1 Timothy 3:14-16 -A Hymn

This week are discussing 1 Timothy 3. In the first part of this chapter, Paul sets forth the standard of conduct of the clergy. For Paul, if someone is to hold an office within the church, their life must reflect what the church is about to both members of the church and to those outside of the community. Paul ends this chapter (v.16) with one of his great hymns to Jesus:

He was revealed in the flesh,
and justified in the spirit,
He appeared to the angels,
and was announced to the nations,
He was believed in the world,
and elevated into glory.

This hymn is composed of three couplets each of which encompasses the totality of existence: flesh and spirit, angels and humanity, this world and the world to come. The mystery of Christ is everywhere and in all things.

Additionally, each of the couplets speaks to the essential teachings of the Christian faith. For this evening, ponder this poem while focusing on the verbs used in each line.

  • The first couplet ties together the resurrection with Jesus’ victory over sin. The word “revealed” is the same word that is used for the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus (Mark 16:12, 14John 21:14) while the word “justified” is the same word that Paul will use in his statement regarding justification by faith (Rom. 3:28Gal. 3:24).
  • The second couplet concerns the kingship of Jesus. Jesus has displayed his royalty in both the realm of the angles (Acts 7:55Rev. 5-7) and throughout the earth (Rom. 10:9). “Announce” and “appear” are the same words used in regards to the elevation of Octavius to Caesar Augustus, and the enthronement of his successors.
  • The third couplet then expresses that trust and loyalty that a subject has in his Lord and Governor. (Phil. 2:10-111 Cor. 15:24). Kyrios Iesous!

Dinner is at 6. The menu is gourmet hot dog bar. Our discussion is at 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here. Please bring a friend.

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Edward Perronet (1726-1792)

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