March 8, 2020

Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory

That is a familiar statement from Colossians 1 that has intrigued me for years.  In it, Paul is addressing the mystery of God that he was announcing as he proclaimed the good news of Christ among the gentiles.  Hence, the zenith of God glory and wisdom was the revelation that God was not the God of the Jews alone, but He had purposed to bring salvation to every man through the Cross.  Consequently, the inclusion of the Gentiles was the last great step in God’s eternal plan—it explained the last component and God in Them WAS the hope of Glory.

The Apostle reached this climatic statement as he reflected on the big picture and the essence and purpose of his ministry.  In a MACRO world, this was the last great revelation to be divulged by the Apostolic ministry.  Yet, in the MICRO world, Paul’s affirmation speaks powerfully to the individual and how God envisioned and ordained for His People to succeed.  If “Christ in You” (in the plural sense as it related to the Gentiles) was the hope of Glory, “Christ in You” (as an individual) is equally significant.  In fact, “Christ in me” is the God-ordained strategy for transforming the world.

We have not appreciated this observation as we have emphasized getting men into Christ.  We have rightly observed that 1) All spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1.3) and 2) Salvation is promised to those who are in Christ.  You will recall Rom 8.1:  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. That explains why so much of our effort has focused on getting men “into Christ” instead of getting “Christ in them.”  The first speaks of a particular event or moment in time, whereas the second refers to a process that ultimately turns the believer into more than a messenger—you see, as Christ is “formed in you” (see Gal 4.19) we become one with the message.  Christ is ME is the hope, the proof in the pudding, so to speak. 

Paul Dawson