1 Timothy

“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 Timothy 3:16 NKJV

By Leslie M. Grant

First Timothy (Timothy means “honoring God”) was written to an individual, a young man for whom Paul had deep affection. Being of a timid, retiring nature, and yet gifted by God, Timothy needed to be stirred up to a sense of responsibility as to proper behavior “in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God” (v.15).

Timothy’s ministry was given not for its independent exercise but for the sake of the welfare of the Assembly, the body of Christ. He was called upon also to see that sound doctrine is maintained in the local assembly and order is kept by the actions and service of faithful elders and deacons.

The assembly was to be a place of prayer (1 Tim. 2). In chapter 3 the assembly is stated to be “the pillar and ground of the truth” (v.15) – a witness of God being made manifest in flesh in true, blessed Manhood and the Spirit of God publicly justifying Him in His descent in the form of a dove on the Lord at His baptism (Mt. 3:16). The power of this anointing was seen in His life. In Christ, God had appeared to angels, who had never before seen Him. And He has been preached to Gentiles: the person and work of the Lord Jesus provides a world-wide gospel, meaning “good news,” for all mankind. He is “believed on in the world.” Whether by many or few, faith has responded to such a revelation. “Received up in glory” completes this list of blessed facts to which the Assembly, or Church, bears witness.