Summary: Was Jesus capable of sinning?
Could Jesus Have Sinned?
The Vital Secret Of The Holiness Of Life
Pastor James L. Groce
Calvary Apostolic Tabernacle
March 2, 2001
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Having garnered the original word meanings in Strong’s Concordance, 1 Timothy 3:16 can be expressed as:
"Without objection, of vital importance is the secret, which can only be revealed by God, of the holiness of life:
God was shown openly in living flesh,
Revealed to be righteous by the Spirit,
Seen of angels,
Made known unto the gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up into glory."
(Notice: all these stanzas are dealing in revelatory terminology)
The word "mystery" in 1 Timothy 3:16 is musteriou which means "some sacred thing hidden or secret which is naturally unknown to human reason and is only known by the revelation of God." Paul tells us that holiness of life (godliness) is a vital secret that can only be known by a revelation of God. Man had never seen nor known true holiness of life in all the history of mankind. This statement is concluded with a colon, thus signifying, an example or future explanation follows. The example or explanation of this great mystery or secret of holiness of life is:
God was shown openly (manifested, revealed, declared, proclaimed) in living flesh,
Revealed (manifested, seen, proven)to be righteous by the Spirit,
Seen (made apparent to view) of angels,
Made known (proclaimed, preached) unto the gentiles,
Believed on ( understood, trusted) in the world,
Received up into glory.
Thus, the vital secret of holiness of life is REVEALED by God manifest in living flesh. Just as the true nature of an individual is manifested by his actions [ by their fruits (works) shall ye know them], likewise, the nature of God was shown openly in living flesh.
This secret of the ages (of holiness of life) had been veiled in obscurity, glimpsed but never clearly seen, until God was manifest in the flesh, thus revealing Himself (His nature) to all that would truly "Behold the Lamb of God." This secret was vital because without an understanding of the nature of God man could never know God. It was the lack of knowledge of this vital secret of holiness of life that confused and became a stumbling block to the Jews. "You being a man make yourself God," was their stumbling in the dark retort to the Lord Jesus Christ. As frequently was the case, they had stated their confusion in terms of backwardness of truth. It was not a man making himself God, yea rather, God had made Himself a Man! These blind leaders of the blind had rightfully sensed His humanity but failed to see that that living flesh was manifesting God! Here was the image of the invisible God—the express image of His person. "When you have seen me, you have seen the Father." Yet, they failed to see, having eyes they saw not. "Before Abraham was, I AM," "Emmanuel, God with us," Jesus declared, however they stumbled on in their darkness nevertheless.
Why? Why did they so miserably fail to see this obvious display of God in living flesh? How could they have been so blinded as to not detect the nature of God radiating from this human body that they sought to destroy? Why? Because of their misconception of the nature of God, therefore when He manifested His nature they failed to associate those actions with their idea of God. Not knowing His true nature, they did not recognize Him when He came. "He came unto His own and His own received Him not." Neither had God, as some tend to believe, changed His nature and stepped into the their world incognito. "I am God and I change not." God’s nature was ever the same. It was the world’s conception of God that was in error.
The Jew had formulated a God that they only knew as far away, a God that set boundaries to prevent intimacy. A God of thunder and lighting and gross darkness, a God that clave open the ground and swallowed rebellious men alive. A God who hurled lighting bolts as javelins, a God who gathered the stars in His hand as trinkets of insignificance. A God who made the clouds His chariots and the earth His footstool. These were facets of God’s nature but not His complete revealed nature.
What they failed to see was His true holiness and their wretched sinfulness. Sin that had created a great gulf between man and God over which no man might pass. What they failed to understand was that man was without God and without hope in the world, doomed to an eternal damnation. And their greatest shortcoming was their failure to see and understand a God who loved them and would come to their rescue Himself!