1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels…
Flesh and spirit are opposed to each other as terms. The spirit is not made to stand for the human soul, for that is included in the word flesh; signifying all the constituents of humanity. Nor does the spirit intend the Third Person of the Trinity, for there is antithesis, and the contrast must be found in the same person respecting whom it is affirmed. God was manifest in the flesh, in His flesh: was justified in the spirit, in His spirit. Now, then, we proceed to inquire, Is the assurance of our Lord's Divinity, its perfect evidence, the justification of all His acts and undertakings during His manifestation in flesh amongst us?
1. A manner of very original dignity and pre-eminent authority was assumed by Jesus Christ.
2. Jesus Christ was punished with death under the accusation of blasphemy.
3. Imposture was laid to the charge of Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ undertook mediatorial suretyship and representation.
5. Jesus Christ bore the Imputation, and was subjected to the stigma, of human guilt.
6. The methods which the Saviour pursued for the accomplishment of His ends seemed unlikely and ineffective.
7. Certain promises were made by the Son of God to His people, which must always have tested His power to fulfil them.
8. The dispositions and exercises of mind which the Redeemer inculcated on His disciples in respect of Himself, may create a strange suspense.
(R. W. Hamilton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.