Page 7 - October 2017 - Truth & Tidings
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the mystery of Godliness is “confessedly   sort of abstract concept, to be debated by
        … great” (Darby).                    philosophers. All truth finds its origin
          The truth that demands our acceptance   in Christ, and all truth points us back to
        is revealed truth; it is “the mystery of god-  Christ. Thus it is that when we look at the
        liness.” Once concealed in the purposes   top of the pillar to find out what it is that
        of God, inaccessible to human reasoning   is held up by the local assembly, we find,
        or scientific experiment, it has now been   not a series of rules and dogmas, but six
        made known. Revelation, and not reason,   sublime statements about the person of the
        is the source of truth. We tend to invert   Lord Jesus Christ: “God was manifest in
        this, to value what we can see and hear   the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of an-
        and touch above the Word of God. Even   gels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed
        as believers, we can be guilty of looking   on in the world, received up into glory.”
        to science, history, or archaeology to prove   To examine these statements in any
        the truthfulness of Scripture. Of course all   sort of adequate way would be impos-
        truth, in whatever realm it may be found,   sible within the bounds of this article.
        is compatible with God’s Word and will   As we read through them, one further
        not contradict it, but the Bible has an au-  aspect of truth is repeatedly emphasized:
        thority that comes from God, not from the   Truth has been, and is to be declared.
        evidence of the natural world.       “Manifest,” ”justified” (or vindicated), and
          Truth is connected with godliness. This   “preached” all share a common emphasis
        provides another link to the preceding   on publication and declaration, and this
        verse, which began with an emphasis on   emphasis closely accords with the assem-
        godly living: “That thou mayest know how   bly’s function as the exhibiting “pillar …
        thou oughtest to behave thyself … . ” This   of the truth.” Man loves gnosticism – the
        is an emphasis that re-occurs throughout   concept  of  special,  secret  knowledge,
        Scripture, but that is particularly a feature   accessible only to those who have been
        of the Pastoral Epistles, especially Titus,   initiated. God places no boundaries on
        where “the truth which is after godliness”   truth. Long and loud, broad and wide, it
        (1:1,  KJV)  is  the  keynote  of  the  whole   is to be sounded out, unlimited by ethnic
        epistle. Truth, as viewed Scripturally, is not   or national boundaries, out beyond the
        something that can or should be divorced   nation of Israel to the Gentiles, until the
        from practice. Truth produces godly be-  whole world has heard the voice of God.
        havior and, as a corollary, error inevitably   And that voice has not spoken in riddles.
        manifests itself in moral evil. So it is here.   This is sometimes known as the perspicu-
        This mystery demonstrates godliness. It   ity of Scripture. The Bible means what it
        presents Christ to us as its example and   says. Scripture is not a code to be cracked.
        epitome. It also produces godliness, for   The Bible is a book like no other, but we
        it is only through Christ that godliness is   must read it as we would any other book,
        possible for us. “He is the source, power,   for God has deigned in matchless, free, and
        and pattern of what is practically accept-  eternal grace to speak to men in the words
        able to God” (Kelly).                of men, and to reveal His truth in a way
          Furthermore, truth is personal; it re-  that we can apprehend and comprehend.
        lates to the Lord Jesus Christ, “Who was   Small wonder that Paul says the mystery
        manifest in flesh.” “Truth” is not some   of godliness is confessedly great!

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