Let us consider I Timothy 3:16 again.
If we are to become godly people (i.e. those who love and fear God and reverence the things of God), then we must continue to grow in our knowledge and understanding of Christ (II Peter 1:1-11; 3:18 cp. Romans 16:25-27; I Timothy 6:3-6, 10-12; Titus 1:1-3, 2:1-15). The mystery of godliness is fulfilled in us through the revelation of the mystery of Christ (II Corinthians 3:18). The mystery of Christ is revealed in these truths (found in I Timothy 3:16):
- The Qualification of Christ. - "He / God was manifest in the flesh"
No less than God Himself could be a savior for us (Isaiah 40:3-5; 42:8 cp. John 1:1-3, 14; Isaiah 45:21-25 cp. Philippians 2:5-11).
- The Identification of Christ. - "Justified in the Spirit"
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all speak in agreement concerning who is the Messiah - the Christ ("The Anointed One"- Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29-34; 4:25-26; 5:1-23, 31-36; 8:12-59; 10:30-39; 15:22-27). This is comprehended through the united testimony of both Old and New testaments (John 5:37-47; Luke 24:44-48; I John 5:10-12 cp. Romans 1:1-4.
- The Humiliation of Christ. - "Seen of angels"
"Humiliation" is an old theological way of describing Christ becoming a man. Christ humbled Himself to become one of us (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:9-18). This was and is a spectacle to the angels, who were created by Him. They witnessed the creation of the world, the fall of Lucifer and other angels, and then also, the fall of man. That their God would become one of us and redeem us is a marvel and a wonder to the angelic realm. They desire to understand (I Peter 1:10-12). Angels were involved with announcing the forerunner of Christ, John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-20), announcing Christ's conception (Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24) and His birth (Luke 2:8-15). They ministered to Him after the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11) and during the agony in the garden (Luke 22:39-43). They also testified at the Lord's resurrection (Matthew 28:2; Luke 24:13-23; John 20:11-18) and ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). The Fallen angels also made note of Jesus (Mark 1:23-28; 3:11-12; 5:1-17; Acts 19:11-17).
- The Proclamation of Christ's gospel to the world. - "preached unto the gentiles / nations"
Note the world-wide scope of the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47).
- The Activation of the Kingdom of Christ on earth. - "believed on in the world"
See Matthew 24:14; Acts 8:4; 11:18-26; 13:1-4; 15:1-29; 17:1-7, 24-31; 26:13-23; 28:16-31; Romans 1:16; 10:12-21; Colossians 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:11-22; I John 2:2; Isaiah 9:6-7.
- The Reception of Christ into God's Glory. - "received up / taken up into glory"
Christ's work as humble servant is complete (John 19:30). His work now is glorious (Acts 1:6-11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; 10:11-14; Revelation 1:5-18; Hebrews 13:20-21). Therefore, our hope is also glorious (Colossians 1:9-27).