Christ in you, the hope of glory. - Vs 27
This is the gospel in a nutshell. Christ in me! Living in me. Transforming me. Empowering me. Redeeming me. Sanctifying me. And ultimately, glorifying me. In the New Living Translation verse 27 reads this way, "For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory." Because Christ lives in me, I can rest assured that I will live with Him for eternity. But His presence in me is more than just a ticket to heaven, my hope of an eternity free from hell. It is my hope for a life of radical transformation here and now. Christ in me is the secret to God transforming me. Paul says that "although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach" (Vs 21-22). His death has put us back in a right relationship with God the Father. He has restored our fellowship with God, which had been shattered because of our sin. But now God sees us as holy and blameless and beyond reproach, because He sees us through the blood of Christ. We have been washed clean. We are what the theologians call positionally holy. But Christ in me also makes it possible for me to be made progressively holy. That is why Paul told the Colossians that he and Timothy had "continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need" (Vs 9-11).
Paul prayed for and expected life change in the Colossians because Christ was in them. He expected to see their lives characterized by moral discernment, an increasing Christ-likeness, fruitfulness, and power. Ultimately, Paul knew the secret to their changed behavior was the change that had already taken place within them: Christ was in them. He had taken up residence in them. Any change that was going to take place would be by His power, not theirs. That is why Paul so fervently proclaimed Christ, because he knew that Christ in us is the secret to changing us. So Paul exclaims, "We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ" (Vs 28). To be mature in Christ is to be like Christ. It is to allow the Christ in us to come out of us. It is to increasingly allow His character to become our character. Paul's goal was to "bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less" (The Message).
Father, I want to be like Christ. No more, no less. I want the Christ in me to flow out of me. I want others to see Christ in me. May my old self continue to die and my new self in Christ become increasingly more visible to all those around me. And may I increasingly understand that Christ in me is truly my hope of glory now and in the future. Amen