January 17, 2018

God Made Visible (2)

George Stiekes

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (I Timothy 1:17)

The Spirit of God reveals a four-fold description of our God that every believer ought to understand and cherish if he is to truly know God and experience an intimate relationship with Him. Furthermore, it is important for us to understand that the Christ of Christmas is also known by these same descriptions. This is the second of the four descriptions. (See here for part One.)


The word literally means “undecaying,” indicating not subject to death. The same word is translated “incorruptible” in I Peter 1:4 and 23. God alone has immortality (I Timothy 6:16), an inherent part of His being.

Context is always important in every passage. The Apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy, remembered what He was before Jesus Christ came into his life. He was a blasphemer, a persecutor and an injurious, but He obtained mercy from God (I Timothy 1:13). Thinking of the grace of the Lord, which was exceeding abundant, he broke out with this doxology in verse 17.

The whole meaning of Christmas is wrapped up in a short phrase in verse 15 — Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Our eternal LORD took on human flesh so that He could pay the price for our sins on Calvary’s tree (John 1:14; Galatians 4:4-5). He could not die unless He were to die as a human being. Therefore, He became flesh on our behalf (Romans 1:3). It was absolutely necessary for Christ to shed His blood in order for us to have forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22) and that requires flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5).

So Christ as God was and continues to be ETERNAL. Nevertheless, in consideration of our great need, He was made flesh, taking on a mortal body. When Jesus arose from the grave, it was in a glorified state and will forever be IMMORTAL.

Our bodies are exactly like Christ’s mortal body and all who are in Christ by way of the new birth will, as a result of what Christ did for us in the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, be forever glorified and immortal (II Corinthians 5:1). I Thessalonians 4:13-18 comforts us by revealing that at the time of the rapture, the dead in Christ will rise from their graves and be reunited with their spirits and will forever be with the Lord (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

When the shepherds and the wise men came and bowed down before our Lord when He was an infant, they bowed before a mortal body, prepared to accomplish the great plan of redemption providing for our justification, sanctification and eternal and immortal glorification.

Praise God for this marvelous provision made on our behalf. Recognize what it cost our Lord and Savior in coming to this earth as an infant to live a sinless life and then to give His life for us that we might have everlasting life in immortality.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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