

December 8 Bible Reading: 1 Timothy Chapters 1-3

“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 Tim. 3:16)

The above verse written by Apostle Paul to his spiritual son Timothy is perhaps one of the greatest, most profound statements ever recorded in Scripture. The rhythmic construction of the summary statement suggests that Paul may be quoting an early hymn or creedal confession. God has made His plan—this great “mystery of godliness”—known to us only by special revelation (see Ephesians chap. 3). Through the above verse, Paul is trying to unravel one of the greatest secrets that ever existed until that point of time, which has the express purpose to produce godliness in humans who are born in sin. It is a mystery of “godliness” since it leads to and results in godliness in those who accept it, and it is “great” due to its importance and scope.

The “mystery of godliness” points out to the person of Jesus Christ, who is the essence of this mystery and whose work as completed on the earth. He is God incarnate, who was made flesh, and was manifest in the flesh as He lived among us (John 1:14). Though condemned as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all the false charges with which he was loaded. He was God manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Thus, the person and work of the Lord Jesus is truly marvelous and wonderful!

J. N. Darby in his collected writings has explained this verse as follows: “This is often quoted and interpreted as if it spoke of the mystery of the Godhead, or the mystery of Christ’s Person. But it is the mystery of godliness, or the secret by which all real godliness is produced—the divine spring of all that can be called piety in man...Godliness springs from the knowledge of the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ...This is how God is known; and from abiding in this flows godliness.”

Apostle Paul elaborates on this “mystery of godliness” in six different phrases as listed below:
  1. Manifested in the flesh refers to Christ’s incarnation, the fact that Jesus became man and lived as a servant for about 33.5 years (John. 1:14). True godliness was manifest in the flesh for the first time when the Savior was born as a Babe in Bethlehem’s manger.
  2. Justified in the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit’s role in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus was vindicated by the Holy Spirit of God at His baptism (Matt. 3:15–17), transfiguration (Matt. 17:5), resurrection (Acts 2:32-33; Rom. 1:3-4), and ascension (John 16:7, 10).
  3. Seen by angels refers to the angelic witness of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was seen by angels at His birth, temptation, His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, resurrection, and ascension (Acts 1:10-11).
  4. Preached among the Gentiles refers to the proclamation of Christ to the nations (Col. 1:23). From the Day of Pentecost onward, Jesus has been preached among the Gentiles in the farthest corners of the earth.
  5. Believed on in the world refers to the response of individuals to God’s plan of salvation (1 Cor. 1:18–25). It describes the fact that some from almost every tribe and nation have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. Received up in glory refers to the ascension of Christ to heaven after the work of redemption had been completed, after which He is seated at the right hand of God in heaven (see Acts 1:9; 7:56; Heb. 1:3-4).
According to some Bible scholars, this list of events is presented chronologically: manifested in the flesh refers to the incarnation; justified in the Spirit refers to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; seen by angels describes His ascension into heaven; preached among the Gentiles and believed on in the world are the events that followed His ascension; and, finally, received up in glory refers to a coming day when all His redeemed are gathered, raised from the dead, and received up with Him to glory. It is only then that the work of this “mystery of godliness” will be truly complete.

Let us understand that this great “mystery of godliness” is none other than Jesus Christ, and it is only when we serve Him sincerely can we ascend the steps to godliness in the coming days!

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)

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