Christ In You & The Hope Of Glory: Colossians Series #13

If I could tell you a secret which would explain how you could be everything you ought to be and everything you want to be, would you be interested?

The Apostle Paul is writing here about the Christian life and how it works in our lives. He is writing about the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ and the ministry that God had given to him. Right in the middle this exposition on the sufficiency of Christ, Paul says, “I have a mystery for you. I have a secret for you.” In Colossians 1:26-27, he uses the word, “mystery” twice.

Usually, when we think about mystery, we think in terms of a who-did-it. We think about a Sherlock Holmes or a John Gresham or an Alfred Hitchcock. But when the Bible uses this word, mystery, it was a word that really would have caught the attention of those who were reading. In those days they had what they called mystery religions. These were religions that were only for a select few. Only the initiated could get into these mystery religions.

Paul had a way of taking the very words these mystery religions used and use them as ammunition against them. One of those words is the word, mystery. It’s really where we get our word, mum. We say, “Mums the word.” It means to close the mouth. It means you have a secret.

So, the mystery religions had secrets–things that only their initiated could know anything about. Paul takes this same word, mystery, and uses it to refer to a secret of God which we could not know unless God revealed it unto us.

God has some secret truths. There are some things that we will never know on this side of heaven. There are some things we will never fully understand. They are secrets that are in the heart of God for all eternity. Yet, the Bible says there are some secrets–some mysteries–that God has chosen to reveal to man.

There are a number of secrets in the Bible. There’s the mystery of the cross. We would never have understood the cross if God hadn’t revealed it to us. There is the mystery of the church. How God takes people from all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of cultures and brings them together in one body–the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. In these verses Paul says I want to tell you a mystery–a secret of God you would never understand unless God revealed it.

God had a secret and He whispered that secret in the ears of Paul and then Paul told the whole world. Would you like to know that secret? Paul gives us a secret which explains to us how we can be everything we ought to be and everything we want to be.

A lot of times, people do not accept Christ as their Savior because do not believe they can live it.  They say, “I would like to be a Christian if I thought I could live it. I would come to Christ if I thought I could be everything that I ought to be.”

Well, I have a secret I want to share with you. It is the secret of how the Christian life is lived successfully. In Colossians 1:27, we read, “…what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles…” Then he tells us what the secret is. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Every word in that little statement is a monosyllable except one. In that simple little statement is the secret that God reveals to us that makes possible what the Christian life really ought to be.

The Apostle Paul teaches us how to come to Christ and be what you want to be and what you ought to be. It is, “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

I. The Presence Of Jesus Christ Is In Our Life

I don’t know how that grabs you, but it has really grabbed hold of my heart. That is an astonishing statement. That is an astounding concept. He has just said that Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe. He has previously said that Jesus Christ is the Savior who died on the cross for our sins. Now he says this same Jesus, at salvation, comes to be present in your heart. This truth should take your breath away when you really begin to think about it.

We probably understand that when we come to Jesus we are “in Christ.” Back in chapter 1, verse 2, it says, “to the saints and the faithful brethren in Christ.” Our spiritual location at salvation is in Jesus Christ. Now, he says not only are we in Christ, but Christ is in us. We come to Christ. We are in Him, but Jesus Christ comes to live in our hearts.

In John 14:20, Jesus says. “And at that day you shall know that I am in the father and you in me and I in you.” Jesus present in our life.

Then, Jesus says in John 14:23, “. . . if a man love me he will keep my words, and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” Jesus Christ is present in your life.

A lot of people get the idea that after they trust Jesus as their personal Savior they are on their own from then on out. Somehow they can accept Jesus and He will save them, but then they have to handle the Christian life themselves. People read their Bible, go to church, try really hard to do what they ought to do and live the way they ought to live on a daily basis. But this verse of Scripture says it’s an altogether different approach. It is not something you have to do. It is not an energy or a presence that you have to generate in your life. Jesus comes to live in your heart.

In a previous generation Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were heavy weight boxing champions. I was thinking about how it would be if you and I stepped into the ring with the likes of a Mike Tyson. How would you like to fight Mike Tyson? You may say, “That is never going to happen.” But if somehow an Evander Holyfield could get in you, then you could see the possibility that you might get in the ring with a Mike Tyson.

