What is the mystery of godliness? It is the deity of Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, ministers of Christ are to be stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1). There are seven mysteries of God. In the next seven weeks, we will deal with each of these mysteries. The first one is the mystery of godliness, which is found in 1 Tim. 3:16.
The mystery of godliness says that, “God was manifest in the flesh.” So, when Jesus said, “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me,” (John 12:45) he was not lying because he was God in the flesh. In John 14:9, Jesus said the same thing to Philip when he said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”
Now, if Jesus Christ was really God while he was here in the earth, there should be other scriptural evidence to this fact. Indeed, there is. In John 1:1, we read, “… And the Word was God.” Well, who is the Word? According to John 1:14, the Word had to be Jesus Christ. He was made flesh. John said that he dwelt among us and that he was the only begotten of the Father. Furthermore, John says of the Word in his first epistle that he had heard him, had seen him, and had handled him with his hands (1 John 1:1).
John leaves no doubt that the Word is in fact the true God and not some lesser god or some man upon whom the spirit of God came after his birth. Just look at 1 John 5:7. It says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” What could be clearer than that? Well, if you have one of the modern Bibles, you do not have this verse. Furthermore, if you have a NASV, your Bible says that Jesus was a begotten God in John 1:18. Those are blatant attacks on the deity of Jesus Christ.
Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he appeared to his disciples several times. Some teachers would have you to believe that his resurrection was merely spiritual and not physical. However, this cannot be true. For when Christ arose, he arose bodily. In Luke 24:39 he said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
When Jesus appeared to Thomas in John 21:24-29, he appeared in a physical body with the scars in his hands, feet and side. When Thomas saw him, he believed and said to the Lord, “My Lord and my God.” Notice that Thomas, who had been a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, did not hesitate to call him, “God,” when he saw him. That would have been blasphemy if it had not been true (John 10:33).
The bottom line on this doctrine, then, is that Jesus Christ is God, has always been God and will always be God. To believe that he is anything else other than the true God is to believe a lie. Look how John concludes his first epistle. In the 1 John 5:20, he says, “…we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”