The Mystery of Godliness – Justified
“Justified in the Spirit”
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit…”
1 Timothy 3:16
The Mystery of Godliness commenced with His Incarnation and continued with Him being “justified in the Spirit”. The Greek word translated “justified” here is best represented as “vindicated”. It will take an eternity to comprehend all that Christ accomplished on the cross. Because of His death and resurrection, we are justified BY or, better yet, THROUGH faith unto our own growth in godliness.
In His walk, His humility, His pure expression of our heavenly Father, He was perfected as a man. He was received in heavenly places as the Victor over every temptation. In His sacrifice, He was vindicated by “the spirit of holiness” as the “firstborn” in His Resurrection from the dead!
“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”
In His being “declared” the Son of God with power, we are given the grace to declare to all nations the dynamic of faith which brings us to obedience.
“By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name…”
In His perfect obedience by which He was vindicated in the Spirit, we are given the power of a living faith to learn obedience even as He. Paul declares his “apostleship” was for the purpose of declaring the “obedience of faith” to all nations. The faith preached was that of a life empowered by the grace of God unto obedience, not simply a mental assent!
The vindication that Christ has been received into our hearts is revealed in our own increasing testimony in this life; overcoming AS HE overcame.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Our invitation into the Kingdom of God whereby we become heirs and, more incredibly, joint-heirs of His place of honour with the Father is staggering yet true to all who overcome the corruption of this world.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together”
Let the power of all that is offered to us in Christ begin to take hold of our hearts by this phrase: “joint-heirs WITH Christ”. As His Life empowers us to the same victory as He, we become participants in His Eternal Glory! Our hope is founded upon His vindication by being raised from the dead.
May we see by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation the power that has been offered to us IN Christ to yield ourselves “as living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1).
“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you”
There are depths of power and provision for those who through the wonder of Faith will appropriate them. His vindication in the Spirit, as evidenced by His resurrection, is the surety for a generation who will yet walk in the Unity of His Spirit, fully subjected to Him in all things. The fulfilment of His Covenant with the Son will be ours by our obedience to His Faith moving in us!
Eternal Life is the true life of Christ manifested in those who live and abide in Him.
“He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”
1 John 5:12
Unity of the Spirit is the result of lives that are fully His and can only be realized by our individual union with Him.
“that they may be ONE in US”
If I walk in pride, unforgiveness, stubbornness, carnality and such, this unity is not available to me. The nature of our life determines our relationship with Him and with one another. As we partake of His divine nature we overcome (as He overcame) the inherent corruption that prevents us from this purity.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”
2 Peter 1:4
The full revelation of all that is offered to us in Christ will not be known apart from unity. May we comprehend this truth: ALL true ministry is given to the Church to bring us into the power of the unity of the Spirit. Any ministry that seeks its own, that draws men and women to itself, that seeks to elevate itself over another is the spirit of anti-Christ! Those who do such things do violence to the nature and fabric of the Body of Christ. In seeking our own we deny HIM.
In seeking our own we deny Him.
The evidence of His life being formed in us is how we vindicate HIM by the life we live. If my relationship with Him is becoming more powerful and authentic, I will naturally have that same relationship with my brother who also abides in Christ. Unity is the natural outcome of His Lordship in our lives.
His vindication in the Spirit is to transform my life into one of overcoming as HE! To this end, Paul governed His walk. “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him”; a life that pleases God because Christ was well-pleasing (Greek: in whom is all my delight) unto the Father. (Matthew 3:17).
“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent,
we may be accepted of him”
2 Corinthians 5:9
Why was Paul pressing for this walk of faith?
“that mortality might be swallowed up of life”
2 Corinthians 5:4
Paul had already touched on this magnificent truth in his earlier epistle.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
1 Corinthians 15:53-57
What is to be our response to such unfathomable truths?
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
The True Hope
Those in whom this hope burns are “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”. The life they live reveals the faith that is alive in their hearts. Our receiving of the Spirit of Him who was vindicated in heavenly places is revealed in the manner and conduct of our walk.
May His Spirit lay hold of our hearts afresh. May we humble ourselves, yield ourselves unto Him, that the same obedience that He walked in may be true of us. The truth that hope has gripped our hearts is revealed in the lives we live.
“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3
The hope spoken of here is not a doctrinal hope of “going to heaven”. It is a hope by virtue of His Life working in us the same power, by the same Spirit, that raised up Christ from the dead. His vindication is to produce in us the qualities of His life that pleased the Father! Let us read the above scripture and ask ourselves honestly:
Is this the hope that burns within our hearts?
“And beside this, giving all diligence,
add to your faith…godliness…”
2 Peter 1:5-6