The Treasure of Truth Committed to the Church's Guardianship
1 Timothy 3:10
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

I. IT IS CHRIST IN ALL HIS RELATIONS AS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS. This implies that he is the Revelation of God to man; for God "has made known what is the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the Hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). Thus Christianity is Christ. He is the Center of Christian theology, as he is the Object of Christian faith and love.

II. THE MANIFESTATION OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST. He is set forth as the Life of the Church, and if he were not God as well as man, the mystery would not be so obvious to our understanding.

1. He was "manifested in the flesh." This very expression implies the divinity of Christ; for it would be superfluous, if not absurd, to say these words of any mere man. The words imply

(1) that it was essential Deity that was manifested;

(2) that it was a manifestation made, not to our understanding, but to our senses;

(3) that there was a real incarnation, for he was manifest in the flesh, or, as John says, "The Word was made flesh." It was not only by the flesh, but in the flesh.

2. He was "justified in the spirit." He was approved to be righteous in the higher principle of spiritual life within him. There is no allusion to the Holy Spirit. The spirit here is the counterpart of the flesh. Christ fulfilled all righteousness. If his manifestation in the flesh exhibited his true and real humanity, his justification in the spirit exhibited his holiness and perfection. The passage consists of a series of parallel clauses, of which every two form a connected pair.

3. He was "seen of angels." In the sense of showing himself to them in his incarnation. They announced his advent, they ministered to his wants, they heralded his resurrection, they attended him in his triumphant return to heaven, and they now see him in his glorified humanity.

4. He was "preached among the Gentiles." Here, again, is another pair of opposites; the angels inhabitants of a holy heaven, the Gentiles inhabitants of a sinful earth. It was one of the six glories of our Redeemer that he was to be a "Light to the Gentiles" (Isaiah 49:6).

5. He was "believed on in the world." Christianity is a world-wide religion, embraced by men of all nationalities; unlike Mohammedanism and Buddhism, which are restricted to the East. The gospel finds acceptance alike in East and West.

6. He was "received up in glory." In reference to Christ's historical ascent to heaven amidst circumstances of marvelous glory. The last pair of opposites is the world and glory. How far they are apart! Yet they are brought nigh by the blood of Christ. This passage, from its antithetical structure, would seem to have been an ancient hymn of the Church, setting forth the leading facts of the Messianic story. - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

WEB: Let them also first be tested; then let them serve if they are blameless.

The Qualifications of Deacons
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