Christ in you.
GAME CHANGING TRUTH |
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27 (ESV).
THOUGHT IN A SENTENCE |
Our greatest blessing in life is the guidance and direction he gives us by living in us.
Author Max Lucado writes, "For many years, I missed this truth. I believed all the other prepositions: Christ for me, with me, ahead of me. But I never imagined that Christ was in me" (see Christ in You, by Max Lucado, maxlucado.com., March 10). Like many of us in the infancy of faith Lucado was encouraged and perhaps strengthened by the many promises of Christ's presence in life. That he is with us "...always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20) is the last recorded promise in the Gospels. And, what a power promise it is.
But, the distinctive presence of Christ is more intimate and personal than his being around us. Scripture is quick to note that what God is doing in our lives in an inside-out move, that is, a work that transforms us from the inner man to the outer man. In fact, what he does in us is the defining truth of our lives. Paul wrote about it in a progression of thought---
Christ lives in me.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives
in me. And the life 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, ESV).
God works in me.
"...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good
pleasure..." (Philippians 2:13, ESV).
God is forming the character of Christ in me.
"...my little children, for who I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ
is formed in you..." (Galatians 4:19, ESV).
God is conforming us to the image of his Son Jesus.
"For those who he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the
image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many
brother (Romans 8:29, ESV).
As a result of these spiritual realities, our greatest asset as believers, and most intricate preparation for kingdom service, involves the "Christ in you" mystery identified in the GAME CHANGING TRUTH for today. It is truly a mystery of the Kingdom that he would take up residence in someone like me. Yet, in the mystery of his ways he has chosen to do so and to influence the world with broken vessels like us humans. The outcome is powerful---
1. We can produce much spiritual fruit.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him , he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. " (John 15:5, ESV).
2. We can live confident lives of faith.
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—"
(2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV).
3. We can be on mission with other believers because he is in us.
"The glory which you have given to me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent Me, and loved them even as you loved Me." (John 17:22-23, ESV).
4. His endurance and perseverance are formed in us.
"We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus may be manifested in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:8-10, ESV).
5. Christ in us equips and empowers us against the evil one.
"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, ESV).
"Your package" is the special way God prepared you for kingdom service. The first component of this package is "Christ in you", a profound mystery of faith, and a powerful provision for a place in kingdom service. This should be the defining reality of our lives, the distinctive evidence of his claim over us.
Christ in you, the hope of glory.