The Church, The Eternal Purpose

The Mystery of Godliness

GOD IN CHRIST

I had a great intro to this topic and erased it all in order to be able to jump into what is truly on my heart, the great mystery of godliness and the body of Christ. So here we go!!

Let’s begin in 1 Timothy 3:16,

And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness:

He who was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory

We see the great mystery of godliness, and it is God in Christ. God and all of who He is, nature and character, manifesting Himself through the human flesh of Jesus Christ equals godliness.

First of all, godliness is a mystery! Mystery in a sense that our natural human minds cannot understand it or see how it works. It’s not a mystery in a way that we cannot know what the mystery is, we just may not be able to completely understand how it works or how it’s even possible.

Like for example in Col 1:27,

God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

He willed for us to know about the mystery but we just don’t understand how in the world God is able to place CHRIST in us, but it is our hope of glory. The FACT is, and it is a FACT, whether we understand it or not doesn’t make it any less true, that God placed Christ in us at the time we were born again. It’s a mystery! But this mystery leads us to an even greater mystery and the key to living a godly life.

The key again is found in 1 Timothy 3:16,

And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh,

Please take note, the godliness in this verse is not referring to piety but of Divine Nature. So when re-written with that in mind, we see

great is the mystery of Divine nature; God who was manifested in the flesh of Jesus Christ.

We see the great mystery, first, displayed in the life of Jesus. The secret to Jesus’ godliness was God manifested through His flesh. Jesus Christ’s godliness is the Godliness of His Father. Remember Jesus set aside His divinity and took on flesh. So where did His ability to live a Godly life come from?- It was His Father’s. This is the way Divine nature works, it’s a mystery.

We see this mystery come to light when Jesus is talking to Philip in John 14. Philip asks Jesus to show us the Father, Jesus’ reply,

“If you’ve seen me then you have seen the Father.”

Jesus knew the great mystery of godliness. He allowed His Father’s nature and character to manifest through his mortal flesh.

And then Jesus goes on to explain the key to his godliness,

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me DOES HIS WORK. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

All that you see me do and say is really just my Father doing and saying these things, not me. I am the vessel for my Father’s divine nature as seen through my word and works. He is my godliness. This is how godliness works, you possess no godliness of your own, you live by the One who is Godliness.

We also see Jesus expanding on this great mystery when he says,

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

This leads us to the second part of the great mystery!

This is the full gospel of Christ and the key to manifesting and executing the kingdom of God and His eternal purpose on earth.

CHRIST IN THE CHURCH

Because Christ has gone to the Father, the church will do greater works, like manifesting divine life, executing the Kingdom of God by CHRIST’s all sufficient, qualified divine life. Now Christ is able to manifest divine nature through the church just as God was able to manifest His divine nature through Jesus Christ. The “greater works” is to manifest the great mystery through the flesh of a corporate people, the church.

We have the mystery of the Divine nature, which was manifested in the flesh in Christ, continues now in His own. “This mystery is great: I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.”

because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: I speak in regard of Christ and of the church” (Ephesians 5:30-32)

Christ and the church are ONE FLESH, through which the great mystery of divine nature will be manifested!!

We see it in Col 1:27,

God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And Jesus said himself,

John 17:23 “I in them… and you in ME.

The great mystery of a corporate humanity, a corporate flesh, manifesting the divine nature of Christ. Christ’s humanity has been tested and perfected through suffering and it is now in us fully but manifested corporately.

This is the mystery of godliness- not to be like or imitate God, but to be inhabited by DIVINE NATURE of GODliness HIMSELF and allow Him to manifest that divine nature through our mortal flesh.

You can see the Father’s eternal plan, Now the Church is the manifestation of this great mystery- She is one with CHRIST because Christ is in Her, they are One Flesh- to see her is to see Christ which is to see the FATHER.

We are told this by our brother Peter,

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:4)

THE BODY OF CHRIST-THE CHURCH

This leads me to my last point, The body of Christ-The Church who has always been a part of God’s eternal purpose because the church is the manifestation of His Son.

T. Austin Sparks states it beautifully in these quotes,

The great and wonderful reality into which we are all called is the forming of a Body for the indwelling of that Christ of whom it says the Divine nature was manifested in flesh.

It is a marvelous calling to embody Christ in the Spirit.

The very first thing for which the Church is called in its relationship to Christ is to be the manifestation of Him, the Divine nature manifested in flesh: “I in them…”

The church is only the church because of the GREAT MYSTERY- CHRIST IN HER!

She has no godliness or divine nature apart from Christ. I pray that you may have a spirit of wisdom and knowledge of Him-Christ. I pray that you can begin to see you have no godliness in yourself to manifest. Your godliness is none other than the crucified, resurrected, ascended exalted, glorified and justified JESUS CHRIST. I pray that you come into a revelation of the body of Christ as seen expressed through the Church, for they are one.

I would like to end with these two quotes by T. Austin Sparks,

The Church is revealed in the New Testament as constituted for the maintenance in this world a witness to the living presence of the Lord, the Christ of God – to be the embodiment of Him. Nothing less than that, nothing other than that, justifies the continuation of a thing which goes by the name of the Church.

When each one of us comes into the revelation of Christ manifesting Himself through us as the key to all things godly, then we can begin to really see the body, and this is when we will see the eternal purpose of the church-the manifestation of the Son of God.

Having a bunch of believers in a living room does not make them the church. It will only be when that group of people come into the revelation of Christ in them, that He is their godliness. And that people are set on learning to live by that Divine nature and not their own nature is when you will see the church and all of WHO she is meant to be. May we allow ourselves to become people who are desperate, singularly focused on living by and manifesting through our flesh the life of divine nature, CHRIST.

We see Paul explaining this also in Gal 2:20,

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

It is possible to experience this and walk it out with others in the flesh. Where everyone is learning together to manifest the great mystery of the divine nature, Christ, through their flesh by the Faith of the Son of God. All of us who write for this blog have seen it first hand and have experienced the corporate manifestation of divine nature. It is and can be a reality on earth today.

So when I quote T Austin Sparks, it’s from a personal experiential knowing and practical outworking. I too have seen the church as she was meant to be the very manifestation of Christ Himself on the earth for His glory. 

What the Lord is constantly seeking to do with His people, and seemingly more and more so toward the end, is to bring them face to face with the real nature of their calling, and to require that they should face up to it. T. Austin Sparks- Amen.

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Milt Rodriguez
    March 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Great post sister and very well written!

  2. Reply
    Dave Dittman
    March 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Thank you for this very encouraging word and unfolding this great mystery of Christ in us. You are helping us to see Him in His Glory and when we see Him we will be like Him.

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