The mystery of faith (or piety, godliness) is described by Paul as the revealed mystery behind all things - the person of Jesus Christ. In 1. Timothy 3,16 wrote Paul: And great, as every one must confess, is the mystery of faith: He is revealed in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, appeared to the angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed in the world, accepted into glory.

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, can be called the greatest paradox (= apparent contradiction) of the Christian faith. And it is no wonder that this paradox - the Creator becomes part of creation - becomes the source of a long list of paradoxes and ironies that surround our Christian faith.

Salvation itself is a paradox: sinful humanity becomes righteous in the sinless Christ. And even though we still sin as Christians, God sees us as just for the sake of Jesus. We are sinners and yet we are sinless.

The apostle Peter wrote in 2. Peter 1,3-4: Everything that serves to live and piety has given us its divine power through the knowledge of Him who has called us through his glory and power. Through them the dearest and greatest promises have been bestowed on us, so that you may share in the divine nature that you have escaped from the destructive desire in the world.

Some paradox with Jesus' unique work on earth for the benefit of all humanity:

  • Jesus started his ministry when he was hungry, but he is the bread of life.
  • Jesus ended his earthly ministry by being thirsty, and yet he is the living water.
  • Jesus was tired and yet he is our peace.
  • Jesus paid tribute to the emperor, and yet he is the rightful king.
  • Jesus cried, but he wipes our tears.
  • Jesus was sold to 30 Silverlings, and yet he paid the price for the salvation of the world.
  • Jesus was slaughtered like a lamb, and yet he is the good shepherd.
  • Jesus died and destroyed the power of death at the same time.

For Christians too, life is paradoxical in many ways:

  • We see invisible things for the eye.
  • We overcome by surrendering.
  • We govern by serving.
  • We find peace by taking on Jesus' yoke.
  • We are greatest when we are the most humble.
  • We are wisest when we are fools for Christ's sake.
  • We become strongest when we are weakest.
  • We find life by losing our lives for Christ's sake.

Paul wrote in 1. Corinthians 2,9-12: But it has come, as it is written, What no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and no man's heart has come, which God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed to us through his spirit; for the mind explores all things, including the depths of the deity. For what man knows what is in man, but only the spirit of the man who is in him? So no one knows what is in God, but only the Spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God, that we can know what God has given us.

In fact, the mystery of faith is great. Through the Scriptures God has revealed Himself as the one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And through the Son who became one of us to reconcile us to the Father who loves us, we have fellowship not only with the Father but also with each other.

by Joseph Tkack