When we look at the Christian life and our temptations and the problems, we encounter on a daily basis there is no way you and I can live the way we ought to live ourselves. But Christ in you means that the presence of Jesus is in your life. How does this presence come into our lives?

In Ephesians 3:17, we read, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Jesus comes to live in your heart by faith. Becoming a Christian is receiving Jesus Christ into your heart by faith.

How can someone as great as Jesus come to live in a heart and a life so small as mine? In the morning when I go into my study and begin to study for the day, hopefully the sun will be out. That sun is millions of miles away and far larger than this earth and certainly far larger than my study. Yet, if that sun is out, I can open up the window and the rays of that sun can come flooding into my study. The window of faith brings the presence of Jesus Christ into your heart and life. You become a Christian by receiving Jesus by faith. You live the Christian life by releasing this presence of Jesus in your life every day.

I want to be as practical and understandable as I can possibly be. Jesus is in your life. The presence of Jesus is in your life. That means if you will turn your life over to Jesus every day, Jesus Christ will live through you the life that He would live if He were on this earth right now.

The Bible says in Ephesians 3:16, “Strengthened with all might by his spirit in the inner man.” Jesus comes to live in your heart.

In Philippians 4:13 we read, “I can do all things through Christ.” If there was a period right there that would be presumptuous, wouldn’t it? If anybody says, “I can do all things,” that would sound presumptuous. But the verse goes on and says, “Through Christ who strengthens me.” Jesus in me. The presence of Jesus is working in and through me. That means I can live the way I ought to live because Jesus lives in me. That means I can love the way I ought to love because I let Jesus love through me. That means I can work for Him the way I ought to work for Him because I let Jesus work through me.

So, every morning of our lives, when we wake up, we ought to yield ourselves to the indwelling Jesus. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” The presence of Jesus is in your life.

II. The Power Of Jesus Christ Is In Our Life

All the power that Jesus has is now available in your life. In Isaiah 40:31, we read, “But they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

The idea is of the eagle replacing those old feathers for new feathers. It’s the idea of exchanging for something better. He is saying, “Those who wait upon the Lord shall exchange their strength.” You can exchange your puny, weak strength for His Almighty, Omnipotent strength. An exchange of power.

It’s like two boys on the Intercoastal waterway in a motorboat. They have never heard of a motorboat. They have two sets of oars, and they are rowing and rowing and they are getting tired. Their muscles are getting cramped. They are getting hot and irritated. What makes it even worse is the other guys with boats just like theirs just goes speeding by. Here they are with a motorboat and yet they don’t know it’s a motor. They are trying to move under their own power and strength. That’s the way a lot of Christians living each day. They are trying to move in their own strength, and you have the power of Jesus Christ available in your life. “Christ in you.” “They that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength.”

“They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” There are times when you have real difficult situations in life. There are times when you need to fly. You need to mount up with wings as eagles.

Paul had a time like this in his life. In Colossians 1:24, we read, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” Paul had some tough times. He was suffering in the place of Jesus. He was not suffering like Jesus did on the cross. The sufferings of Jesus on the cross are never referred to as afflictions. It’s what Jesus put up with in this world before the cross and what Jesus would have to put up with right now if he was still on this earth in the flesh. Sufferings. The difficult times. Life has some tough times. There some times when you need strength which is above your ability. You need to mount up with wings as eagles. I’ve got good news for you. Christ in you, the power of Jesus, is available to you for those times when you need to fly.

“They shall run and not be weary.” These are those days when we are on the run. At times, mothers feel like they are primarily taxi drivers. Running here to deliver this one. Running over here to deliver this one. Running over here to go to that activity. You feel like you are in the road all the time running. The power of Jesus Christ is available for those running times in life.

Paul said in Colossians 1:28, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (mature or complete) in Jesus.” He was on the run. How did Paul do this? He did it in the power of Jesus. You are on the run. How do you live successfully? You do it in the power of Jesus.

