"A Stewardship to Proclaim the Mystery of God Now Revealed" Part 2 of 2 (series: Lessons on Colossians"
by John Lowe
(1:27) “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery,”
In other words, Paul said, “You are the persons to whom “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery.” It was God’s good pleasure to make known the glorious redemption in Christ’s blood. It was not a divine imperative; it was a divine pleasure to reveal to the Colossians that the Gentiles had been accepted by God through the death of the Lord Jesus. The saints did not discover the mystery for themselves through their own knowledge and wisdom. Christianity did not spring up because of their wisdom, understanding or good works: Christianity was made known by Almighty God. The mystery was unfolded to Paul by revelation. He did not enter the seminary and discover it in books of Theology, nor did he dig it out by himself. God revealed it to him; God unfolded before Paul what had been hidden from all men, from Adam up to the time of the Apostle Paul.
Imagine what this message meant to the Gentiles. They were no longer excluded from the Glory and riches of God’s grace! During the Old Testament dispensation, a Gentile had to become a Jewish proselyte, in order to share in the blessings of Israel. But in the new dispensation, Jews and Gentiles alike are saved by faith in Jesus Christ― “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:12-13). No wonder the Jewish false teachers opposed Paul. He dared to say there is no difference!”
“which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
We who have grown up in somewhat Christian surroundings have a tendency to take all of this for granted. But think of the excitement this message must have generated in a church composed of new believers who had no background in the church. Once they were outside the covenants of God, but now they were members of His family. Once they were living in spiritual ignorance and death, but now they were alive and sharing in the riches of God’s wisdom in Christ. Once they had no hope, but now they had a glorious hope because Christ now lived within! It would be good for us today to recapture some of that “first love” excitement.
“Christ in you . . . .” The mystery revealed is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Do not confuse the statement “to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery,” with the revelation of the mystery, “Christ in you.” Christ was not just among the Gentiles, but Christ literally took up His abode in the Gentiles who believed on Him in saving faith. It was not just to know Christ, but to possess Christ in the heart by faith.
“The hope of glory.” The final glory of believers is yet to come, but it is as sure to come as God is God. Believers are strangers and pilgrims on earth. What true believers earnestly pray for and long for, and what they labor to possess, shall be revealed in glory far beyond our anticipation. In the final glory, because of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be delivered from all evil. We will possess all good . . . all the good that God can provide. What we have only partially enjoyed here, we will fully enjoy and possess in heaven—which is, “All things!” What has seemed glory in this life will be feeble compared to that which we will experience in heaven: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
We are “in Christ.” The moment you put your trust in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit baptizes you and puts you in the body of believers. You and I have been brought into something new, the Church, and the Church has a glorious prospect ahead of it.
The mystery is no longer a mystery! The truth has been communicated to the apostles—men ordained by God and commissioned by God—who were appointed to proclaim and make known the truth that the Gentiles could and would be fellow heirs with all saints. Paul knew that he was called to make this truth known—that is, as far as it is possible for mankind to understand the glorious truth of “Christ in you, the hope of Glory.”