Great is the Mystery of our Religion: He…
I Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was
manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the
nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (RSV)
The mystery of our religion refers to the great revealed truth that was once unknown and still
unknown among unbelievers. And what is the center of our religion/godliness? He, or as
elsewhere translated, God, was manifested in the flesh, etc. God was made known in the flesh,
speaking of God the Son—Jesus.
The coming of God the Son in the flesh and all that He accomplished is the center of our gospel,
faith, life and hope as Christians. Our doctrines, practices, worship and congregational
organization are all designed to point us to and bring us to a life that is Christ-centered, that is
We could cite many other passages that show the centrality of Christ in our religion: Luke's
summary of what Phillip preached to the Eunuch at Acts 8:35; Paul’s summary of the gospel in I
Corinthians 15; much of the book of Hebrews. But consider Jesus' own words.
John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and
these are they which testify of Me. 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you
may have life.
A convert to Christianity who fled North Korea has dramatically illustrated this using a three
feet by four feet canvas. On it he wrote the entire New Testament in minute letters in English-
about 185,000 words. By inking some letters more heavily than others he brought out a figure
of Christ with 27 small angels looking at Him, representing the 27 books of the NT. (1)
Our NT is centered on Christ. The preaching and teaching of the gospel centered on Him and His
teachings. And the Christian life is to be focused on this greatest of all who ever lived as a man,
now reigning at the right hand of God in heaven. In this, we find our true self and our true
destiny-we find our Way.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me.
(1) E. Stanley Jones, In Christ (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1961}, p. 18.