Here’s the hard part. “They shall walk and not faint.” Sometimes the walking is the hardest of all. Just the mundane, ordinary activities of life. Do you find it’s easier normally to draw on the power of Jesus in the real crisis times than it is in some of the smaller occasions? Your child has an accident, and you draw on the power of Jesus and you are amazed how you turned that accident situation over to the Lord. Then your washing machine breaks, and you just go to pieces. Sometimes we make a mess out of the little things. We need the power of Jesus not only for the big things, but we need the power of Jesus for the little things. Christ in you! The presence of Jesus is in your life. The power of Jesus is in your life. It’s available.

III. The Prospect Of Jesus Christ Is In Our Life

“Christ in you the hope of glory.” Bringing to you all the glorious things that God has in store for you. This is why this verse is so important in the Christian life. It is important because it deals with the problem of loneliness and problems of low self-esteem. The presence of Jesus is in your life, you don’t have to be alone. You are never alone. Jesus is there. You don’t have to feel like you are a nobody. Jesus Christ honored you by coming to live in your heart. His presence is the solution for loneliness and low self-esteem. It’s also the solution for problems of temptation and living the way you ought to live.

Then, Paul turns our attention to the future. The future fills us with some anxiety and apprehension. What’s out there in the future? The older you get the more aware you become of how these bodies are so weak. The older you get the weaker your body gets. More things go wrong with us. More trips to the doctor. These bodies have a tendency to wear out and break down. The b’s of old are: baldness, bifocals, bunions and bay windows. There’s another b that comes in there — burials.

We do everything we can to take care of them but it’s a losing battle. Disease is constantly battling these old bodies. We take medicines and exercise and eat properly trying to fight off these diseases that are constantly assailing your body. Then one day one of them gets in there and you fight and resist it but is gets there and persists. It lays hold of your body and you can’t seem to shake it. It gets its grip on you. Maybe it’s heart disease. Maybe it’s cancer. It takes hold on you and gets the best of your body and becomes even more of a losing battle. That old body just gets weaker and weaker and goes down and down and down. Finally, death comes, followed by a grave and a burial. Does this Christian life and Christ in you do anything for us in that time? Oh, yes. He is saying that out in the future God has something glorious in store for you. Salvation not only includes the spirit, it also includes the soul and the body.

In Romans 8:11, we read, “But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwells in you.” Christ in you the hope of glory. Christ in you the guarantee of resurrection. One of these days these bodies are going to be resurrected. A person goes to sleep one night and several hours later they wake up and they hear shouts of victory they have never heard before. They hear such singing as they have never heard before. In a moment they say, “Where am I?” Someone says, “Welcome home, pilgrim.” You find that you are in the presence of God. You find that you have a resurrection body. Christ in you the hope of glory. How wonderful that’s going to be.

In Psalm 17:15, we read, “As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” He is saying that one of these days in the future we are going to see Jesus. One of these days we will leave these earthly confines and we will go into the presence of Jesus. Christ in you the hope of glory!

Many years ago, sweeteners were invented for coffee and tea. Imagine one morning a businessman is having my morning coffee. He believes he has put the sugar in the coffee, but when he took a sip of it, it is very bitter. He thought he left the sweetener out but was too lazy to get up and go get it in the kitchen. So, he continues to drink the bitter coffee.

However, the more coffee he drank, the sweeter it got until finally when he got to the bottom of the cup he discovered he had put the sugar in the coffee. He had just forgotten to stir it up. It was sweet on the bottom, but if he had stirred it up it could have been sweet from the brim to the bottom.

These words, “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” need to be stirred up in our hearts.

“My body is getting weak.” The hope of glory.

“I don’t know if I’m going to survive.” The hope of glory.

Christ makes it all come out just right. It’s the great secret of the Christian life.

Do you know this Jesus? If you are not a Christian, if Jesus is not in your life, could I give you the way this scripture would read in your life? “Satan in you the dread of misery.” If you do not know Christ, you have no power. If you do not know Christ there is no victory. If you do not know Christ, there is no glorious future ahead for you. You need, more than anything else to come to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord and Savior. When you invite Jesus into your life, His presence and His power make it possible for you to do and to be everything that you want to be and ought to be.