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…
I. IN THE DEPTH OF HIS CONDESCENSION. It is probable that even angels cannot directly see God in the Person of the Father, and in His infinite essence. They see Him only in the displays of His glory. His condescension reaches to the lowest depth. They see Him reigning with the Father amid the ineffable glories of heaven, "making Himself of no reputation, and taking upon Him the form of a servant, and humbling Himself to become obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross."
II. In the scheme of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE MYSTERY OF HIS INCARNATION. This event, so strange and unparalleled in its character, would awaken their deepest interest, and largely engage their attention. They would learn something of it from the first promise, although it doubtless involved much more than they at first perceived. We are not to suppose, however, that the whole mystery of His incarnation was then made known to angels.
III. In the scheme of godliness GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE SUPREME WISDOM OF HIS COUNCILS. In its contrivance and execution, they saw a display of intelligence which had never before impressed them.
IV. In the scheme of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE SOLEMN MAJESTY OF HIS JUSTICE. Never had they seen this attribute stand out in such tremendous manifestation, as when they saw Christ made "a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God for the remission of sins that are past."
V. In the scheme of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE IMMENSE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HIS POWER. They saw all power in heaven and in earth committed to the incarnate Son, and omnipotently wielded for the rescue of man, and for the overthrow of his enemies.
VI. In the scheme of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE INFINITE TENDERNESS OF HIS LOVE. Here they saw the fullest manifestation of this attribute, and gathered their loftiest conceptions of its depth and height. Here they first saw its peculiar mode, mercy. They had seen it developed as goodness, as infinite benignity before, but not its peculiar form, mercy. They required no sacrifice.
VII. In the mystery of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE PERFECT HARMONY OF HIS ATTRIBUTES.
VIII. In the scheme of godliness, GOD WAS SEEN OF ANGELS IN THE GRANDEUR OF HIS ULTIMATE PURPOSES. What a host of unparalleled events rush on their brightening view! Earth redeemed! — devils vanquished! — death destroyed! — angels established! — the universe conserved! — sin and ruin all confined to hell! — man saved! — Messiah enthroned, and crowned with all power and glory! — the whole Godhead illustrated! — the Father glorified! — and all the faithful host of God united into one great and rejoicing family for ever! What purposes are unfolded here! We thus learn that the scheme of our redemption deeply interests the whole universe.
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.