“He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up to glory.”
Recently I have been doing a lot of reading of the pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus) because of things happening in my church. It has been great to pray and read through these rich books again. I am always struck by something new and this time around it was how Paul felt the need to include a “confession of faith” (or hymn) of sorts in his letter to Timothy. Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:15 in the contexts of speaking about leaders and deacons, how he desires to write the letter so that “you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God”. In other word, this is of utmost importance. It is regarding the church. The bride of Christ. And how we should act in the house of God. After this (in 1 Timothy 3:16) he writes a “common confession”, which I wrote above. It’s a declaration…”This is what we believe”!…”Let us relish in the glory of this truth”!
When I consider what Paul is saying it makes me both feel blessed and burdened. In one respect I know I get to live in the truth of those words! Jesus was revealed in the flesh…vindicated in the Spirit…seen by angels…proclaimed among the nations…believed on in the world…taken up to glory…and He is my God, my strength, my mediator and my salvation. I will spend eternity with Him.
And burdened. As Chris and I walk our path in ministry…I am realizing just how important getting the truth of the gospel right is. And how the men chosen to be in leadership should be chosen with much discernment. It is of the utmost importance. We must be faithful. It is a somewhat daunting responsibility. And I understand why Paul would include such theologically rich words to his letter. In essence he is preaching to Timothy the truth of the message….it is one not to be tampered with….it is not one to change….it is the truth.
It is our confession.
Picture Credit: Picture taken by me at the Westminster Abbey in Mission, BC