I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:14-16
Liberal critics love to say that there were many Christian beliefs in the early church and that things were not standardized until the fourth or fifth centuries when various church councils decided what should and should not be included in Christian belief. Unfortunately for the critics Paul’s writings put a fly in the ointment.
Even most liberal critics agree that Paul wrote early and from firsthand accounts. All of Paul’s writings can be dated from before 69AD with most as early as 40 to 50 AD. Writing this early would be in the lifetime of those that witnessed the ministry and crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The timing of Paul is also too early for myth and legend to arise.
The creeds the church uses today can be found in the writings of Paul. We see in today’s verses that God was manifested in the flesh. He was vindicated or justified by the Spirit. Jesus was seen by angels and proclaimed to the nations. He was taken up in glory, the ascension.
It is comforting to know that what we believe today was believed by the earliest believers. We don’t believe clever stories made up by men but in the very Word of God.
Have a blessed day,