The Reason We Can Trust Christ in All Seasons
1 Timothy 3:16
December 12, 2004
INTRODUCTION: In this week's copy of Newsweek, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed 1,009 adults on December 2 & 3 on the subject, "The Birth of Jesus." Note their findings:
93% believe Jesus Christ actually lived
82% believe Jesus Christ was God or the Son of God
52% believe Jesus Christ will return to earth someday
15% believe Jesus Christ will return in their lifetime
61% believe there would be less kindness in the world today
without Jesus Christ
63% believe there would be less charity
58% believe there would be less tolerance
59% believe there would be less personal happiness
86% believe organized religion has "a lot" or "some"
influence over life in the U.S. today
Many cards have already come to our home this holiday season reminding us that Jesus Christ is the "Reason for the Season." I am of the deep conviction that He is the reason for all seasons. It is in this text that the Apostle Paul takes us from the incarnation (God becoming man) to the glorification (the consummation of all things). This passage, 1 Tim. 3:16, is a magnificent six-line hymn. It is believed that this passage served as lines to an early church hymn. Why do we believe this? It is evident from its uniformity (the 6 verbs are all third-person singular aorist, rhythm,, and parallelism. Note the six verbs: manifested, justified, seen, preached, believed, and received.
The first parallel is between the flesh and the Spirit; the second between angels and Gentiles (man); and the third between the world and glory, or earth and heaven.
This passage begins by stating that the truths to follow are "without controversy." This translates "by common confession"; means to say the same thing. This is a truth upon which everyone agrees; it is the unanimous conviction of all believers.
Paul then refers to this common confession as "the myst ...
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