1 Timothy 3:14-4:5
The Mystery of Godliness 14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: s He 1 was manifested in the flesh, vindicated 2 by the Spirit, 3 t seen by angels, u proclaimed among the nations, v believed on in the world, w taken up in glory. Some Will Depart from the Faith 4 1 Now x the Spirit expressly says that y in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to z deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of a liars whose consciences are seared, 3 b who forbid marriage and c require abstinence from foods d that God created e to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For f everything created by God is good, and g nothing is to be rejected if it is e received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy h by the word of God and prayer.
1 Timothy 3:14-4:5
14 Ταῦτά σοι γράφω ἐλπίζων ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ ἐν τάχει• 15 ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω, ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία θεοῦ ζῶντος, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας. 16 καὶ ὁμολογουμένως μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον• ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί, ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι, ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις, ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν, ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ, ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ. 4 1 Τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ῥητῶς λέγει ὅτι ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς ἀποστήσονταί τινες τῆς πίστεως προσέχοντες πνεύμασιν πλάνοις καὶ διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων, 2 ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων, κεκαυστηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν, 3 κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων, ἃ ὁ θεὸς ἔκτισεν εἰς μετάλημψιν μετὰ εὐχαριστίας τοῖς πιστοῖς καὶ ἐπεγνωκόσιν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. 4 ὅτι πᾶν κτίσμα θεοῦ καλὸν καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον μετὰ εὐχαριστίας λαμβανόμενον• 5 ἁγιάζεται γὰρ διὰ λόγου θεοῦ καὶ ἐντεύξεως.
Jesus has revealed the secret of godliness Introduction Different contexts require different behaviours. [board room; doctor's appointment; coffee shop; job interview etc] what about God's family? Godliness - and all contained within that word. In contrast to how false teachers have conducted themselves within God's household - friction, argument, anger. Godly behaviour is the only acceptable behaviour. cf slander and how you talk about others when you're at home (yet still in God's household). Since God still indwells you! By speaking of the Living God, Paul heightens our awareness that we dwell in His presence. 1. How should we live in God's household? Godliness 3.14-15 Oikos - significance of the term. The church is the pillar and buttress of the truth. [cf temple of Diana 100 pillars 18m tall]. 'Without godly living in the church the truth would be discredited and its visibility would fade away from view' Our 'product' in the 'marketplace' is...truth [not primarily activities, social care, education, relief, or even community] 2. Godliness is grounded in the incarnation of the Son of God 3.16 By common agreement; undeniably great. The surprise in what Paul says. 'Great is...?!' linguistic and rhythmic features in the grk Manifested and seen in the flesh, and glorified. First phrase focuses on his being seen as a man, the second on being glorified as a man. So the secret of godliness is humanity raised into God's presence. Not either/or. Eden restored and surpassed. Godliness enables the truth to be displayed. 'does your behaviour commend the convictions you want others to share?' 3. But false teaching chews away at the goodness of God's creation, 4.1-5 'in later times' demonic teaching through human agents. Hence it is a good fight to fight! cf Chesterton quotation about soldiers. seared consciences. Cauterized/anaesthetised. cf theme of conscience in 1 Tim. content of false teaching downgrades the goodness of God's created gifts (eg food, marriage) Sex and hunger appetites correspond to good things, but both can be abused into lust/greed. Or, the opposite abuse says the appetites themselves are wrong and unclean. Eg. Essenes were down on sex and food. Gnostics. Many church fathers tainted in this direction, eg Tertullian and what he wrote on virginity. Godly living embraces the goodness with thanksgiving, v5. Doctrine of creation again. Genesis 1 underlay - you never get off it. Stott: 'If God made something, calling it into being by his word, and by the same word declared it to be good, and if, as a result of our knowledge of these things, we can thank God for it with a good conscience, then we have a double cause to receive it, enjoy it, and thankfully celebrate it. God's creative word and our grateful prayer have together sanctified it to our use.' 'We tend to have a better doctrine of redemption than we do of creation' [illustration of 4 key points, and we're good at the inner two] The gospel centre God's glory: He has made a good creation, called it good, and taken on that creation and redeemed it in Jesus. FCF: We despise or degrade the creation. Outright dualism/gnosticism. Or an unspoken preference for an upper sphere of life. Proof is attitudes to a small group of local people, here and now in front of you. Social media's attraction that you can be everywhere, with a different community, knowing everything. Marriage too boring, male/female too boring, real work too boring, simple community built upon fabric of family too boring, day and night too boring, week rhythm of work/rest too boring. Christian version is to be preoccupied with atonement, and higher abstract ideas of justification, cerebral forms. And ignore the in-built Spirituality of the real world. So we miss lots of the gospels, the plain and clear humanity of Jesus - eating, touching, feeling. Redemption is now doing all of life in the realm of the Spirit's activity, all things in reference to the Lord who is Jesus. Eden. Or just being small and dessicated in your view of humanity - especially down on the colour and vigour of life, which is there in creation. Music, laughter, parties [ain't no party like a Christian party...the irony is there since we are hesitant with created stuff]. Jesus - takes on humanity. As a man, works, community, rests, relates. Eats, drinks. He gave thanks for food. Goes to a wedding and makes wine. Accused of being a glutton. At various points he clearly thanks his father. He receives children into his arms, with their undeniably physicality; he takes the loaves and fishes. Jesus' work - in his death is subjected to the full evil of a worldview that had rejected God, and in his death, destroys the old order of rejecting God and his gifts. Though he was holy, he was treated as cursed. And in his resurrection, he re-affirms the goodness of God's creation, in a new creation. In Jesus,... I live the new creation life already now. Food, drink, marriage, family, community, work, rest. Thankfulness! I have the mystery of godliness because I am in Jesus. God in the flesh shows us God; so we can live in him and show his life and rule in the midst of the physical world (not just in a sermon or Bible study). The spiritual plays through the physical; the physical is the 'platform' for spirituality. Symphony and music. Conclusion faith and conscience - 1.5, 1.19, 3.9, 4.1-2; holding the faith and living it out with a clear conscience the exact opposite of abandoning it and living with a seared conscience.