Great is the mystery of godliness

A. W. Pink,

When we remember that the Atonement is the most important subject which can engage the minds of either men or angels: that it not only secures the eternal happiness of all God’s elect, but also gives to the universe the fullest view of the perfections of the Creator: that in it are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, while by it are revealed the unsearchable fiches of Christ: that through the very Church which has been purchased thereby is being made known to principalities and powers in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10)-then of what supreme moment must it be to understand it aright! But how is fallen man to apprehend these truths to which his depraved heart is so much opposed? All the force of intellect is less than nothing when it attempts, in its own strength, to comprehend the deep things of God. Since a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27), much more is a special enlightenment by the Holy Spirit needed if he is to enter at all into this highest mystery.

“Great is the mystery of godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16). Amazing beyond all finite conception is that transaction which was consummated at Golgotha. There we behold the Prince of Life dying. There we gaze upon the Lord of Glory made a spectacle of unutterable shame. There we see the Holy One of God made sin for His people. There we witness the Author of all blessing made a curse for worms of the earth. It is the mystery of mysteries that He who is none other than Immanuel, should stoop so low as to join together the infinite majesty of Deity with the lowest degree of abasement that was possible to descend into. He could not have gone lower and be God. Well did the Puritan Sibbes say, “God, to show His love to us, showed Himself God in this: that He could be God and go so low as to die” (Vol. 5, p. 327).


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