Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


Everybody likes a mystery! Like the game of "Clue", we like to find out who did it, where it was done and how it was done. The Apostle Paul tells us of a mystery that has been hidden for ages and for generations.

The Mystery Revealed

The Apostle Paul reveals the mystery in Colossians 1:24-29: "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, {25} of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, {26} the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. {27} To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. {28} Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. {29} To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily."

The Apostle Paul reveals the mystery that Christ can live in us and that He is the hope of our glory.

Several of the commentaries focus in on the word "gentiles" in this passage. The word "gentiles" could be translated as "nations" or "peoples". The point is that Jesus died for all mankind, not just the Jews, so all men can come to salvation. "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; {15} and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

How Do We Let Christ Live In Us?

In the book of Galatians the Apostle Paul makes a reference to Christ being formed in us: "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you" (Galatians 4:19). How is Christ formed in us? We must let Jesus live in us by giving ourselves to Him. You must live as Christ lived by obeying Him, serving Him, following Him and imitating Him.

Seek the Mind of Christ

First, in our prayers, we need to ask Jesus to live in us and to give us more of His mind and to help us to live as He would live: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5). If we want to have the mind of Christ, then we have to think about what Jesus thought about. We will have to search the Bible, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to see how Jesus thinks and begin to think and act like He does.

Jesus loved and obeyed God and was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). To be without sin means that Jesus kept Godís ten commandments perfectly. Letís notice how important Godís ten commandments are and how they tie in with the love of God: "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. {2} By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. {3} For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:1-3).

Now letís notice what Jesus said we must do if we love Him: "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

By keeping Godís commandments we are showing Jesus that we want to live as He lived by living by His values and His standards. We would be obeying and imitating Jesus because He told us to keep the commandments.

Jesusí Example in Doing Godís Will

Jesus was obedient and submissive to the will of God. The Apostle John records Jesusí words: "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:30).

The night before Jesus was crucified He was with His disciples. He knew that His crucifixion would happen soon and he was sorrowful and deeply distressed. "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." {37} And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. {38} Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." {39} He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." {40} Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? {41} "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." {42} Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done"" (Mat 26:36-42).

When Jesus first prayed, He was hoping that God could work out another solution for the salvation of man besides the horrible way for Him to die through the crucifixion, but He realized that it had to be done Godís way. Jesus said "Your will be done."

Jesus realized that God the Father knew what was best.

We need to be submissive and obedient to Godís will just as Jesus was. We must ask God to help us understand and surrender to His will. Ask God to help you as you study to understand the Bible so you can know His will. How would you know what Godís will is without reading and studying the Bible. "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Mat 4:4).

Jesus Put God First

Letís notice how Jesus said to put God first: "'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment" (Mark 12:30).

In putting God first, we are seeking the spiritual instead of the physical. We are to lay up treasures in heaven: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; {20} but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. {21} "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"" (Mat 6:19-21).

Letís notice Jesusí admonition to the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:21: "Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." {22} But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions" (Mark 10:17-22).

We have to be careful to have the right attitude about our material and physical treasures and not to let them interfere in our spiritual worship of God and Jesus. Letís remember to put God first.

What Would Jesus Do?

Having the mind of Christ is thinking as Jesus would think. We all have probably heard the phrase: "What Would Jesus Do?" When faced with a trial or test and we are not sure what we should do, we should get into the habit of asking "What Would Jesus Do?" Read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to see what Jesus would do!

Jesus Lived By Faith

Jesus lived by faith. Through faith Jesus did many signs, wonders, and miracles. He was tempted in all things, yet He remained faithful and without sin: "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. {15} For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Heb 4:14-15).

In many cases when Jesus healed someone he is quoted as saying that their faith was important in their healing: "And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:19).

As disciples of Jesus we are to live by faith: "Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Heb 10:38). The Apostle Paul continues the idea of faith in Heb 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

We need to have faith in Christ: "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. {27} For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal 3:26-27).

The Apostle Paul said: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Jesus helps us to overcome

Jesus said: "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

We must be like Jesus and be an overcomer, also. We must overcome sin and the pulls of the world, our human nature and the temptations of Satan. The Apostle Paul gives us a very important point in overcoming: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13.

Prayer is important in our efforts to overcome. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." {14} "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" John 14:13-14.

In Conclusion:

To let Jesus live in you, you must give yourself to Him. You must serve Him, obey Him, live as Christ lived, follow Him and imitate Him. Thatís what it means to let Jesus live in you. With Jesus living in us through the Holy Spirit, we can have the power to overcome and become righteous and be prepared to enter the Kingdom of God. Christ in us, is our hope of Glory.