1 Timothy 3:16– Great is the secret!05-01-2024 - Posted by Hans
And avowedly great is the secret of devoutness, “which was manifested in flesh, justified in spirit, seen by messengers, heralded among the nations, believed in the world, taken up in glory”.
Paul had just called “the ecclesia of the living God” a “pillar and base of the truth.” Now he wants to show on the basis of a quote that the secret that resonates in those words is great (Gr. mega). This immediately brings to mind Ephesians 5:32 where Paul writes: “This secret is great, yet I am saying this as to Christ and as to the ecclesia.” We will see that the quote in 1 Timothy 3:16 also speaks of Christ and the ecclesia.
That Paul calls the great secret to which he refers “the secret of devoutness” (or “godliness”) must also be understood in the light of the foregoing. This letter was written so that people might know how they would behave in the house of God, which is “the ecclesia of the living God, the pillar and seat of the truth.” By devoutness Paul apparently means the devout recognition of the truth that has been given to the ecclesia by God. So that the secret of that devoutness refers to the content of that truth: it speaks of Christ and the ecclesia!